Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Once Upon a Time.......

Once upon a time there was a little girl who dreamed of her wedding day.

Every night she would put herself to sleep by picturing all of the details of the wedding she would one day have. Instead of counting sheep, she counted bridesmaids. One by one she saw them walk down the aisle in their pretty dresses, holding beautiful bouquets of flowers. Eventually, if she was still awake, she would imagine herself in her own gown and the faceless groom that waited at the alter. She wondered who it would be that she would marry. Who would be her "Prince Charming"? After all, isn't that what a fairytale is all about.....
Time passed and dreams changed as the reality of life brought new visions of what love and romance would look like. As she became a young woman the girl sought a hero to deliver her from the pain and loneliness of the world in which she lived. After all, that's what happened in her favorite movie.......And it did happen for her, or so she thought.

One night as she was out with friends a young man asked her to dance......

He was home on leave from the Navy. She enjoyed the mystery and the excitement of being with him. When he returned to his ship she wrote letters to him and convinced herself she was in love. Several months later the young girl flew to visit him and her life was changed forever......

Her dreams of the perfect wedding were traded for a cheap and impulsive marriage in Tijuana, Mexico. A few days later, as her new husband's ship set out to sea, the girl returned home alone as a woman who would never be the same.

Throughout the months that followed the young woman learned more than she ever wanted to know. She learned about drug abuse, dishonorable discharge, mental illness, bi-polar disorder, verbal, emotional and physical abuse, marriage counseling.... And she learned what real loneliness looks like.

But then, just as things looked as dark as possible, a light appeared on the horizon. The woman discovered she was pregnant. From the moment she knew there was a life inside of her she felt a hope and purpose she had not known before.

As her daughter was delivered into the world she nearly lost her own life, but even in her weakness she discovered something new about her own strength and courage. She also learned a new definition for love. Sacrificial love.

When it became clear this baby was in danger of suffering the same abuse she had endured, the woman took her daughter and left. Again, she nearly lost her own life but she was determined not to be a victim any longer. Unfortunately, there are many ways to be a victim and fear held her in its grip for a long time........even as the man she had married went to prison, she lived in a prison of fear.

Then one night as she was out with friends a young man asked her to dance.......

He sent her cookies shaped like roses. Then he brought her real roses. He held her daughter and loved her like she was his very own. And when the woman discovered she was going to have his baby he married her in a ceremony with bridesmaids and flowers......

On May 7, 1988 I married a man who is still my very best friend. It hasn't been easy and we have been through a lot of good times as well as difficult ones. But we have gone through it all together. As we look back over the past 20 years we are amazed at what we see. I think the most amazing thing to me is that even before we were both walking with Him God had a hand firmly on our lives! To know that I am not only married to a good man but a Godly man is more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined!

Please click on the sound button below and watch the little tribute I have made to my wonderful husband on this, our 20th wedding anniversary. I love you Johnny.......


Amy said...

Happy Anniversary, Kelley!
Beautiful tribute!:)

Kristen said...

Happy Anniversary Kelley...

Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding. What a blessing that God gave you the miracle of your husband, the love he has for your daughter and all the children God has blessed the two of you with! Truly - Jesus' miracles continue in your lives as you serve and follow him.

Bless your entire family as you celebrate your marriage.

Yolanda said...

Happy Anniversary!


SweetPea said...

Happy Anniversary, Kelley.

What a beautiful story. You know some of the most beautiful story are those that start out rough with pain and stragedy.

God Bless you and yours.

Joyful said...

Kelley....reading this and watching the beautiful tribute you made for your's better than watching any romantic movie. I'm crying my eyes out here!!

Bless you today my friend. As you and your husband continue to grow closer to one another, may the Lord draw you closer to Himself. What a treasured gift He has given each of you.

Kelley, thank you for being my friend. This post today has touched me deeply - and made me want to go hug my honey too!

Love & prayers for a special day today,
PS. My parents celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary yesterday. My husband and I celebrate our 20th anniversary later this year.

Melanie said...

Kelley, Such a beautiful ending to your story. I'm so glad you found your husband.. your prince charming.

Happy Anniversary!

Kim said...

Happy Anniversary Kelley!!!!

God's promises are SO huge!!! Your story gave me Holy Ghost bumps. Wow......

Praying that continues to bless you and your sweet man....what a blessing you both are to each other...and to your precious family.


Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...


I haven't been reading your blog for very long, but you always have something beautiful to say. This post had me in tears...what a wonderful tribute to your husband! God truly is so good!


Jenny said...

