DeAnn Redenius is a kindergarten teacher at Heritage Oak School. She has recently written a book sharing how God carried her and her family through the pain of losing their daughter, Cierra. I asked DeAnn a few questions about her book and here's what she had to say.
Q. You and your family have suffered a tremendous loss. Please tell why you wanted to share your story.
A. Yes, my family and I have suffered a tremendous loss, yet though the pain was so real to us, the only way to cope with it was to see through the eyes of God as we realized we were not the only ones suffering during this time. God somehow alleviated the pain by taking away the focus from ourselves by placing that focus on someone else that may have gone through something, perhaps worse than ours. This made my husband and I more aware of what God really expects from us all. No matter what, we are to be living testimonies of the Word and we are to share our faith with others not only with words, but with true actions of faith.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6
Q. Your book is called A Heart Like A Child. Why did you choose this title?
A. To be honest with you, I had not planned on writing a book, nor did I have any idea I was going to call it A Heart Like A Child. I had just so happened to be taking my daily walk at break from school and while I was in prayer, the Lord must have known I was struggling with the loss of my daughter. Yet through my tears, He did not dismiss my pain, but reminded me of how He was always there throughout my life. There He told me that He wanted me to share my life experiences with others, as He explained to me that it would help many that are lost. As far as how I got the title of the book, A Heart Like A Child, that, too, was given to me by the Lord that very same day. Although, there is a great significance in the meaning and reasons why the Lord instructed me to do so, I will leave that for the reader to experience it without giving too much away. I know it was very special to me!
Q. In your book, you give some family history. Looking back, how did your family history help you with the loss of your daughter?
A. Yes, I do give some of my family history throughout the book because I believe God wanted me to see that no matter what hard circumstance I had to endure, He wanted me to know that through life's lessons, He was molding and shaping me to build my faith in Him. God showed me that there was a purpose and a place in every area in my life. Through my experiences, I was able to carry out God's will that He had planned for me. Without those experiences, I may not have been the person who God has called me to be today. It is only through His grace that we are saved, for He is in control of all things.
Q. I found your book to be very hopeful, hopeful about how to walk through the loss of a loved one. What are some of the things that caused you to be hopeful in the days following Cierra's accident?
A. There are many things that cause me to be hopeful, even after the fact of Cierra's accident. I believe just as the Word of God states, that all who believe in Him, have an eternal home waiting for them in Heaven. I look at this life as only a temporary state. Not a life of uselessness, but a life that is worthy and pleasing to Him. For my eternal home is with our Heavenly Father, my daughter, and all of my loved ones one day!
Q. What do you hope your readers will come away with after reading your book?
A. The thing I hope for the most is that my readers will come away with a greater understanding of who God is and that He has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us, no matter what the circumstance may be. God has shown me the greater plan for the purpose of my book and it has nothing to do with me, but it has to do with the love and grace that God has instilled in my life, using those circumstances to be an example to possibly change others with a heart to want to believe in God and know that He is there for them as well. For God will use others to further the kingdom of Heaven, for He does not want anyone to be separated from Him, but to have that eternal life that He promises for all who believe!
Q. Please tell a little about your life now.
A. I know that a lot of times people say tragedy changes a person and I would have to say to some extent it has. A small piece of my heart has been broken, yet in the end I believe God will restore it and He will put all the pieces back together again. I have that hope and blessed assurance that the Bible speaks of because I know God is real and that He will make all things new. With knowing that, I choose to continue my life living for Him, as He uses my story to help many have that peace and understanding that He has given me.