From Stress to Stress-Free
by Gary Keesee (Drenda’s Husband)
What have you been thinking?
Because if you’re constantly thinking negative or wrong thoughts, there’s no way you’re moving forward toward what God has for you. You’re either stagnant or heading in a different direction.
I know because I’ve been there.
Maybe you know some of my story, but I spent years thinking destructive thoughts of fear, discontentment, and failure.
Those thoughts kept me in a downward spiral.
Drenda and I lived hand-to-mouth for years. We lived in poverty. For nine very long years, we were in financial chaos. Not only did we owe on our falling-apart farmhouse that had weeds growing through its windows and on two rusted-out, bent up, high mileage cars, we also had ten maxed-out credit cards, three finance company loans at interest rates of 28%, more than $13,000 owed in back taxes, more than $26,000 owed to relatives, and judgments and liens filed against us. I was sick during those days, too.
I was a believer, but I was miserable…
I lived in a state of constant stress. I was anxious and fearful. The doctors put me on medication to deal with the panic attacks I was having, but that only seemed to make things worse. Fear consumed my life. I even got to the point of not wanting to leave my house.
Everyday life became a game of survival, and I was constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for the next thing to go wrong or blow up. I had no joy and no peace.
My thoughts were a disaster.
I clearly remember the day I reached the end of my rope and I collapsed on my bed, desperately crying out to God. That was the day God said, “Take the time to learn how my Kingdom operates.” And that was when everything changed.
Drenda and I began to learn how the Kingdom of God operates, and it was like someone flipped a light switch.
John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
It’s the truth that sets you free, and you have to reintroduce your mind to the truth—to what God says about you.
That’s when Drenda and I started changing our thoughts.
Yes, you can choose what you think about.
You don’t have to think on everything that pops into your head.
The Bible says that we’re to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Plain and simple, your brain does not have the authority to think anything it wants.
I didn’t know that then, but I sure know it now.
And I want to make sure you know it too—You can choose what you think about.
You have to test every thought you have against God’s will for you. How do you know His will? It’s made known to us in His Word, the Bible. Measure everything against what God says. Umpire your thoughts. If they don’t line up with what God says, get them out! Replace them with a right thought.
How do you know what right thought to think? Read your Bible.
This is why I say that memory verses aren’t just for kids; they’re for everyone. If you memorize Scriptures, you’ll have them ready and waiting to replace negative thoughts.
When Drenda and I started changing our thoughts, she put Scriptures and the promises of God everywhere.
We both needed constant reminders that we wouldn’t be in the wilderness forever. We were going through a hard time, but we were going through—we weren’t staying there. We were headed somewhere else, somewhere better. We knew God had promises for our family. The Word of God was working in our hearts and minds. We were learning how to access the Kingdom inside of us by renewing our minds.
Just like Drenda and me, you can’t move forward until you decide to change your thoughts—until you start thinking like God thinks.
You can overcome any mental blocks, thoughts of depression, discouragement, fear, and doubt. You can renew your mind and replace toxic thoughts, and see your life from God’s perspective.
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.