Partnering with God
By Drenda Keesee
I remember walking into the kitchen of our 1800’s farmhouse, and there was a five-gallon bucket of half-dead frogs on our kitchen floor. Yes, dead frogs. My husband is a hunter, and he wanted to cook some frog legs. I looked down, and there was one of the frogs, still alive, sliding itself across our kitchen floor. Our house was old, so old that vines were growing through cracks that didn’t meet in our windows. We hardly had enough money to take the kids to McDonald’s at that time.
I remember how I felt looking at that frog on our kitchen floor. I thought I had failed at life. Somehow that frog was the embodiment of all of my disappointments. We didn’t have money, we didn’t have an expensive house, and my husband was a hunter. I grew up in school thinking that being a hunter was an appalling thing, a label for some sort of redneck that brought dead animals into the house. And there they were, dead frogs in our house.
I had planned on being a successful career woman, not a stay-at-home mom trying to scrape up enough money to pay the bills. My discontentment finally rose to the point where I tried to get a job, to leave everything that God had called me to, and to return to my metaphorical Egypt. I felt like I was missing out on something.
As I headed to my job interview, I told God, “If this isn’t your will, I need you to make it clear to me. I know you don’t hit people over the head with a two-by-four, but I’m stubborn, and I give you permission.”
God got to my heart through one of my neighbors on the day of my job interview. I was pulling out of our driveway, watching my little toddler with his face pressed against the window waving goodbye to me. As I navigated our long snow-covered driveway in our minivan, the van slid on the ice and I went into the ditch. My husband came running out to help, but I turned my feelings of failure into accusations toward him. I had been trying so hard to be successful, to be a good mom, a good wife, but it wasn’t working. Everything I tried seemed to fail.
“You want me to stay here forever! You don’t want me to be successful!” I yelled at Gary. I was acting as if he pushed me into the ditch himself!
I struggled as I stubbornly walked our long drive in stilettos over to my neighbor’s house and asked to borrow her car. She agreed to let me use it, an old 50’s Ford truck with a floor shifter. As I switched the ignition on, the engine sputtered uselessly. I kept trying until the engine flooded, and my eyes filled with tears. I stomped back up to her house to give her the keys, upset.
My neighbor asked, “Drenda, where are you trying to go that’s so important?”
I told her I was going for a job interview and I was going to meet the president of the company; I was going to be a successful career woman after all. “I- I- I.”
My neighbor looked at me surprised and exclaimed, “No, you’re not! Your husband has a call on his life and you are called to raise your children!”
Bam! I felt the two-by-four.
I went back home and recommitted to invest in my family. I chose to be happy and to trust God with our circumstances, and I was happy because I found renewed purpose in what I was doing. I continued to be a stay-at-home mom while helping my husband with our financial services business, which became very successful. A few years later, we planted a church, eager to share all that we had learned. I am so thankful I didn’t let my moment of weakness interfere with God’s plans.
I wouldn’t change a day of that time in the old farmhouse. Those days made me. They taught me some of the most important lessons I have ever learned about success and life. And you know, some days I still drive by that old house and remember the days when an immature, stubborn, young mom had to decide to become a woman of God.
It’s easy to get discouraged and give up when situations appear that weren’t a part of your plan. Sometimes life feels like a game of whack-a-mole: problem after problem popping up. At first, it’s manageable, but suddenly problems emerge quicker and in greater quantity—and you become stressed out, overwhelmed, unproductive, and give up.
I am sure you’ve experienced days like that as well! Monday comes. Someone says something that makes you feel discouraged, or upset, or angry. A difficult situation comes against you, and you’re suddenly too busy worrying to spend any time in God’s Word or to accomplish anything. Or maybe you’re in a situation like I was in where things haven’t gone according to plan, and you feel like giving up.
You can try doing life in your own strength as I did. You can try doing it without God. You can try, but you’re not going to get very far. I’ve learned that dealing with your problems is a lot easier when you invite God into your situation. You are infused with supernatural grace to succeed when you partner with God.
Listen in Now to 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 Keesees 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 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.