The Basics.

Hi! I’m Heather DeJesus Yates.
I just told you so much, you don’t even know!

Years ago I wrote and spoke under the name “Mama Bear”, but now I live with more courage and own 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 over 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”.

Law

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.

Grace

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!

Infertility

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. May God bless you and give you peace as you grow!

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