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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Yost

Out of the Dark, Into the Light

By Jenn Kelly

From the age of 2 until I was 30, I was sheltered and abused at the hand of my father. He severely abused me my entire life, mentally, physically and spiritually. I was afraid of my shadow because of him. As I got older, I found man after man who abused me the same way my dad did. I truly believed that was how a man showed love. I was raised in a church background that taught me God wanted me to feel guilt for the things I was doing wrong. I thought I would go to Hell for breathing the wrong way. I wondered if God was just as angry as my dad, but in my heart I never really believed that. I felt a connection to Jesus long before I knew Him. What I realize now, is that He always knew me.

At 17, I became addicted to cocaine among many other drugs. I ran away from home due to the abuse and torture I got there. I continued destructive behavior, and made many suicide attempts. When I was thirty, I met my husband. His mother was a Pastor and reintroduced me to church. I felt connected right away. I confided in my soon-to-be mother-in-law with all of my secrets, and all of my demons. Soon after my husband and I were married, my mother-in-law betrayed my trust by using everything I told her against me. Because of her lies, my house was raided, my kids were temporarily removed and many other heinous events occurred. After a brutal year of court battles, my husband and I were cleared by the court despite my mother-in-law's selfish accusations. After a ton of investigations, cops banging down my door, and DCF visits, I was cleared of everything. I wanted her held accountable for her actions but she fled the state and my husband and I were left to pick up the pieces after the destruction she made in our lives.

Yet again, I fell into a very deep and dark depression; wanting nothing more than to end my life. We were in financial, emotional, and spiritual ruin. One day, while I was lying on the couch crippled with depression, my husband encouraged me and brought me to a Sunday service at a local Christian church in our small town in Connecticut. It was there that I learned about Christ in me. It was there that people loved and accepted me with no pretense. It was at this church that I finally saw God. He touched my heart and my soul and I knew from that moment on, He was and will always be with me.

About 8 months later we decided to move to Florida because my father still wielded terrible abuse and control over me. We needed to escape it. We packed up our kids and left in the middle of the night. It is only by the grace of God that we were able to leave. We had no money, no way to get out. But door after door kept opening, enabling us to leave the past behind and start a new life.

"You see, it isn't about what your flesh wants. It is about being satisfied and appreciating what God offers you."

It has been 2 years now that I have been walking faithfully with the Lord. And every day He surprises me! Things are not perfect. My husband and I each had to leave one of our children in Connecticut with their other parent. It is hard being away from our children. Financially we are broke. Some days we don't know how we will eat, but the thing about God is that if you truly believe, He will ALWAYS provide. You see, it isn't about what your flesh wants. It is about being satisfied and appreciating what God offers you. I may not have a fancy house or fancy car. But I have somewhere to live. I have a car to get to work. There was a time I didn't even have those things. Because I had lived in the dark for so long, I can tell you the light Jesus offers is so much better than any high you can ever imagine. God is so good, and He most certainly hears every prayer. Sometimes we don't always hear the answer because we choose not to. It isn't what we think it should be. But when we fully surrender to God and trust that his plans are always for our good, to prosper us, to never bring us harm, then we will realize every single event in our lives is a blessing.

My name is Jenn Kelly. I am the mother of 3 daughters (11, 8, and 4) and two bonus children (11 & 7). I fight everyday to live the life God has planned for me even when the enemy tries to feed me lies. I rest in the knowledge that I am adored by my Heavenly Father even when I can’t see my own worth. This world is cruel but Jesus has overcome the world and I hope my story can shed light for someone. If it does, I will consider myself blessed.

I share encouraging words for others at You can also find me at and  



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