Terri Kelley grew up a youth minister’s daughter in Texas during the 70s and has loved Jesus since her first memory. Her dream while growing up was to someday marry a minister, have a big family, and serve people through ministry work. She loved the church community but as she grew older, she noticed the teachings seemed focused on God’s wrath and condemnation while offering little on a relationship with Jesus grounded in love, forgiveness, and grace. “The foundations of my faith were being rooted in a fear of God... always questioning whether I was good enough, loved, and going to heaven,” she remembers.

Fear would play a significant role in her life starting at an early age as she dealt with the confusion of sexual assault alone. Being silenced, she often wondered if God saw her and if so, was he angry or disappointed in her. Then at 17, she would be strong-armed into sex leaving her pregnant and paralyzed in fear, thinking there was nowhere safe to go. “It felt as if all roads led to shame, judgment, and rejection, so to survive I went looking for a way out,” she says.  Her way out would be a doctor, a lie, and an abortion decision that would shatter her heart and send her spiraling down a path of darkness and destruction for many years.

As the shame and regret of her secrets took root in her soul, they became what she filtered every thought, every decision, and relationship through. This filter would lead her into other abusive relationships adding additional layers of trauma and leaving her in a constant state of survival... unaware of where it all began. She felt alone and convinced she had failed God and He would never see or love her again.

“To survive, I had to bury the secrets, forget, and move on. I learned to paste on the smiles and appear to have it all together, but inside my heart was always grieving and searching for love and approval. Most days felt as if I was walking along the edge of a cliff trying to keep my feet on solid ground, and nights were plagued with nightmares of falling off the edge. I felt very alone and invisible", Terri says.

After the ending of her 25-year marriage, her heart lay shattered at the bottom of that cliff. It was then that God showed up and revealed He had always been with her in every painful moment of her past and was now inviting her on a journey that would lead her out of the darkness and into new freedom. With nothing left, she crawled up in the lap of Jesus and let Him take her into the broken dark places of her wounded soul.

Today Terri uses her story to bring hope to shattered hearts along with a message that God still works miracles today!  “Most of my life was lived extremely broken, feeling unworthy, and bound by shame and guilt…  yet I was seen, pursued, loved, and healed by the Creator Himself.  THAT CHANGES YOU!”  she says.  Her story tells of the miracles God did to lead her out of oppression and into freedom and then tells her to go out and share her story. With passion and purpose, she now shares her story so that God's light can shine into the cracks of other shattered hearts, moving them towards the healing and freedom He so desperately wants for them. " I want women to hear my story and understand that Jesus does not punish and condemn us, but offers love, compassion, and forgiveness when we mess up. He sees us as worthy of love and wants our souls set free to become who He created us to be.  This freedom will set your feet on a path of purpose and joy you never thought possible,"  she adds.  

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Certified Christian Counselor, (AACC)

       ~Specializing in Trauma, Grief & Loss

  Certified Health & Wellness Life Coach & Nutritionist

Email: Terri@FrontPorchGirl.com