Kelly Carroll Discovers the Lover of Her Soul
By Debbie White
The 700 Club
CBN.com - Home movies show the few happy times in Kelly Carroll’s childhood. But no one dared turn on a camera when their father started beating one of them. “I was very fearful of his unpredictable temper.” says Kelly
Kelly’s father could be kind, but the slightest transgression sent him into a violent rage. There was no mother to comfort or protect the children. She left when Kelly was two years old. “She was gone. I don’t even remember having a mother I was just lonely so I tried to create my own little world in order to survive.”
The worst beating Kelly received was for simply quibbling with her older sister. “He struck me several times with his belt,” Kelly recalls, and I started screaming for him to please stop, and that’s when he threw me up against the wall and hit me. I don’t know if it was his fist or backhand, but it gave me a black eye.”
“I had welts all over my back and all over the back of my legs and bruises on my arms. The neighbors heard the screams and they did nothing.”
“We were taught to never tell anyone what was happening. If we told someone, we’d be beat again. It just destroyed my self esteem and I was very detached. I never felt accepted by anyone after that.”
When Kelly was 12, her father remarried. Kelly says the first year was calm. Then… everything changed. “We soon realized he didn’t want us around, she didn’t love us. She didn’t want really anything to do with us. We were in the way.”
That’s when 13 -year-old Kelly begged her father to find her birth mother, who had since remarried. “When we found her, I talked to her on the phone, and that’s when she flew me out to New York.”
Then Kelly’s mother asked her to stay permanently. “She was good to me. I started doing very well in school. I made wonderful friends.”
Until her stepfather molested her. Kelly told her mother. “And she packed my bags and put me on a jet and sent me back home to my father. He picked me up at the airport and didn’t have much to say except that he was going to take me to a place called ‘the attention home’ until the state figured out what to do with me.”
“He said that his wife, my stepmother, would divorce him if I came back home. So he just threw me away. I felt like a puppy dropped off at the pound. It was horrible.”
The broken hearted 7th grader made a decision; she would live by her own rules. “I was just rebellious; I didn’t want anyone telling me how to live. I started drinking and smoking marijuana partying and it covered a lot of pain.”
Kelly was shuffled around the foster care system until she aged out. At seventeen, she dropped out of school. Then, she became pregnant and married the father of her child. “It was very empty and very lonely after the baby was born, I remember that feeling, feeling just worn out and tired.”
She remembered that one of the few places she found comfort as a child was at church. So she decided to try it again. “I turned to the Lord and really had a genuine touch from Him. I remember going to the altar and falling on my face just bawling and crying and tears.”
But her fledgling relationship with God was derailed by the same thinking that ruined everything else in her life. “I couldn’t believe that He would love me, because nobody ever really showed that they loved me.”
Twenty years passed. Kelly had three failed marriages and two children to raise on her own. She became so despondent she tried to take her own life. “I remember crying out, ‘God, forgive me. I can’t go on like this anymore.’ And the minute I asked God to forgive me, I heard Him say to me, ‘I’m not done with you yet’ and the next thing I remember is waking up with the paramedics. The Lord saved me.”
She says the journey back to faith in Christ was hard. She struggled to give up alcohol and drugs. “One night I was laying in bed and had my Bible open and I had fallen asleep with it on my chest. I don’t know if I was dreaming, but I woke up and I heard a voice and it was so loud that the dogs sat up and they jumped off the bed. All I heard was, ‘Do you want rest?’”
“And I started crying, and I knew it was God. I thought, ‘how could You show up again in my life like this?’ Then, I knew He loved me.”
For the following year, Kelly prayed, and fasted for a breakthrough in her life. That’s when she says God told her that she needed forgive those who had hurt her. Her father was first on her list. “I actually had the courage and faith to confront him and ask him, ‘Why?’ And he couldn’t answer, only through tears. And he told me that he always loved me, and I even had to ask him to forgive me for my bitterness. He hugged me and granted me forgiveness.”
So that broken, abandoned little blond girl is now a mature woman of God. She’s fun-loving, feisty and full of life. Her children have seen the difference. Kelly’s daughter says, “She’s beautiful. Something has just lifted off her shoulders.” Her son agrees. “And it has truly changed her life in every way.”
Kelly is also a new wife to Doug and has the Christian marriage she always dreamed about. And she’s written a book too, entitled Full on Empty about the breakthroughs that come through prayer and fasting. She wants to devote her life to serving the God who saved her.
“He’s the lover of my soul. He’s the only one that cares about me, truly cares about me from the inside all the way to my outside.”
“He’s never going to leave me. I love Psalm 27:10 when it says, ‘Even though your father or your mother forsake you, I will receive you.”
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