Kingdom Women with Drenda Keesee
Q: Tell us about your passion to help women and where that came from.
A: I want to help women live a happy and fulfilling life focused on the heart of what matters. I spent my early life performing for love and trying to make others happy. I wanted to be accepted and loved in return. My pursuit of happiness caused me to work harder and harder. I was voted class president and most likely to succeed in school, but I was empty inside. I turned to the feminist movement and bought into the lies of the culture as I searched for purpose. This emptiness pushed me to the brink of suicide. I cried out to God, and He saved me. But I still had much to learn dealing with my past insecurities and the new pressures I faced as a wife and mother, with little to no money and a struggling marriage. I have been on both sides of the spectrum, and I understand what it’s like to feel alone and disconnected. I understand emotional and physical burnout. Thankfully, I did not end my life. I did not stay down but I found the keys in God’s Word, and my life changed drastically.
I personally understand the struggles that all women experience in today’s society- the teenage girl who is on her newest diet because she wants to be thin, the young mother who is trying to be everything to her husband and kids, and women worldwide who desperately seek love and satisfaction. I recognize this feeling of inadequacy and loneliness because I, too have been there before. It was at my lowest point that I heard God tell me he loved me, faults and all.
Since that transformation, I have had a passion to reach women who find themselves where I once was. My message is one of hope and the secret to wholeness women in our society seek. Not perfection, but wholeness.
My passion also lies in helping women understand the joys and fulfillment that abound from being a wife and mother. I know the everyday stresses of wives and mothers, as well as the decisions to get married and raise children in a hurting world. I understand the feeling of drowning in piles of laundry or the suffocating fear of debt. Although there was a time when I cried out to God that I could “do anything but be a wife and mother,’” I truly believe that women can find the most delight within these powerful close family relationships. God made women to be the glue that holds a family unit together, and I hope you take on this role with joy!
I have seen the deep need for truth in the midst of the lies that are being fed to people every day. My message is not a cry-on-my-shoulder message. I believe we have been victims long enough! This is a challenge, a battle cry, a rant against the Kingdom of darkness and what it has tried to do to women and families.
Q: What are the biggest stresses and issues women face that steal their joy and keep them from standing in their God-given identity?
A: Satan wants to get you to believe the lie, “You’re not good enough.” That was the first lie he brought to the first woman, Eve. Just as he did with her, Satan loves to plant images and words in our minds that cause us to feel insecure, ashamed of who we are, or lacking. He says, “You’ve made too many mistakes. You don’t measure up. You can’t make it. You’re not worthy. You’re not good enough. You should be smarter, prettier, a better person, make fewer mistakes.”
To make matters worse, we as women compare ourselves to each other or to unrealistic expectations from a photo-shopped model in a magazine. We compare our messy house to the perfectly styled photo we see on Pinterest. We magnify and dwell on our flaws. This results in a WARPED perspective.
Sound familiar? I struggled with those lies for years, driving me to perfectionism, a performance mentality, unhappiness, hopelessness, and unworthiness. Then when I got born again, God started showing me a different point of view.
If there’s one thing I want you to walk away with today, it’s this: Satan does NOT want you to be confident because then you become DANGEROUS to his kingdom.
As long as Satan can control you with insecurity and shame, you won’t rise up to your full potential in Christ. If you feel like you’ve made too many mistakes to ever be loved or used by God, know that God has already forgiven you, and you can live freely knowing your sins have been paid for. The Bible tells us that we have been made in the image of God, that we are more than conquerors, and that we can do all things through Christ (Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:37, Philippians 4:13). None of us are called to be exactly the same. We have different gifts and talents. We aren’t called to compete with one another but, rather, to function as the body of Christ together, each part supplying. So I want women to rise up in confidence, standing boldly in the place God has called them to.
Q: Many women are putting off marriage and motherhood until later, out of fear or a misunderstanding of it. Did you face that, and how did God transform your thinking about this?
A: I was raised in high school during the 1970’s when the feminist agenda was being pushed. I heard all the lies encouraging me to pursue power and influence over family and marriage. I have a picture of me in high school wearing a t-shirt that says, “Women Belong In the House…and the Senate.” The LAST thing I wanted to do was get married and have kids! I had been indoctrinated in the school system that marriage was a trap and would ruin my life and children would prevent me from significance.
But when I received Jesus in my heart during my senior year, my hardened hurting heart started to change. One day I went to church, and my pastor preached an entire message, “It’s a High Calling to Bear Godly Children.” I felt like he was preaching straight to me, and I balled my eyes out the entire service. All the man-hating, self-seeking, power-hungry feminist mentality melted away. I had been told that marriage and parenting would be a “waste of my talent,” but the Bible clearly said it’s a high calling to be a parent and raise kids who love God.
Soon after hearing that sermon, I met my husband Gary but these attitudes also existed in the church-world too. When Gary asked for my hand in marriage, many Christian friends said it’s a mistake to get married before finishing my college, so I asked a female chaplain at school (Oral Roberts University), and she wisely said, “If you don’t put your marriage first now, when will you?” Her advice has stuck with me and I’m thankful those priorities have built a strong life.
