About Deanna

I am blessed to be a daughter of the Most High King and coheir with Christ. I was born in 1973 to a middle-class two-parent family. My parents have been married for over 50 years, I have one older brother and one younger brother and I am very close to my family. Growing up, I had a tumultuous relationship with my father. My dad was the sole breadwinner during my early childhood and poured himself into his career. He ate much stress and had a temper with his family and others. I now understand that providing for us financially was how he knew to love us. However, I learned to hate him and despise any encounter with him. Though I craved love and affection from my father, I rebelled from it on the limited occasions he attempted to show it. I believed the lies that I was unworthy of love, stupid, and bound to fail at
life. Satan likes to attack our identity and never has nor ever will ever play fair. He will use any foothold of sin, whether it be through generational sin, abuse, or reactionary sin.

Growing up, I developed the coping skill of conflict and confrontation avoidance. As I grew in my teenage years, I often sought solace in my friends, drinking, and relationships with men. Through alcohol, I became all the things I thought I was not – funny, smart, outgoing, and
confident. I did first accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior when I was 17 years old through a guy I was dating in high school. I experienced a complete turnaround and started a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I will forever be grateful to this man for encouraging me to meet Jesus. Unfortunately, when things did not work out with this man, I was on shaky ground and tried to take my life. After getting out of the hospital, I made a conscious decision to live life for Deanna, and this is where I began using drugs.

My use of alcohol and drugs waxed and wanned through my young adult life, but until I was willing to look at the wounds of my past, I would remain susceptible to a desire for escape through mood and mind-altering substances. I was a high-functioning addict and accomplished a lot of normal things, such as graduating from undergraduate and graduate school; however, I’d often self-sabotage my opportunities for success. The alcohol and drugs were just smoke and mirrors and eventually caught up with me in my mid-thirties.

By the grace of God, I hit a bottom when I was 36, and after a night of heavy drug use, I had a vision where I saw three paths. On the first path, I saw myself rocking back and forth in an insane asylum and knew that if I kept doing what I was doing, this was where I’d end up. Looking at the second path, I saw complete blackness and knew this to be death. I contemplated taking my life right then and there. Then I saw a third path which had a tiny glimmer of light, and like a moth to the flame, I was drawn to it. For the first time in many years, I fell to my knees and prayed a very simple prayer, “God, if you are real, I need your help.” Additionally, I started reaching out for help in the natural world, and God sent an army of amazing mentors to help me in my journey of recovery. I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ and made a commitment to God, that I was willing to go deep and uncover the wounds of my past. This has been the best decision of my life, and through it, I’ve learned and am still learning the joy of healing and forgiveness. My father and I have worked very hard to reconcile our relationship, and through that, God has given us a deep mutual love for one another.

In my journey, I’ve received freedom from the bondages to addiction and finances. Furthermore, I have been delivered from the strongholds of fear and heaviness, which includes depression and rejection.

I now know who God says I am, which squelches the lies the enemy started speaking to me at a very young age. The Lord says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14), I am loved, and He sent His son so that I may have life (1 John 4:9-10), and through Jesus Christ, I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I now know who God says I am, which squelches the lies the enemy started speaking to me at a very young age. The Lord says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14), I am loved, and He sent His son so that I may have life (1 John 4:9-10), and through Jesus Christ, I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Professionally, I have worked in restaurants as a server and in fine dining as an assistant manager and wine sommelier. I am additionally certified to teach 7-12 integrated mathematics and have a few years of experience in this profession. Most recently, I have worked for 11 years in the healthcare industry as a senior account manager. Currently, I am on a sabbatical and authoring my first book, with the anticipation of my husband contributing a chapter or two. I coach women financially and have recently become a certified mental health coach through the American Association of Christian Counselors. Since commencing my recovery journey, I have asked the Lord to use the years of my life that the locusts have eaten to bring Him glory and help others. Restoration is for everyone through the love of Jesus Christ. May the good Lord bless you in your journey of healing.

