Michelle Kelso: A Future and A Hope
By Michell Wilson
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: December 10, 2010
“I was just staring at that gun thinking, ‘I’m about to die.’ It’s in my face inches away. I’m helpless, and I’m lying down. I couldn’t even do anything. I thought, ‘I’m about to die.’"
Michelle Kelso lived in constant fear of the next brutal attack from her boyfriend. But this was not the first time she had faced fear. Michelle grew up in an abusive home with an alcoholic step father.
"There was an instance where I got in trouble, and he was beating me with a leather belt," she tells The 700 Club. "He was just swinging it anywhere, my legs, my back, my butt, doesn’t matter. I hit my head on the corner of that dresser and split my head open right here, and I had to get stitches."
That kind of abuse so traumatized Michelle that she never really learned what real love was. So at 16, she met and fell in love with a guy named Mike.
“He would tell me nice things about myself and compliment me which that just didn’t happen from any other man in my life.”
But what she didn’t know was that Mike had a violent temper. After dating Michelle for a year, he flew into a rage and raped her when she refused to have sex with him.
“So he pretty much overpowered me. I just kind of left feeling ashamed.”
Michelle didn’t tell anyone about the rape, and because she still longed for affection, she continued to date him.
“I didn’t understand what love was. I didn’t have a good example of what a healthy relationship is like, of what healthy love is. I didn’t know what those things were and I thought very lowly of myself.”
A year later, Michelle was pregnant with Mike’s baby. He began sleeping with other women and threatened to beat Michelle even more if she tried to leave him. She believed her only way out was suicide, so she grabbed a gun from the house and went outside to kill herself and her unborn baby
“I put the gun to my head and I’m crying and I’m looking up to the sky and I’m thinking, ‘Are you even real, God?’ I was about to pull the trigger and someone showed up out in front of my house. It was his cousin. I remember he ran up to me real fast and grabbed the gun. He’s yelling at me, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m thinking, ‘What do you care? Nobody cares about me. What does anyone care?’”
When Mike found out about Michelle’s suicide attempt, he was furious.
“I accidentally dozed off only waking up to that same gun pointed at my face, loaded, cocked, ready to go, and he’s yelling at me, ‘You made me look bad. You made me look bad. You want to do this? Let me do it for you. Let me do it. I’ll do it.’ I was just staring at that gun thinking, ‘I’m about to die.’”
Michelle begged him not to kill her and their unborn child. He eventually put the gun down. After the birth of their son, she thought things would change but the abuse got worse.
“He had me up by my throat onto the wall and he’s choking me with all his force, all of his weight up against the wall. My feet are not even on the ground anymore. I’m looking down, seeing my baby on the floor thinking, ‘Don’t close your eyes, Michelle. If you close your eyes, your baby will not have a mom. You have to fight.’”
After this latest encounter with death, Michelle cried out to God for help.
“I didn’t know God for myself. I knew of God. I often would think to myself, ‘God, if You’re real, help me in this situation.’”
That’s when she was invited to church by a friend. In the past, she refused, but this time she went.
“I remember thinking, ‘Man, they’re going to look at me funny. Everyone has it together here.’ So I thought. I’m just a wreck. I’m a mess. I remember one of her friends came to me at the altar call of service and says, ‘Hey, do you know Jesus?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t think so, no.’ She says, ‘Well, do you want to meet my Jesus? He’s here for you. He loves you, and He has a plan for your life.’ All these things she’s telling me and I’m like, ‘Well, come on, let’s go, where do I meet Him?’”
Michelle went to the altar and prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior.
“I told the Lord, ‘God, I don’t have anything to offer You. It’s just me and my little baby. I don’t have anything together. But what I have, I give to You if you can use it.’ It was so refreshing. I had peace and joy for the first time, and I didn’t even understand it. I thought, ‘Whoa, what’s going on here?’”
Michelle continued to go to church. Soon, she realized she needed to forgive the men who had abused her.
“I would cry out to God daily, ‘Lord, heal me of these things. Help me to forgive this man. Help me to forgive my stepdad.’ It took me a long time to be able to forgive that man, Mike, who I was in the relationship with but I finally forgave him. God helped me. I was on the road to healing.”
Michelle made the difficult decision to leave her abusive relationship with Mike, and today she’s happily married to a man named Louis. Together they pastor a church.
“He’s an awesome father. He’s a wonderful husband and he loves me. I don’t have to go looking for those things any more. There’s no more abuse. There’s peace. There’s joy. I have stability. I’m smiling, which never happened before.”
And Michelle loves to tell everyone that they can find a life of peace in Jesus too.
“He wants to touch you. He wants to bless you. He wants to heal you just as He healed me. He wants to give you a great hope and a future that’s only in Him. His plans for you are good and not bad. He loves you so much that He died for you. If He can do all of this in my life, He can do it for you.”
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