Deanna Pierce

To hear an excerpt of Dee’s faith story, click  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC6V2jOt4IA&t=61s

For delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

I grew up in a Christian home. My parents loved the Lord. They became Christians after they were married. We went to church every Sunday. I attended a Christian School through 9th grade. I accepted the Lord as a child.

Part of the problem was that our denomination helped me know the Bible, but didn’t really teach what that looked like in your life. There was no teaching about the power of the Holy Spirit.

My parents didn’t know about the power of the Holy Spirit at that time and the application of scripture wasn’t taught at home, so there was just this big gap in my life. My parents loved me, but at a really young age I felt an emptiness.

I went into my teen years growing rebellious, wanting a boyfriend and wanting to be married. I was thinking that when I fall in love and I get married I won’t feel this emptiness anymore.

My parents let me go to public school beginning in 10th grade because they really saw the rebelliousness growing in me. At the public school the rebelliousness died down a little because I wasn’t nitpicked about rules, and I could just breathe.

I did land that boyfriend when I was 16, and he was a good guy. We dated 4 ½ years. I thought he was going to be my husband, but he wasn’t a believer. I was afraid to be alone, so I thought that if I broke up with him, who’s going to be there for me?

During this time I was living in sin and living a lie, because no part of my life looked like I was a Christ follower, except I went to church on Sunday. I did read my Bible and pray and I did want to go to heaven; so I said the prayer salvation many times because I knew I kept sinning.

But I could not have fun without drinking. I didn’t realize I was an alcoholic until many years later. I didn’t look like an alcoholic. I was a good girl in my own eyes. I didn’t look grungy. I didn’t look like how I thought an alcoholic would look.

Entering into my young adult years, I went to Community College and worked and lived at home for the first two years. My GPA was 4.0.

Then I went away to the university to get my teaching degree and got into partying Wednesday through Sunday. I ended that semester with a 1.5 GPA. I couldn’t really believe that consequences would happen to me. I mean, you know I’m not a bad kid.

The next semester I was on academic probation and it actually helped me. I stopped drinking so much and I stopped partying. I really focused because I had a goal. I was getting my grade point average up and I wanted to join the sorority.

After college I lived at home and worked as a substitute teacher. The party life continued and I was drinking and dating guy after guy. One Sunday afternoon I was sitting drunk in a bar, and I’m looking around. The only ones in the bar were the bartender, some shady looking guy in the corner, my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and me. I heard this voice in my head say, “What am I doing here?” In hindsight, I know that was Holy Spirit speaking to me, but back then, this overwhelming sense of emptiness came over me. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

When I got home that Sunday afternoon, my father was in the living room. Somehow we got talking, and he said that he didn’t know if the Rapture would happen if I would go. That floored me because I said the salvation prayer many times. I couldn’t get his words out of my mind.

That Monday night I went to church. During the invitation I felt drawn to walk down front like the first time I gave my heart to Christ when I was a little girl. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I couldn’t get down the aisle quick enough, but it was to discuss my very immoral life, and the bad choices I was making. I still didn’t think I needed salvation because I had said the Prayer of Salvation many times.

When the pastor’s wife said to me, “Let’s make sure you know the Lord,” I invited Christ to come into my life again. I felt clean. Something had changed. It was like I was excited again. There was a peace. There was a cleanness that I can’t describe.

I had no Christian friends and at that point in my life, but I made the decision to stop getting drunk. I also knew I had to stop bar-hopping every night and sleeping around. I started waking up, reading the Bible, and praying. I was making some progress, but they were baby steps. It still seemed like something was missing.

I went and had the abortion. It was a day before my 25th birthday. I was finally broken. I cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore. You’re going to have to show me what to do.”

I had a doctor visit and found out I had a Sexually Transmitted Disease. I thought that my world was over and what an awful person I was. My thought was how I will probably never find a man who would want me. The Enemy really kicks you when you’re down.

Shortly after that, I moved from Pennsylvania to Texas for a teaching position. I felt like I had a fresh start. I was starting to meet people in my apartment complex and I was not  going back to immoral living. The new friends I met were Christians who went to church every Sunday. Things were going well, but they introduced me to Honky-tonks and Texas dancing. It was fun. I mean, who doesn’t like to be twirled around?

But I could not have fun without drinking. I didn’t realize I was an alcoholic until many years later. I didn’t look like an alcoholic. I was a good girl in my own eyes. I didn’t look grungy. I didn’t look like how I thought an alcoholic would look.

A year later, I was dating a guy who was a believer, but separated from his wife. This shows how naive I was – I thought separated was the same thing as divorced. Incidentally, the very next day at church I met Dewayne, who became my husband years later. We stood in the parking lot talking for a very long time.

I was tired of the cycle of meeting some friends, getting a new boyfriend, drinking and sleeping with him, and then breaking up. Starting the whole cycle again.

So I rededicated my life and got baptized. A new guy came into my life who was raised just like me: Christian School, Christian home. We started dating, and I said that I was not going to sleep with him. We started going country dancing together, and in that whole scene ended up drinking more and more and sleeping together.

I ended up getting pregnant and I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. I chose to go get an abortion.

The only family member who knew about it was my brother. He called me that morning and said, “Please don’t do this.” I very angrily replied, “God Forgives all sin, right? Then he’ll forgive this.” and I hung up the phone. I went and had the abortion. It was a day before my 25th birthday.

The very next day, after my abortion, I flew back to Pennsylvania to start an already planned vacation with my family in PA. I was finally broken. I tell people I was like a horse that had to be broke. I remember lying in the bed of my childhood room, and crying out to God. I said, “I can’t do this anymore. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

The desire of my heart had always been to be married, to find someone who loves me. That’s the desire of my heart. I’ve messed it up, and I can’t do this anymore. So I said to the Lord, “You’re going to have to show me what to do.”

From that moment on I was surrendered to the Lord. There was a lot of baggage I had to work through, but I knew I had to stay in the Word of God, and I had to pray.

I knew nothing about standing in faith. My desire was to be married and have a husband. I was not going to give up because there was a peace growing inside of me. I taught school every day with my Bible open on the desk to Psalm 37:4. (In Texas that was allowed back then.)

At this point I was 25 years old and living in Texas; so I said, “God, if I am supposed to be single forever, then take this desire away. But if you have a husband for me, then bring him.” Soon I started to get an excitement that my husband was coming.

That October Dewayne and I re-connected. We were just friends. There were a number of us together just hanging out and one of our good friends kept trying to get Dewayne connected with this other girl. He didn’t want any part of it, and slowly but surely I really started to like Dewayne.

I rode with him to take his son to his mom’s house, and we just started connecting. We began dating officially in November of 1995. By January we were engaged, and we were married the July 6th of 1996.

I’m going to fast forward to 2021. Dewayne and I celebrated 25 years of marriage on July 6th. A lot has happened! First, I want to tell you to never to say “No” to God. I told God I never wanted to marry a guy shorter than me, and I never wanted to marry a pastor. Well, the Lord has a funny sense of humor because that is who he gave me.

Dewayne was not a pastor at the time we were dating, or early in our marriage. Around 2002 we were living in Pennsylvania and he felt the Lord calling him into Christian counseling, and then shortly after that into becoming a pastor. By this time in our marriage I fully supported his decision, but before that I loved being a stay-at-home mom and felt we couldn’t afford that on a pastor’s salary. I was sure wrong about that!

While he was studying to be a pastor, we led an adult Bible study class. Dewayne often wanted me to teach adult Bible class with him, but I said, “No, no, no, no!” I didn’t teach adults. I could teach children, but not adults. The Enemy had that fear holding me down for years, but I supported him teaching.

My husband worked as a senior sales rep for Graybar for 23 years. When he left his fulltime job to be a fulltime Pastor in 2018, he was three years away from partial retirement, but we both knew it was the correct timing.

Currently, we live in Delaware where he serves as senior pastor of Real Life Community Church. Honestly, I love leading Bible studies. My heart is for women. My heart is for prayer. God has changed me so much. Yes, God gave me exactly what I told him I didn’t want,  but God always knows best and I am so glad and very fulfilled.

In my testimony, I’ve shared how difficult it was to overcome alcoholism and immorality. I couldn’t break free from the pleasure of sin. It’s because I didn’t understand the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ Spirit that lived in me. I didn’t understand inviting the Holy Spirit to take over my life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is where He baptizes you, and you get a precious prayer language to be just between you and the Holy Spirit. You can feel Him. You can sense Him. He speaks to you. You operate from His Power in you.

Romans 8:9 says that you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit. If you have the Spirit of God living in you, that is how you overcome temptations. That is how you gain wisdom to make wise decisions.

At this point in my life, I have never been so much at peace and it keeps growing. I can look back over the past 25 years of God’s teaching me and my studying His Word and learning to hear his voice – that’s an art.

You can have an abundant life here on earth when you are in a relationship with Jesus Christ. You can walk in His Power and Authority that He has given to all who are in relationship with Him. (Luke 10:19) We have power and authority over the enemy and obstacles that arise. This doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles on this earth, but what it does mean is that we have authority in Christ to overcome, and He helps us.

Then the “icing on the cake” is you get heaven eternally!

1 Comment

  1. Joan Sabbato

    Thank you Deanna!

    Reply

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