(By: Kelly Bayley)

I grew up in a mostly single-parent home, with my mother, my father's mother, my older brother, and some cousins who stayed with us for sporadic periods. I knew my father for several years, from about 1978 until 1982. 

I didn't realize at the time that my mother had a drinking problem, nor did I realize the extent of my father and my mother's relational problems. They had divorced when I was a small baby, and then in hopes of reconciling they had moved in together in 1978. That lasted, if memory serves me correctly, a matter of months. Then he moved out, but was allowed to come and go as he pleased, as my mother thought it good that we get to know our father. 

Mom wasn't around a whole lot; she worked evenings as a cocktail waitress. She was often asleep most of the day. Dad came mostly in the evenings. Many, many evenings my brother and I were to fend for ourselves, and our main sustenance was spaghetti (for him) and macaroni and cheese (for me). We certainly learned how to get along and to trust and confide in each other. 

Mom was not a pleasant person. We didn't trust her, and for reasons I cannot explain, my brother and I were afraid of her. She had an exceptionally quick temper, and far too often it was also violent. Very early on I learned not to talk to her, and certainly not to offer an opinion, or even 'my side' of the story. Because of this, I withdrew to the point of emptiness. I was void, yearning for love but not knowing how to get it, or who to get it from. 

Dad was almost an oasis in the storm for me. He loved me, and he showed it. Unfortunately, he also had personal problems, and one day when I was about 11, he started molesting me. I loved Dad with all my heart, and I did not understand what was happening. I told him no, and I truly believe that he simply could not quit. I was mixed up in that I wanted Dad to come home, but I did NOT want to be alone with him. This lasted about two years. The day came when he had been far too rough with my brother, and my Mother told me, "You'll never see your father again. God forbid he starts something with you." Later in talking with my Grandmother, I broke into tears with simple relief that the molesting would now stop. She knew right away, and told my mother. Mom, of course, had Dad promptly thrown into jail and pressed charges. Fortunately for Dad and I, it was a year before the trial. 

During that year, I went through a lot. I had to repeat over and over the details of the past two years. People started talking about how they hated my Father because of what he'd done; Mom, especially. I was sent to counselor after counselor, but they kept reporting something totally out of the ordinary to my Mother. "She's fine," they'd say. She did not understand this one bit. In asking me how I felt toward Dad, I would tell her "I love him. He did not mean to hurt me, and what he did was wrong. I forgive him, because I know he is sorry." To this day she cannot understand that. And I believe that the forgiveness and love I had were from God. When it came time for me to testify, I had two choices, resulting in two different sentences for my father, who admitted his guilt. Choice one, testify and send him to prison. Choice two, do not testify and he would go to a state mental hospital. I chose choice two, for two reasons. One, I didn't want to repeat everything all over again to a bunch of strangers, (believe me, it's difficult for a 12 year old girl to do that!) Two, I didn't want Dad to go to prison, but I liked the idea that he would get counseling in a mental hospital. 

In the midst of living with a drug addict, alcoholic, and child-molester, I certainly don't remember Jesus being talked about in my home unless someone asked a question about Him. Yet I know that from a very early age I wanted to know Him. When I was very little, probably somewhere around six years old, I remember a little girl my age witnessing to me. I don't remember what she said, but I'm sure to this day that whatever she said must have influenced me to know Jesus. 

My next recollection, and the most passionate one, happened when I was about eight. I watched Jesus of Nazareth on television. At the end, I cried like water pouring through a broken dam. Wailing, I ran to my Mother and confessed that I knew Jesus died for my sins. I believed that He died and that He rose again. She told me that if I really believed that, then I was forgiven. Nothing else was said or done and sadly, as soon as I did something wrong, I thought I had lost my 'salvation.' 

Then, at fourteen years of age, I experienced a traumatic event that motivated my mother to allow me to attend church. I failed my math class, and out of fear of the repercussion and wrath at home for such a thing, I stole $20 from Mom, went to the store and bought bottles of sleeping pills. Out of curiosity, I counted them, and there were exactly 100. I took them all. My first night at church, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. 

Jesus Christ has worked major changes in me, and in my life. Since I accepted him as my Lord and Savior, he has given me love, fulfillment, joy, and peace. I no longer live in fear of wrath or fear of death. I trust God with all my heart, because in His word he promises to take care of His children. 

The Lord has blessed me to serve Him, with discipleship studies with other women, church involvement, being a wife, and soon being a mother. And, He has given me a ministry on the IRCs Dalnet, with Bible Issues and Resources. 

I no longer feel the intense need for love from other people, because my God has satisfied that need in me. He has blessed me with a wonderful Christian husband who is also a servant of the Lord. 

Due to my life, and my experiences, I can relate to things some cannot relate to. My spiritual gift is exhortation, which is encouraging and lifting up. 

Praise God for the things he has brought me through, and that I could come through them to know His love! I praise each and every day he has made, and rejoice in them all.

To read my husband's testimony, please click on this link: FORSAKEN BUT NOT LEFT BEHIND

God Bless, Kelly Bayley

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity.
(Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)