About Tom

Hello there –
For a little background, I am a successful business operations management professional in the private sector with 10 years of human resource management and 20 years of operations management experience. I was born in 1971. My parents have been married for over 50 years and I have a younger sister. I have four incredible adult children and one precious grandchild.

Before meeting Deanna, I had been on my own journey of healing from brokenness. As with most people, my brokenness began in my childhood. I was born into a loving Christian home, but we still experienced dysfunction. We had certain subjects and feelings that we just didn’t talk about due to the woundedness of other family members. I was sexually molested by some neighborhood boys when I was about 10 or so but didn’t feel I could talk about it. This severely warped my views on relationships and sex. In my seeking to find something to self-soothe and satisfy, I became addicted to pornography at a young age, and that continued on and off through the next 35-plus years of my adulthood. This resulted in my rebellion against God (how could He let this happen?), broken marriage vows, a shattered marriage, and deep woundedness in my relationships. There were other consequences of my sin and the sin perpetrated against me that I would later have to reconcile with.

When I hit my bottom in 2015, I started attending a Christ-centered men’s 12 Step recovery program at a church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. It was there that I discovered that I was not alone in my addictive behaviors and feelings of guilt and shame that kept me in my addictions. The Enemy, Satan, seeks to isolate us with the intention of breaking our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I believe the voice that tells us that we are alone and no one else could ever accept us or understand is one of his biggest lies. It is the same voice that tells us that we cannot trust God (see Genesis 3). When I discovered this truth, it set me on a recovery journey that would lead me back to God and into improved relationships through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Soon I found myself digging deeper into my woundedness, exposing it to the Light, and allowing God to do what he does best, and that is redeeming us from our past. I then began leading others through service. You can call it sponsorship, mentoring, discipleship, or whatever. A couple of years later, I was asked to serve on the operating committee for the same men’s 12-Step recovery group. Then in the Fall of 2019, the Lord called me into ministry by giving me a vision to branch off and start a Christ-centered men’s 12- Step recovery program at my own church in Akron, Ohio. This began in January 2020, and we are seeing men being set free from the addictions of their past and drawing closer to God. I should note that when God gave me this vision, He very clearly told me that this is His ministry and I just get to be a part of it – I am just the facilitator. These weekly meetings are led by the Holy Spirit.

Part of my journey includes healing and deliverance from strongholds of heaviness, fear, and bondage. These pervasive spirits and others are at the root of so many of the lies and behaviors that affect us all. Breaking off these spirits through renunciation, repentance, and forgiveness began a deeper healing in me than just the 12 steps alone.

I believe that we are all works in progress. When you study Romans chapters 7 & 8 you can clearly see that Paul, a guy who was miraculously saved from being a persecutor and murderer of Christians on the Road to Damascus (see Acts 9:1-31), still struggled some 20-plus years after his conversion. In Romans 7, Paul talks about not being able to understand himself as he does in the flesh what he does not want to do. He wants to do what is right but invariably does what is wrong. He goes on to say what a miserable person he is and wonders who will free him from a life dominated by sin and death… then he thanks God for Jesus, the only one who can free us! Chapter 8 begins with no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus and being freed from the power of sin and death. He continues with the hope of future glory and concludes with the thought that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. Nothing! What glorious hope!

As for my relationships, I wish I could say that everything is perfect, but God is continuing to work on them. When I look back, it is amazing to see the progress of what He is doing to restore the brokenness both in me and in those who I have wounded. I am a different man than I was and that is only due to God
and my surrendering to Him. It takes work and courage to face the demons of our past and to expose the darkness to light. I am still a work in process, but God continues to heal my woundedness and to restore the brokenness. He is always trustworthy and faithful. God wants to restore you too. Blessings to you in your healing journey.

Statement of Faith

Our faith is rooted in the belief that the scriptures (Old and New Testament) are the authoritative word of God. Additionally, we believe in one God existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is known as the Trinity. We believe in Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, was crucified, died, and raised to life on the 3 rd day, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will one day return to earth. We believe in born-again salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the practice of immersion baptism and communion. We participate in tithes and offerings to our church. We believe in the
biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman.