Deana Lloyd is a woman whom I've not met yet, but I feel honored to share her Brave Story here on Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife. She is such a strong example of someone who took their trial and turned it into triumph by trusting God and taking him at his word for healing, joy and restoration. When struggles hit you, you always have the choice to turn away from God or turn to him. He's always there with open arms and his promises will never fade away.
I have been asked to share my testimony for a while now and I just didn’t feel ready in the flesh to tell my story. I was afraid of bringing up the past, fear of feeling the same pain, and reliving what I have been through. But lately my Spirit has been putting things in my heart that I just felt I needed to share, so I want to share with all of you my top 10 Blessings.
I hope my story, my trials, my mountains, and my blessings will inspire some of you that are reading this blog to feel more of God’s presence and turn to him when you’re in a storm.
“With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” II Chronicles 32:8
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Deana Lloyd and I am married to my amazing husband, Steve, and we have two beautiful children, Kenzie & Kyder. We live on a ranch west of Quesnel, British Columbia Canada where we enjoy being outside, working with our rodeo horses and building our cattle herd.
My childhood was incredible! I was raised on a farm by a small Alberta town known as Sundre, Alberta, Canada. My mom was a nurse and my dad was a heavy equipment operator in the oilfield. My brother and I were brought up in a very loving home with both of our amazing parents. At an early age we realized what true family love was, what it was like to have faith, and to be a hard worker. My parents worked very hard to give my brother and I everything we had interests in, and that was rodeo for both of us. My brother rode steers (and then bulls), roped some, and I competed in the barrel racing. They hauled us all over in the summer so we could make the rodeo finals and reach our goals and dreams. We were baptized as infants into the Lutheran Faith, and did the two years of every second Sunday studying the Word at the church so we could take part in the confirmation celebration. Some of my sweetest memories were sitting right beside my Grandma as she played the organ for our church services every Sunday for as long as I can remember! But over time our family drifted away from the church, for no particular reason other than our family moved a lot because of my dad’s oilfield job.
In 2002, at just 22 years old I lost my high school sweetheart and the only boyfriend I had ever had in a tragic car accident. Through heartache, agony and having to figure out how to be alone I found my faith again. An employee I worked with and dear friend bought me a Bible for Christmas. I started digging deep, soul searching and reading God’s Word. I prayed so often to God that He would find a man to love me again and who’d want to spend his life with me.
In 2004, I met Steve, my handsome cowboy, my best friend and the love of my life. Did God bless me through the trial of losing Jace? I would say absolutely! He exceeded my prayers because he not only brought an amazing man who follows Jesus but who is loving, hardworking, and full of passion for life. He is an amazing daddy to our children and he’s an incredible husband to me. He is always walking by faith and not sight which is so powerful in our relationship. He is a blessing to my life! This is Blessing #1
In September 2007, Steve and I were married. Blessing #2
November 26th, 2008 we were blessed with our first precious gift from God, when Kenzie Anne Marie was born. Blessing #3
Life was absolutely amazing and so full until December 26th, 2008.
On Boxing Day, our lives changed forever and our joy was sucked out of us. We were driving home from my Grandma’s when we were hit head on by an oncoming truck at highway speed, leaving one fatality and Steve and I badly hurt. Steve suffered many lacerations to his arms, face and badly damaged his right knee. I broke my right collar bone and broke my left ulna, radius which was a compound fracture, all the bones in my left hand were broken, including two damaged fingers. My incision from having Kenzie only a month prior had also reopened due to the seat belt, BUT by the grace of God’s love our miracle baby girl didn’t have a scratch on her. The way the truck looked, most would say, there is no way anyone could have made it through that accident, but I believe that God sent angels that very cold night to protect us as he wasn’t finished with us yet!
Was this a trial in our lives? Absolutely! But God once again saw us through it by blessing us with people that made meals, cared for Kenzie, drove us places, looked after our farm, and it brought us together as a couple to pray. All these things were put into place by Him, our Heavenly Father to see us through. If we wouldn’t have had our accident, Steve wouldn’t have known what he was missing as a Daddy as he was brought up the old school way, men work, women take care of the babies. All this changed when Steve had to care for our newborn baby and me for 8 months straight (until my first cast came off). This is Blessing #4
In 2009, Steve worked hard at physio regaining full movement and mobility of his knee which helped him to have the best rodeo season ever! He was the 2009 Canadian Tie-Down Roping Season Leader, and for those of you who don’t know rodeo, that is a big deal! He was #1 after 50 plus rodeos were over that season! He shouldn’t have been able to ride a bike, never mind his horse after the knee injury he endured, but God showed up once again! This is Blessing #5
From 2009 – 2012 I had 7 surgeries to repair my wrist, hand and fingers. Physio and occupational therapists told me I would never close my hand again, and that I would not barrel race again.