God called us together, and He has helped us build a life beyond what I imagined possible, especially back when I was that lost high schooler. We have now built a legacy, with five beautiful children who are now building families of their own. I would have missed out on the beauty of marriage the way God intended and the fulfilment of raising godly children, had I held to the feminist belief that marriage and family was a “waste of time.” I can truly say that my dreams of being a teacher, a news anchor and ambassador to nations have also come true, after I raised a family, and as I have sought God and His plans over selfishness. Selfishness creates loneliness but God gives us family… and by the way a woman’s place can be in the home and in the Senate.
Q: Talk about the importance of belonging in a community. Why is that so critical, especially for women?
A: Last year, we saw the world become isolated and torn away from community, whether at church, workplace, school, or places of fellowship. What was the result? Depression, addiction, and suicide on the rise. Partly, that is because we all need people in our lives. God said it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He made Eve. We are social creatures who need each other. It’s also important what KIND of community you are in. Make sure you are in the community of the local church, where your faith can grow. Make sure your friends are who you want to become, because they will play a major part in where you are headed in life. And make sure that the community of your family stays strong, because that’s the most important community. Your relationship with your spouse and your children can be strengthened through time together—time spent focused on God, time spent dreaming, and time spent pursuing a common family vision.
It’s not healthy to do life alone. Satan likes to work on isolating us, because he knows we are healed emotionally when we are together in faith. He likes to work in darkness. But as soon as you bring your issues and concerns into the light of community, God can heal it. It’s one of the reasons I have an app called the Happy Life Social. It’s a place for women to connect and encourage each other, join bible studies and support groups with women all over the world. We need to talk, laugh and share to stay happy and whole!
Q: Why is trying to shoulder life’s burden alone not a correct biblical stance?
A: Self-sufficiency is a trap! God cannot direct someone who leans on themselves instead of Him! Fortunately when I came to the end of me, God was there. I got to the end because each achievement left me emptier. After every performance I was left with that sinking feeling that to be worthy of love I would need to accomplish more, and repeat the performance again and again, and again. I exhausted my resources and in brokenness, I cried out for help. It was the best decision I ever made to receive God’s burden lifting love.
The idea of a super woman who can do it all alone is not practical or real. Learning to ask for help from God, a friend or one of our team members is crucial to accomplish tasks or overcome life’s problems. Self-sufficiency keeps us from operating in the power of God, because we are putting ourselves in the place of God. We are saying, “God, I’ve got this on my own. I don’t need your help.” And we end up crushed under the weight of life, carrying burdens we were never meant to bear.
We were created for fellowship with God but also with one another. We need others in our lives that can encourage us toward God’s best and those who have experienced similar hurdles and pressures we face. I’ve found that others are blessed to have opportunities to use their God-given talents too. Why would I rob myself of their input and gifts when it brings joy to serve and share our strengths? Moses needed help in the battle, someone to hold his arms up so together they could all win. As a leader, I have learned victory is in the unified effort of “every joint supplying” and that’s where we truly rise as an edifice to God and the world sees Jesus. (see Ephesians 4:16)
I have had to remind myself: “Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Q: You are passionate about believing in the power of God’s Word. How is this the key to an unshakeable sense of security?
A: God’s Word has kept my life anchored from the beginnings of my faith up until now. It is the one go-to source that never lies and always answers every one of life’s needs and problems.
Many of you may know our story –living in an 1800s farmhouse, behind on everything with bills piled high, not seeing our potential or purpose. But then we discovered the Kingdom of God had answers for our problems. The invisible world is where the visible originates. God’s Word created a different picture of our future and gave us faith to believe our life could look like what we saw in the Bible instead of the defeat and pressure we were experiencing.
Are you fully persuaded God can do what He said he would do? You have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s dear son, Jesus. Every kingdom has language, laws and rights that must be learned for success. Jesus has given you His inheritance, promises and authority to walk in the Kingdom. It will fix everything from your marriage, finances, relationships to identity and purpose. When you discover how to operate in God’s Kingdom, everything makes sense and instead of allowing life to happen to you, you start making life happen on purpose. I have learned to believe what God says about me, and I know I am loved, accepted and forgiven. I know who I am in Him, what I have, and what I can do because of God’s infallible Word. These promises aren’t just for me, they are for anyone who will believe. Jesus said, “Only believe and you will see the Kingdom of God.”
Q: Talk about the beauty and strength of God defined femininity, and why do women need to rediscover the priceless, important value of that?
A: To prove we are just as capable as men, culturally femininity has been trashed as weak and powerless. Images of strong overpowering women who look angry and ready to bash any man have become the image of an accomplished woman. We’ve confused equality with being the same. Men and women are equal, but we’re not the same, nor were we created to be! So, let me ask you… Have women truly “leaned in” and advanced in life, or have we just stopped leaning on the right source, and lost all meaning for life in the process? In the pursuit of becoming the same, have we lost what truly made us shine? God made us female and gave us the incredible gift of tenderness, femininity and influence. To attempt to become like men is to disrespect who we were created and hand-crafted by God to express – Him.
