dee dee photo

I met my first husband, fell completely in love, married and was treated like a queen, but I worshipped the man I married instead of worshipping God. We were together for 4 yrs. Married for only one year and on January 15th 2001 God took him away with an aneurysm.  My life was shattered. Instead of turning to God for comfort and direction, I turned deeper into my habits.  Before long I was deep in the drug infested lifestyle; prescription drugs, crystal meth, and marijuana use. I was a mess. In the meantime I met another man who paid me attention to me and to my surprise I became pregnant.  Unlike some addicts I stopped using to grow the life God had planted inside me.

How was I to stay and have a child in the corrupted world I had created for myself?  So at 7 months pregnant, with my tail between my legs, I moved back to my childhood home in Cleveland. I learned great life lessons and skills in the mountains of N.C. but now I was going back to my God fearing mother.  What a woman!  My mom never stopped praying and encouraging me even at my lowest points.  I was the prodigal  daughter.

dee and ma

I have been through the worst things that you could imagine. I lived a life of self destruction as I broke all of the 10 Commandments.  Along with drugs, alcohol, sex, food, hate, lies, theft, adultery, just to name a few.  I ran from God (or a least I thought) and moved to North Carolina at the age of 24.  Wild and free, until I realized through a Gospel Tract that a prison minister left at my work.  I understood the sacrifice that Jesus suffered and died because of my sins. My eyes full of tears were opened.  I needed Him to truly set me free, and be accepted into the Father’s arms and welcomed into heaven.  I was overwhelmed, but didn’t really know that my life and ways should change.

August 9th 2002 I had a beautiful baby boy, who I named Jack.  He was perfect, mine.  Mine to hold, mine to love, mine to care for and protect. He needed me.  All was perfect accept for a kidney birth defect, which I am sure I caused through my drug abuse.  My actions caused a reaction, which affected the love of my life.  After one year of intensive testing It came time to surgically remove the faulty kidney.

My mother talked me onto going to church to have the pastors their pray for Jack. I was reluctant, and remember sitting in the back and saying to God, “If you are who they say you are, and can do what they say you can do, then please help my baby.”

At the appointed surgery they came in to ultrasound and mark his body. It took so long, because they couldn’t find the deformed kidney??  What? God is who He says and He can do what ever He chooses to do! All I could say was “JESUS HEALED MY BABY” over and over again. It was a true miracle.  I knew from that moment I could never go back to my ugliness after God had given me such a gift.

jack boy

After my son’s healing I embraced God, I was an active member at my church. I learned the stories and truths of the bible.  I had godly mentors and a firm foundation was established in my life.  God provided for Jack and I.  Sadly Jack’s father passed away as well when Jack was 18 months old.  But that provided an income we wouldn’t have had.  I went back to school and obtained a stable career. We had a great home to live in.  The next ten years flew by and life seemed perfect, but at close to 300 lbs  something was wrong.

I realize now that I comforted myself with food and I hid myself from the world through layers of fat. After losing the last 2 men in my life through death I didn’t want anyone to even look my way.  I knew god loved me and but in 2011 He revealed to me that if i didn’t make changes that my health I was going to suffer and I could die an early death and ultimately my son would be an orphan.  I was granted grace and mercy from my Lord and joined Weight Watchers and a cardio boot camp.  My motto when I started and still today is that “I’m not giving up!”  It too two years and I lost 120 lbs!  I felt strong, alive again, I was amazed that I could actually accomplish a goal that seemed so unattainable.

As my life was starting over, my church was falling apart. through differences we’ll never know most everyone left the church including the staff.  I felt like a lost sheep. I still feel like a lost sheep. My family of 300+  was scattered like seeds.  Some have rooted again, some have fallen away, others are still blowing in the wind waiting to settle and serve somewhere.  I cherish the foundation that was started in me there, but I truly miss the strength and unity that we had.  “When we all get to heaven….what a day of rejoicing that will be…..when we all see Jesus we’ll sing and shout the victory!!”

Well there was still something that I missed, that I loved and longed for.  Being a wife and having a husband.  I decided to join an online dating service. It was scary and exciting, and heart wrenching.  you would see someone interesting , contact them, chat, tell your story of who you are, and decide whether or not you were a match.  That happened a bunch of times and it is exhausting to tell, who you think you are, to a number of men whom you will never talk to again.  I went on a few dates.  After being alone for 12 years, and when your husband is Jesus, all of them didn’t seem that great. lol

Until I met my Monte! I was smitten with him from the moment I saw him on the screen, to our first lunch meeting, to our first date.  Best part was that he really loved my Jesus, we fell in love as he courted and married me May 2nd 2015.  He is a true man, a hard worker, and a caring dad. I can’t believe I was granted another chance to be a wife. This time a Christian wife. I think that makes it harder. I have to hold my tongue, I have to really try and compromise, because being by my self for so long I didn’t have anyone to question me.  I have a lot to learn for sure.  There are brand new struggles to being a godly wife, a patient stepmother, and a food role model and mother to Jack who is now 13 with his own set of problems. Do I feel like a failure in all these area’s, YES- but….My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God can not do….for you (me).I have great hope for me and my new family. God isn’t done with me yet.

dee wed

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a testimony at all, but when I sit back and look at the facts of my life, God has done great things. On a day to day basis there are joys, sorrow and disappointments.  But it is my faith and excitement to see Jesus one day that keeps me going.

I have been through so much more than these paragraphs hold. But ” I am not giving up,  I will finish the race my God has laid out before me.”  I pray and ask you to pray as well for my marriage, and my children. That out walk through life to always bring us closer to the Lord.  Pray for my husband to seek a ministry our family could serve the Lord together. That he world lead us to a church we would feel at home.

There are scriptures that keep me focused. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways declares the Lord”  I am so glad I don’t have to count on my ways or thoughts to get me through this life.  Romans 8:34-39,  It tells me that NOTHING can separate me from the love of God through Jesus Christ, No Created thing, nothing. I am so encouraged.  Share Jesus with others that they may know what Christ did and is doing in your life. Every Minute Matters!

the fam

Denise would LOVE to connect with you!

You can reach her on Facebook: Denise Snider

Send her an email: denisemn72@yahoo.com