Monday, September 16, 2013

Deana Waddell

My name is Deana Waddell.  I'm married to a wonderful man named Clynt Waddell, and I have 2 wild boys, Corbin (4) and Garrett (2).  I'm a stay at home mom to my fun loving boys.  I don't have any big life changing moments or any huge struggles to share with you, like so many other amazing women who have posted.  In fact, when asked to write a blog, I semi ignored it for a couple months... I had no idea what I would share, or if anyone would care!  But I decided to trust in God and so that's what I'm going to write about :)

When I was in high school I started going to church on a regular basis.  I was baptized and have been a follower of Christ ever since.  I can't say I have lived perfect since then.  I went off to college and did many things that were far from being Christ-like. However, I never stopped believing.  I came back home after a year in College Station and began attending the University of Houston.  I began attending church again, and leading a small group of high schoolers at a previous church.
I met the man of my dreams and got married in 2007.   I graduated college, we bought our first home, got my first real job, and got pregnant all in 2008.  It was kind of a crazy year. I was also working part time at our previous church. We were attending church every Sunday, co-leading a small group and living life as we thought we needed.  However,  we weren't necessarily putting all of our trust in God.  We weren't financially giving what we should have been giving. I was being called to stay home with my son, but we weren't listening,  and we were simply focusing on things that we wanted and not necessarily what God wanted.

We decided one Sunday to commit to financially give what we needed to be giving.  While it meant that most of our "free" income would be gone, we really needed to trust in God and just do it.  We realized that all we were doing was keeping God's money from Him and what sense was that making?  He gave us everything we had and we were being greedy.  So we "took the plunge" and started actually GIVING and it felt so good to be trusting in God with the money that He had provided to us, even though money was tight.  Within a month of us committing to trust more, my husband (Clynt) received a large increase in pay.  It gave us almost as much "free money" as we had before.

Several months later, we both were feeling led for me to be a stay at home mom of our, then, 6 month old son.  Since we had allowed money to take over a few things, it took a whole lot of selling stuff, saving money, paying off debt and so on in order for me to be able to quit my job. But, we managed to be debt free (other than our home) in about 6 months.  Again it was a huge stretch for us to lose my entire income, but we were trying to put our trust in what we were being led to do.   We were dipping into our savings every month to make it happen; but yet again, trusting that God was in control. After about a year of praying and trusting, my husband was offered a job that nearly doubled his salary.   It was such a blessing to us!  We have continued to increase our giving to God as He has continued to increase His giving to us, and He has never failed us.   We are not to "put [our] hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but put [our] hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 17).

Not only am I getting better (but still far from perfect!) at putting my  trust in God financially, it's also about how I live my life.  I have had to put a lot of trust in God's will for where we should be attending church,  where I serve in the church,  where my son will go to school, how to raise my kids, how to treat my husband, and basically every, single, daily, thing in my life. It's really hard sometimes to live according to His will instead of living according to my own will, but it never fails to be the most fruitful way to do things!  Being more submissive to my husband has led to a better marriage, being more patient with my children has led to many more smiles, being a willing servant at our church has lead to more love and relationships, being obedient with our finances and giving has lead us to more financial freedom, and the list could continue on forever.

Trusting God, to me, is so much more than listening when it is going to be beneficial to me, but listening always,  no matter how hard it will be or how others will view me.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Create In Me A Pure Heart

Create in me a pure heart, O God; and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV

God most recently taught me an intellectual truth that explains His repeated deliverance of my heart. “Create in me a pure heart, O God” Psalm 51:10. The Hebrew word for create in Psalm 51:10 is “bara”. It is the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It means to create out of nothing, to shape, to form, of something new. The same word our poetic brothers and sisters used to describe the miracle of creation, David used to describe how God makes a pure heart. Supernaturally! From nothing! From darkness!

Any of my sisters who share in my journey through infertility and pregnancy loss may know a thing or two about David’s words in Psalm 51:10. We continually need to make the conscious choice to allow God to pick up our pieces and miraculously place our hearts back together and renew our spirits. It’s the only way I’ve found for me to be whole again, month after month, failed fertility cycle after failed fertility cycle, and especially after the loss of our unborn children.

There have been times where I wasn’t really sure God existed. Where deep in my heartache and grief my faith was so small that all I had was enough to hope that He would bring me through. And ladies I promise, no God promises, no matter how small your hope, no matter how tiny your faith may feel…it is enough for God to create beauty from it. I’m a living testimony of this, and sometimes it feels as if I’ve traveled in circles over and over again. That God heals my heart and intangible spirit over and over is a much bigger miracle to me than His creation of the earth. I am not downplaying the creation story. I am stating that He is grander with His creation than I ever knew. I see His glory in my repeated wholeness and healing and that is testimony to His power!

God uses our suffering for good. Therefore, despite our circumstances we should, like Him, use it for good as well. It is a conscious choice to allow our suffering to soften and not harden our hearts. Exodus 34:6 states that our King is longsuffering. His patience for us endures. “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” Psalm 50:15. Our only responsibility is to ask, to open our hearts so He may heal them. He is ready and waiting for us to ask for deliverance. I do not know your personal situation, if it is grief, sin, a hardened heart, boredom, anger, bitterness, addiction, and the list goes on. You are not beyond God’s reach or His want to restore your wholeness. Our God creates (bara) from nothing. From darkness he made the seas and all that is in them. His book is full of this testimony and also of His deliverance of His people from oppression.

Pursuing the growth of our family is a high risk high reward business and throughout it all His molding and forming of my heart has me astonished. The risk of loss is very real for us because our losses have been large. Yet, God’s work on my spirit gives me the courage to endure it all again, to take the risk that I may suffer loss again. I know He will be there. He is long suffered with us. He will deliver us when we call on Him. He will create in us a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within us. From nothing, He can and He WILL supernaturally mold a broken heart into one that is whole. Call on Him. O Lord! Again I ask, “create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I thank Him for moving in ways I never asked for and in ways I could never imagine. I praise Him for the lessons and wisdom He has imparted in me, and I thank Him for the privilege of sharing them with you. May He continue to create and renew in you without limitation.