Gunfire echoed through the moist summer air as I clung to the grass, face to the dirt, shaking hands covering my head, pulse racing.
I could feel every heartbeat like the pressure of a jackhammer pounding and forcing its way through my entire body.
I lifted my 16 year-old prayers up desperately to the Lord, “If you’re really here, God, then please protect my momma.”
There are circumstances in life when you want nothing but to remain unseen:
While playing hide-and-seek
When you have no answer to your teacher’s question
Attempting to avoid your drill sergeant during bootcamp
Squeezing into a hallway closet while tornado sirens echo through your city
Escaping a flu epidemic
Not being on the way home the night the drunk drives the wrong way
But feeling unseen by the man who watched you take your first breath is not one of those moments - feeling unseen by your own father is soul wrenching.
My dad’s bullet missed me that night, but the message did not - “You’re not worth seeing.”
Babe Ruth said:
“Who is richer? The man who is seen, but cannot see? Or the man who is not being seen, but can see?
Have you ever felt unseen, unheard, or unwanted?”
It was a quaint little house: three bedrooms, two baths - and with it came two horses and 10 acres of fresh air. At 20 years-old, I was pretty proud to be a first time homeowner. To this day, there’s nothing that brings me as much joy as riding a four wheeler through the countryside. There’s something freeing, hopeful, and exhilarating about speeding across a gravel road, hair flying, bugs grazing my face (and sometimes my open mouth), adrenaline pumping.
But when dusk threatened the sky, I pulled the four-wheeler back into the gravel driveway, my hair rested back around my face, and my freedom and hope evaporated at the sight of a dim light peeking out from the bottom of a small, homemade outbuilding in the backyard.
Inside was my new husband, stooped over his pipe dream, welding helmet on, sparks flying like the 4th of July, empty beer cans littering any hope for quality time, and a voice that still echo’s clearly in my mind, “Maybe I’m a better man alone.”
I waddled my 7 month pregnant body inside that quaint little house, across the cold, hard linoleum floor, and into my daughter’s empty room.
I sat criss-cross in the middle of the floor.
I took a deep breath - the smell of wet paint still fresh from the day before.
I picked up a book lying on the floor, clutching it in my hands. Cinderella: the epitome of a young girl’s dream - to live happily ever after.
A tear dropped from my already red, swollen eyes, sliding down the front cover and onto Cinderella’s face as if she was crying with me. Then, like someone turning on the faucet to my soul, the floodgates opened.
I lifted my 20 year-old prayers up desperately to the Lord, “If you’re really here, God, please protect my little girl and never let her feel the ache of being unseen.”
One Fall day, when that little baby was almost two years-old, I grabbed her and a bag of clothes and walked away from fresh four-wheel rides, welding helmets, and empty liquor bottles. I had a new hope that I could find significance somewhere else.
C.S. Lewis said:
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
Have you ever reached a point in your life when you knew it was time to make a change for the better?”
The smell of sweat, starch, and confidence was in the air. Our job was to provide military honors to deceased veterans and their families and we had just returned from a two-man detail.
We sat in a pair of metal folding chairs and began to engage in a conversation about our personal lives. I revealed the frustration over my freshly failed marriage and he offered his advice.
I wasn’t physically attracted to him, but nevertheless, something about him made me play restlessly with my hands, squeezing them together and releasing them as I said, “I just think there are very few men who know how to treat a woman.” And as if he thought he held the magic key to unlock Happily Ever After, he looked me in the eyes and replied, “I do.” and from those words birthed a nearly decade long relationship.
We both made the decision to separate from the military and start fresh somewhere neither of us had ever been, but it meant being apart for several months. The separation weighed heavily on me. I had expectations for my new husband. I expected him to call everyday, to show an interest in my well-being, and to be excited about seeing me again. But, we rarely spoke and when we did, he sounded agitated at best.
His voice still echoes in my mind: “Why do you miss me already? It hasn’t even been very long since we’ve seen each other.”
His neglect caused an unhealthy, toxic cycle that lasted almost a decade. Instead of loving embraces, I was met with rolled eyes and stiffness.
Instead of building intimacy and trust, we were building resentment and bitterness.
He peeled away any semblance of confidence in both me and my daughter and showed no concern for our emotional or spiritual well-being.