Well, for those of you who know me...telling me that I can't do something only fuels my fire.
I knew in my heart I could do all things (including the unimaginable) through Christ who strengthens me! I went to physio and OT 5 days a week, (Kenzie in tow) and did all the exercises they said to do!
I entered my 1st pro rodeo after two years off in 2010 and placed in the top 5 out of 90 girls. I took that video of my run into my therapists and showed them, they were shocked, and I was discharged! J Blessing #6
In 2011 our sweet, caring, loving and funny little boy, Kyder Kenneth was born. Our family was complete and this was Blessing #7
In March 2014, just when life was going amazing, I was feeling the most fit I had in years, we were headed to Arizona to get our horses in shape for the rodeo season when one doctor’s appointment changed everything! After leaving Dr. Scheepers office that Friday morning by myself (as he didn’t want to tell Steve to come as he’d know we’d worry.) I felt numb, shocked and like the life had just been sucked out of me. I went from being diagnosed with breast cancer to meeting the surgeon (Dr. Jacobsohn) that afternoon to having numerous tests and a bilateral mastectomy all in 20 days. How could this be happening to me? I was 34 and healthy!
It was a few days after soaking all this new reality in that I was lying on the couch during a rain storm listening to praise and worship music. I will be honest I was having a moment. I was angry, sad, hurt, cried lots of tears and had questions for God. I will never forget this moment though, just when I felt I was losing my mind, the sun shined right through the window. The sun beam hit me directly where I was lying on the couch. That was the only sun beam in the sky that day as it had been storming for a couple of days.
I felt God tell me I was going to be okay, he had me and I will get through this! From that moment and that divine appointment with God I knew I’d be okay. I didn't know what was going to happen or what to expect, but I was going to trust Him in this season.
Blessings are all around us, Miracles are all around us, and sometimes we don’t see them at first until you’re in a storm of your own.
Always remember He turns darkness into light! Getting breast cancer was a storm, but with it, brought so many blessings like dear friends we would have never known, leading me to an amazing church here in Quesnel, to restoring my faith, and even sharing my story. This is all Blessing #8
November 27th, 2017 (the day after our baby girls 9th birthday) I got the call no woman wants…my breast cancer had come back. My family doctor once again caught it early enough. I have several bony mets, some very small spots on my lungs, but no metastasis to any major organs including my brain. I am grateful for my amazing family doctor, who is always on top of things and I am grateful to Fred & Elsje Jacobsohn with my whole heart for putting us in touch with Dr. Frank Arguello in the States. I am currently on Dr. Arguello’s clinical trial now and doing quite well. (www.atavisticchemotherapy.com)
Through all this darkness there are many blessings, so many that I can't list them all! This is all Blessing #9
I don’t write these things for you to feel pity or sympathy for me or my family. We are strong together, strong in faith and we will rise up and face any mountain that comes our way. I do, however, want to share my story so that you will take a minute to look at the big picture and see how God saw us through all our storms. There is no way we could have faced each of these trials and overcame them on our own. It was His supernatural grace, love and protection. Everything we needed Him to be in each of our situations!
Nehemiah 8:10, tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. In John 10:10, we are told that “the thief” comes to kill, steal and destroy, but that Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life. Satan is the thief, and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy. For me in all my trials and storms this is something I would not let him do, even when I was at my lowest, I still had joy. When I was in the most pain, I still had joy. When I was my sickest, I still had joy. If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak; the enemy takes advantages of us then. Weak believers are no threat to him and his work of destruction. In order to live as God intends for us to live, the first thing we must do is truly believe that it is God’s will for us to experience continual joy. Then we must decide to enter into that joy. I don’t believe we can say we are blessed or have blessings in our lives if we don’t have joy. Experiencing enjoyment in our souls is vitally important to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” It is God’s will for us to enjoy life.
Everyone has challenges, difficult seasons, and everyone has a story. When you are knocked down in life, open your Bibles. He will never leave you and he will see you through! When you look at my journey or whenyou look at your own lives, look for the silver linings and blessings behind every storm because these are all things that will keep you moving forward. Blessing #10
Know that whatever you’re going through right now in your life, God will see you through it. Have Faith, trust his Word like no other, and soak up the love he has for you! He will never leave or forsake us!!