Hi! I’m Heather DeJesus Yates.
I just told you so much, you don’t even know!
Hi! I’m Heather DeJesus Yates.
I just told you so much, you don’t even know!
I use to write and speak by the name of “Mama Bear”, but I’m embracing courage in new ways this season, like owning my God-given name. With a name like DeJesus, I believe I was made to know God…but wait, I actually believe you were too!
I was personally rescued by God at age 10 from a life of shame, bitterness and abandonment. The rest of the story is about a woman who just can’t get past the wonder of that rescue!
I believe God made me so I could daily discover and enjoy His grand goodness and woo my world to Him.
No matter whether I’m wifing, parenting, friending, speaking, writing, advocating or leading — my passion is to listen for God’s love voice in His Word, and echo it in the ears of the shame-weary, myself included!
I’ve been married to my very own urban cowboy and best friend, Jonathan (a.k.a. Grizz) for 10 years, and together we are raising quite possibly the most beautiful girl in the world, and future wife to Prince George (or Louie – hard to know for sure). Our little family is happiest at the beach, traveling, fishing on our farm or driving our old but redeemed Chevy trucks: “Elsa” and “Wild Pearl”.
By the wild grace of God, I got my Bachelors in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and later graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. I credit God 100% because I did not like books without pictures before college! God’s love and redemption in my life fueled my passion to use my voice, and doors opened for me to serve in ways that continue to baffle me. I worked for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in Washington D.C., at the Florida House Legislature under two administrations including for Senator Marco Rubio (formerly Florida House Speaker), and worked in private practice doing litigation and some adoption law for several years with a few attorneys who today serve our country in wonderful and unique ways.
My personal passion for women to find love and hope with Jesus led me down a path of speaking and advocacy, and I partnered with some others to launch a recovery program and home for women who live at-risk of homelessness in Florida’s capitol city of Tallahassee. I received special training in religious liberties defense, as well as in Biblical reconciliation, and while I continued to do cases on a pro bono basis when I moved to Tennessee in 2008, I turned my attention more to training women in how to lobby Congress and use their own voices.
I don’t know God’s future for me in law and politics, but I am grateful for the training, the opportunities and the people who have mentored me along the way. On occasion I speak for corporate events, bringing messages of hope and courage amidst turbulent times.
I have always seen my legal career as a ministry. Whenever you are with people, you have an ability to connect with someone soul-to-soul and our work can be done to build God’s kingdom! But in 2011, after years of teaching or facilitating Bible studies and small groups, an opportunity was presented to become the Women’s Ministry Director at my local church (Grace Fellowship). After much prayer, I decided to move away from practicing law and lobbying, and officially went on staff in 2012.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on staff with my local church. God’s plans have not changed – the local church is and always will be His vehicle of choice to deliver the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth! But wisdom called me back home at the end of 2015 to pay more attention to my own grieving soul and young family. I continue today to serve my local church using my gifts of speaking and teaching, and have helped lead youth retreats and women’s events. If there is an opportunity to serve our women’s ministry, I take it! And I will choose serving my church over opportunities
outside our church because nourishing the soil where my own soul “roots deep” is most important to me!
“Heather has been gifted with the ability to reach into the core of one’s heart with her words...”
“What a treat it was to have Heather Yates speak at our “girls only” weekend retreat (Imago Dei), talking about the image of God.”
“The women of our body have been deeply impacted by her story and influence.”
We joined the community of those with “unexplained infertility” in their story in 2011. At the time I was taking over the role as Women’s Ministry Director for our church which largely involved overseeing “Mom ministries” and at times the pain of infertility grief felt overwhelming.
One of the many lessons we learned about infertility grief is that for all the joys adoption can bring, it doesn’t cure infertility. A barren womb is never satisfied. (Proverbs 30:16) If not for a loving and compassionate community of fellow journeyers, I may have been swept under by overwhelming sadness and confusion…but by God’s grace that isn’t how my story is going to end.
If you are struggling with infertility I pray now that the words in this space guide you toward the Father’s heart for you and into your next step of healing. I pray you are also swept into a community of women growing in emotional health who can share your burden and shelter your tears. And I pray God opens your eyes to a new vision for your unique motherhood…because I believe with all my heart that you, sister, can be a mother of thousands.
Adoption & Foster Care
Our family has shape-shifted over the past 5 years because of both adoption and fostering. Our journeys have carried indescribable joy, and devastating heartbreak…and again we are reminded of our constant need for Jesus. Making a decision to grow your family is deeply personal and between you and God, and our story is a caution to seek wise counsel and create a supportive community before moving forward.
If you are considering either becoming a foster parent, or of expanding your family through adoption, we recommend contacting an Agency or legal team committed to the Gospel because God instituted adoption as a picture of our transformation into His family! Also, choose one that is ready to advocate for your family’s well-being and supports the long-term emotional health of the biological people involved. We found this help with Bethany Christian Services, but we know there are many wonderful (all imperfect) groups out there! May God bless you and give you peace as you grow!
What is A Mother of Thousands?
According to plant folks, there is an attractive houseplant in the succulent family that grows tiny baby plantlets (can we just stop and enjoy that word a bit – plantlets) called a mother of thousands.
These baby plantlets grow on the edges of the leaves, at every tip where she branches out, until eventually they grow too heavy to be born any longer and drop, producing an altogether new plant of the same kind.
It is often recommended to contain these plants because of their “invasive” reproductive ways – and if grown outdoors, you are warned to be prepared – for she will take over the yard.
A local nursery expert said of a mother of thousands plant, “Good luck stopping her.”
But here is the kicker: a mother of thousands cannot produce seeds of her own.
The creative God of all things plant and person can bring revolution from the barren. Where we see an inability to bring life – whether it’s through a broken soul or a broken womb, God sees the potential for generations seated at our farmhouse tables as our forever family.
Where a curse on God’s creation means we endure endless weeds and empty wombs, we have a real hope in Jesus who is at work reversing the curse by redeeming our stories for God’s glory and our joy.
As women who seek God, and want to live our meaningful lives, we are being invited to plant the seed of Christ’s love in the hearts growing near ours – even in small ways – as we ourselves root deep in His soil of grace. Then, sister, hold on because the unstoppable Gospel will reproduce life through ours! We can bravely show up to our generation with our gifts and our grief, our passion and our pain, our creativity and our curiosity, our on-trend and our ordinary because with Jesus living in us, there is no stopping us!
plant small. root deep. bear life.
We are the daughters of Eve – redeemed.
Motherhood is for all of us. We are made to bear life.
It’s time to come out of the shadows of shame, and take our place in this call of motherhood, in this our generation.
I am a mother of thousands.
And lovely, you can be one too.