Despite his cold, hard heart though, I fought back by doing all the things I thought a good wife should do.
Then, six years into our marriage, he finally decided that he was okay with us having a child. It was the greatest 9 months of our marriage. He looked after me, was tender with me, and helped me with chores he had never helped me with before. I was hopeful that we were headed in a healthier direction and were over the worst, assuming that it was just part of the realities of marriage.
And so..we were thrust into parenthood - trading tenderness for me with tenderness toward our daughter.
It was a lazy Saturday evening and we had spent the day swimming in the pool at our new home. I had just put the kids to bed and walked into the living room to see my husband, nervously approaching me.
“I need to talk to you.”
He never wanted to talk.
I took a deep breath; the smell of fresh paint still lingered in the air from the day before.
Then, with just one sentence, every hope for my future crumbled into a heap on the floor.
“I don’t think I can love you the way you need to be loved.”
Lysa Terkeurst, in her new book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, said:
“When there is an undoing of your life, there is an unknowing of every next millisecond. Every next breath. The peaceful predictability of what you thought would be your life is suddenly replaced by a very unexpected darkness and silence you aren’t used to. It’s like when the power suddenly goes out in an office with no windows. It’s jolting. What was full of activity and productivity and plans and important details and bosses bossing and workers working becomes as quiet as a hospice hallway. Darkness has a way of swallowing up enthusiasm for the future.”
What was once a dream to turn our home into a beautiful place for our children to grow up in became a dark hole swallowing me in silence and despair.
Gunfire echoed through the moist summer air as my hands clung to the arms of the chair I couldn’t feel myself sitting in. But instead of gunfire coming from a gun, it came from all the men in my life who were unable to be real men.
Bang! I don’t see you.
Pow! “Maybe I’m a better man alone.”
Slap! “You’re not lovable.”
My pulse raced and I could feel every heartbeat like the pressure of a jackhammer pounding and forcing its way through my entire body.
It was the culmination to every moment in my life when I felt unseen.
There I was: new town, new house, two kids, no job, no money, and now, no husband.
You know those seasons when everything seems to hit you at once? As if the waves of life aren’t already tossing you around and slamming you head first into the rocks. Then, something else devastating happens. One hurricane after another that never seems to stop.
The next month or so gave way to even more devastating news. Not only did my husband not love me, but he was in love with another woman. For months, he openly engaged in a relationship with the other woman while still living with me. From late nights working to not coming home at all, to missing saying goodnight to his children, he chose her over his family again and again.
When he was home, he was checked out - texting, calling, and trying to reassure her that his love was for her and not me.
There were many nights he would saunter in after midnight, after just having been with her, and hop into bed with me.
To him, it was a game; a game in which he showed no concern for how his actions affected both me or his children.
Then, another devastating blow.
My dad was leaving my mom after 37 years of marriage to start a new family. I could barely hold it together, yet now I knew I needed to be strong for my mom. How ironic that at the very same time, both of these men decided to break promises and start new families.
The similarities in the phrases used by these two men were eerily similar. It was painfully clear to my mom and I that there was more at work here than what we saw at the surface. Satan is hard at work, smiling at the families breaking apart around the world because where there is a broken family, there is sadness. Where there is sadness, there is a lack of hope, and where there is a lack of hope, there is a lack of trust in the Lord that He is good.
Many afternoons, I walked into the large master bedroom closet, got down on my hands and knees, planted my face into the carpet, and wept my 31 year-old prayers out desperately to the Lord. “I don’t know why you’re allowing all this, but if you’re really listening, God, please protect my little girls from ever feeling the pain of being unseen.”
One particularly dark evening, I opened the cover of the Bible he had given me just minutes before we said our vows:
“To my beautiful new wife: May God’s word be a reminder of his love for you just as the ring on your finger remind you of my own everlasting and unconditional love.”
We built a life based on that promise - words that were supposed to get us through those times when love felt nonexistent and feelings took over instead.
After I read that, I looked over and he was standing naked in the bathroom, looking into the mirror and laughing. He looked over at me and said, “I bet you wish you could have some of this.”
Then, suddenly, as if I was seeing myself for the first time, I realized he never saw my heart - my real, raw, vulnerable heart. He didn’t even know me. I spent almost a decade suppressing who I was so he could shine. I lived my entire life in fear of what he thought about me and failed to put up boundaries.