Happy Anniversary, Kelley! What a wonderful middle (you still have many more years together) you are having!

Chad has loved Meghan like his own, that is what I am most thankful for!

Have a great day!

Jessiquita said...

Wow mom you must've been up really early to write this!!

Happy Anniversary....I love you both so so much (and I miss you). I had no idea you got married in TIJUANA!?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and hopefully I'll talk to you soon. I'll be home before you know it!

Ps. I couldn't stop laughing at the paper person Sophie made...that's hilarious!!

Olive You!

Nicole said...

Happy Anniversary! Thanks for being so transparent. What a beautiful love story!

luvmy4sons said...

Congratulations! It sounds as if you are greatly blessed..wonderful tribute! May God bless you and your family!

Teri said...

#1. Happy Anniversary! Your story is beautiful. Truly.

#2. you are a very beautiful woman.

#3. Is that you singing???

Kelly said...

Kelley, I loved your post/story today...happy 20 years anniversary! My husband Tim and I will celebrate our 20th on November 13th this year!
Wishing you many blessings!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A beautiful portrait of God's grace.

It's a picture he has painted for me, also. Common ground, my friend.

Today I celebrate the love you and your husband share, and for his taking on of your daughter and making her his own. Just the way our Father has done for us. What a magnificent witness!


Jamie said...

Oh, I loved reading this...beautiful!
Happy Anniversary, Kelley!

Sheryl said...

Thanks for being so real. It shows truly nothing is impossible. That's an amazing story. Oh and of course, Happy Anniversary Kelley!

Rhonda said...

Happy Anniversary Kelley!! Congratulations on 20 years!!

I'm so glad that this tale had such a wonderfully happy ending.

It seems that God has restored you and has blessed you richly with an adoring husband, beautiful children and a life that you love.

You deserve His best!

Amy Wyatt said...

Happy Anniversary. What an amazing story. May God bless you both with many more happy years together.

Susan said...

Oh Kelly,

This was just BEAUTIFUL!!!! I loved your story, and how God was with you through it all.

You are such a gifted writer, a great mom, and I've come to love you as a friend already.

Your honesty, your passion for Jesus, and your desire to inspire and encourage others is such a ministry to the body of Christ!

I'm so blessed God turned your ashes to BEAUTY!

Happy Mother's Day!

Love you,


PS Enjoyed the slide show, Happy Anniversary!!

Judy @ In His Grip said...

The more I hear of your story the more I like you and feel like I know you even if it is only through the internet. Great story, more people have a story like this then you will ever know. They just don't talk about it. Thank you for sharing.

tiggerdaisy said...

Oh, Kelley! I'm so happy that you found the man you were meant to marry! It sounds as if you broke free from your prison and are now living the life you were created to live! Hallelujah! :)

The comment you left on my blog concerning my own path to love was so sweet! We are indeed living happy endings! Happy Anniversary!

Prayers and Blessings!

Lelia Chealey said...

Philippians 1:12 my friend!
You are gorgeous! And what a testimony God has allowed you to have. I am so touched by your story. I am burting at the seams to get to know you and can't wait till I come to KC this summer!
You seem like an incredible couple!
Love you Girlfriend!!!

Linda said...

I praise God with you, Kelley!

Ang baylis said...

I am speechless... this post brought me to tears... Tears of Joy, Kelley! Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of your friends. God is smiling down on you and loves you dearly. You are such a blessing to your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren!

Much love to you,
Angie xoxo

Joanne said...


My first stop by. How could I be so lucky but to read a post so full of love and joy? You have no idea how much we have in common. My first husband wasn't in the Navy but was in the Marine Corp, he too eventually went to prison and the Lord later blessed me with Paul. He adopted my two itty bitty babies and we had two more children together. Our life is amazing.

I can see that yours is pretty awesome too. How blessed you both were to find one another. Your children will be blessed because of the years they have spent watching the both of you.

Blessings, Joanne

Life In Progress said...

This is my first visit to your blog (found you from a comment on 2nd cup) & I am completely teary! What a wonderful story of courage and love.

Don't you love to look back at experiences we have and see how God was at work the entire time? I just wrote a post on that also - it must be going around!

Happy Anniversary!

MrsJoeB said...

Kelley-I love your story-it is beautiful!! God has this amazing way of taking what we see as painful and ugly and making it beautiful. Thank you for sharing-what a testimony you have!!

In His Graces~Pamela

MrsJoeB said...

I forgot to say-love those 80's glasses (I had them too!!)

In His Graces~Pamela