When Gary and I first got married, that was when I realized just how different men and women are. Gary and I liked different things, but more importantly, we communicated and saw the world through totally different points of view.
I share in my latest book, Nasty Gets Us Nowhere, “In order for men and women to work together, we first have to understand that we are different, and we need to understand what makes us different. Men and women are not only physiologically very different, we are two separate, distinct creations of God. God made man from the dirt and woman from man. We are equal, but certainly not the same! Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses, but that makes us stronger when we work together!”
“In many ways we are the same, but in very significant ways, we are not alike at all. It’s almost ludicrous that some women have spent their lives fighting to disprove this when it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the undeniable truth. Men or women can try to imitate the other sex but it’s only imitation. Margarine is not butter no matter the packaging. Woman was formed from man for companionship with him—God created us to complement each other.”
“This isn’t just proven in the Bible; it’s proven in science too (human behavior, physiology, biology, neurology). Men and Women ARE different. Our DNA and origins tell the story. This is most certainly not a capability or intelligence issue but a difference in design. A woman tends to be more contemplative and learns from within her own reflections. She sees herself in relation to those around her more than to experiences themselves. Overall, she sees in detail, creates and admires beauty, and savors having dialogue even if it is in her head. We process through communication. We want relationships and find meaning and direction in the context of reflecting off others. Conversation is the key way we derive meaning in relationships. If you combine the nurturing and relational capacity of a woman with the design of man, it’s a beautiful reflection of God.”
“I like to think of marriage like a sack race. Our legs are tied together. We are one (the two shall become one) and we can either learn to work in sync or we can fight each other and both lose the race which includes our children’s defeat. I see couples who kick or trip their partner as they attempt to run down the lane (as if they weren’t connected). And when they fall down, they blame their spouse. The Bible says that the glory of a man is his wife. Glory is the presence and magnificence of God. The magnificence of a man is his wife. That’s the Word of God, not my words.”
Q: Why must women become the leading ladies God created them to be, and how can that have a tremendous impact on their lives, families, and communities?
A: The world and its female icons, talk show hosts, and celebrity culture have few to no lasting answers and their “prescriptions” for happiness have resulted in women being the most unhappy in all of recorded history. This unhappiness and sadness has taken its toll on children and the family too. The world desperately needs the impact of leading ladies who love God to find their voice by hearing HIS. God has the answers and His Holy Spirit gives us the ability to walk it out successfully. I call it Get it. Live it. Give it. As we get the answers for our lives from God’s Word and mentors who have lived it successfully, we can live it out and then share it with other women. It’s time to develop a culture of sharing how to live as Kingdom women with younger women and those new to the faith. Our greatest joy comes from finding our purpose in God and helping others find theirs. It starts with us taking God’s Word as our Word, letting it change us, then our family, communities, our nation and the world.
Q:Your program Drenda airs Thursdays at 1pm on Daystar. How have you seen God use it to reveal his heart for women in this time we are living in?
A: In this hour it feels like the entire world needs mothered, and because of our nurturing gift, many women carry concern, worry, and fear for their families and the future. This overwhelmed feeling can cause hopelessness and burn-out, discouragement and depression. Every day, I have the opportunity to share how our feelings do not have to control our lives and faith, and how we can understand our emotions and not become defeated in our identity, purpose and destiny regardless of the pressures in the world. These are the times that great women like Deborah, Esther, Ruth and Priscilla (with her husband, Aquila) overcame their fears to bring answers to their nation and people. God wants to meet women in their every day and bring peace and joy.
Spending time with God every day is crucial to combat a barrage of the world’s negativity. I love seeing lives changed by God’s Word and Daystar gives me the opportunity to share that life-changing Word across the world! Daily we receive requests for prayer and we get to hear stories of how God’s Kingdom has changed the lives of many women, whether it’s healing or restored marriages or women who have conceived a baby or have been healed from emotional wounds that have held them back from a life of freedom and happiness. I get to share God’s powerful truth, along with parenting help and keys to restore relationships and families, and it’s always a joy to watch God’s Word in demonstrated results. I hope you’ll drop in on Thursdays and join me on Daystar.
Q: Tell us about the Happy Life Women’s Conference you have coming up?
A: I’m for Happy Lives, Happy relationships, Happy hearts, Happy families, Happy children, Happy finances, and Happy health! And a Happy You = A Happy Life! Jesus said I have come to give you life, and life more abundantly! That’s a Happy Life!
This year’s Happy Life Women’s Conference is about, “Get Your Life Back!” So much has happened in this world to try and steal our joy and peace but we are declaring a war on sadness! I believe Psalm 27 where it says, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living!”
It’s such a joy to have the inspirational wisdom of Joni Lamb and her amazing daughters, Rebecca, Racheal and Suzy (in-love) join us too, along with my daughters! Enjoy a relaxed spa-themed atmosphere with lots of laughs, real answers, stories, surprises and incredible ministry and worship in main sessions and workshops, and a teen track too. The conference is October 14-16th and you can register for in-person or online attendance at Drenda.com.