After this realization, I began packing my things into boxes to move. I was angry at myself for allowing this kind of person into my life again and was determined to move forward and allow God to use my story to help others.
My mom chased her dream of owning a log cabin and in it, was just enough room for all 4 of us - my mom, my daughters, and me.
If you ever question whether God is good, think about this. He could have allowed my father to leave my mom years ago, but it all happened at the same time. What he did, was he took what was two horribly painful situations and made some good. He gave me and my mom each other. That is God’s love.
My mom and I found healing in that little cabin in the woods.
We laughed together, we weeped together, we sat lazily under the canopy of trees and drank coffee together as God began to create in us new hearts and showed us how to renew our minds.
I found a job as an upper level manager, began work on my master’s degree, and began digging into online business. I was on a mission to uncover my passion and purpose in life so I could experience the deep joy of living life with authenticity and embracing who God says I am - not who others think or say I am.
At first, I was terrified of putting myself out there for the world to see. I had so many questions:
Did people really make money doing this?
Would people really want to listen to what I had to say?
What would my family think?
After years of being made to believe I wasn’t intelligent or worthy of being seen, I even questioned whether or not I was capable of being successful.
I pivoted several times, feeling like a failure. I even stopped it all for a while, feeling defeated.
I spent time and money on website designers, courses, e-books, and tools that promised to help me turn my hobby into a business. But I was frustrated to find that I was trading dollars and time for information that was only filling me with overwhelm. There was so much information out there and I didn’t know who to listen to or what I could do to really take my business to the next level.
But time doesn’t stop for anyone. My husband’s young body was slowly deteriorating due to his profession and it was up to me to make the changes in our family that were necessary to save him from a crippled future.
So I decided to take the terrifying leap and invest in a business coach despite the resistance from those closest to me. “Love knows no bounds.” I was determined not to allow my husband to feel unseen. The way I looked at it, I had two choices:
Make a risky investment in our future
Risk my husband’s health deteriorating past the point of recovery
Have you ever found yourself in this place? Maybe you’re there right now….
Maybe you feel that you were made to do big things but like I was, you’re too scared to take the risk.
Maybe everything hangs on this working out for you.
Maybe you’re just tired of being tired all the time.
Maybe you fear the judgment of those closest to you.
That’s exactly how I felt, until I heard this:
Your desire to change, must be greater than your desire to stay the same. Then, and only then, will real change happen.
To me, my desire to change the future for my family was greater than all my fears combined.
So I stepped into that fear, dug into God’s word, changed my entire mindset, and trusted that He would provide. I sent my desperate prayers up to the Lord, “Please use my story to help other women around the world who feel unseen and unheard develop the confidence they need to step forward in fear and into their purpose.”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
And out of all that pain, trauma, heartache, and moments of feeling unseen and unheard came this opportunity for you.
Stumbling on this story wasn’t by chance. You were led here for a reason and if I can allow the Lord to work through me to be the voice of truth for YOU - the one who helps you see that you not only have everything you need inside of you to pursue your passion, that you are lovely and capable just the way you are, and that you’re worthy of everything your heart desires, all my unseen moments have been totally worth it.
My passion is not only teaching my daughters but teaching YOU to follow hard after God and His purpose for you, fleeing from worldly views, and living counter-culturally because beautiful, strong lady… inside of you, is the answer to one of life’s greatest mysteries.
Now it’s up to YOU to unlock it.
People need you.
Be BOLD. Be Courageous.
Kelly has a way of making you feel like the sky is the limit! She holds your hand and walks you through the online business process - giving you a clear plan to help turn your dreams into reality. From mindset to program development to marketing, she doesn't skip a beat. I have two words to sum it up: Life-Changing.
Kelly is a must-have asset to anybody looking to start and build an online business. She is compassionate and driven to help you achieve your goals. She doesn't just give you the tools and strategies you need, she takes you step-by-step through implementing every piece - leaving you with clarity and a thriving business you can be proud of.
Kelly’s patience and determination to help guide women is magnetic. She listens but is also not afraid to be completely honest when needed. She motivates women in a way that helps them uncover their best selves and leads by example in the way she genuinely cares about helping other women succeed. She’s truly making a difference in the world and is helping so many other women do the same.