Well hello everyone! Kelsey here. I figured you’ve heard my story with Matt but you haven’t heard my backstory. So here it goes…
I grew up in a Christian home near Breckenridge, Colorado with my parents and two brothers (one older and one younger). I didn’t fully understand how blessed I was to live in such a beautiful place surrounded by God’s creation until I had moved away. My heart still aches for glimpses of those stunning, snow-covered mountaintops reflecting a sunrise.
We lived in a house in the middle of the woods…down a dirt road, over a river, and up a big hill. We were free to roam and with no neighbors it felt like we had the whole world at our fingertips. Our time was spent building forts in trees that to this day I’m not sure how they held up under our weight, snowshoeing, sledding and lots of shoveling our long winding driveway. We didn’t have a lot of money and we could often be seen in a big orange truck, all five of us piled into the one bench seat or climbing through the back of our broken down jeep because the doors didn’t work. I was often wearing clothes from “Savers” the Goodwill of Colorado, had crazy, unruly hair (and even a terrible mullet at one point) and lots of imaginative energy that was hard to contain. I loved animals and had a gift for convincing my parents we needed to adopt some new pet whether it be a hermit crab or a goat. I also was the one in the family that had terrible luck with pets and I was the one to discover many tragic lost pets…frozen chickens, a goat eaten by a mountain lion, a kitten taken by a fox, my little bunny stolen away by a bear, one dog chased by a beaver and my sweet dog attacked by something (although he miraculously survived), my brother even got chased by a moose…although I guess he isn’t a pet.
Yes. Those are true stories.
These are just really random fun facts about my childhood….and probably explain some of my issues today.
Ok. So now serious parts of my story: I became a Christian when I was five, but it became real to me when I was about 12. My grandma had been diagnosed with cancer and my mom, little brother and I went to Denver to help care for her and be with her through her treatments. During that time I spent my days in the hospital or nursing home doing my schoolwork (I was homeschooled) with my little brother, watching medical procedures and befriending the elderly. My evenings were spent in a dance studio soaking up my one outlet for myself. It was through that time though that I felt God placing purpose in my life. I felt called to serve. It was a hard season of sleeping on the floor and our family being away from each other…but it was the time that God became really real. Faith and relationship became less of a story I hear and much more of a day by day experience.
Middle school and High school were a roller coaster of amazing and terrible. In late middle school I got braces and glasses within weeks of each other and went through a terribly awkward stage. I didn’t really fit in the homeschool group but I also wasn’t fully part of the public school group. I just felt stuck in the middle. I poured myself into dance, youth group, church, missions and working. I was often naturally put in a leadership position and felt valued in that, however continued to feel distant from the “normal” kids my age. I’ve always been different. I was the wild child who didn’t do wild child things…if that makes sense. I sought out risk and adventure…but stood religiously on standards and morals…often times to a fault and took on the role of being outspoken and a goody goody. I was a misfit who was determined to make my misfitness work and be a part of the groups around me. I was extremely blessed with several really close friends and specifically two best friends, Rachael and Hannah, who throughout that time, accepted me for me, challenged me, laughed with me, cried with me and pushed me. While we haven’t been able to see each other barely at all in the last 8 years and have gone our separate ways….they will always hold a place of life change. They walked with me through those awkward, hard seasons. They were the beginning of teaching me that friendship and community is to be valued and they play a huge role in how I fight for friendship today.
I was determined to go to school to be a doctor and then live overseas doing missions for the rest of my life. I swore I would never live in Minnesota, be a psychology major, live in Texas, move south, speak publicly, marry a musician…..well so far I have left the doctor idea, went to College in Minnesota, graduated with a degree in Psychology, lived in Texas for awhile, moved south to Tennessee, married a musician and am now heading out with him to share our story on the road. God has taught me to dream big but hold our version of dreams loosely and allow him to work through my story and to also find joy and laughter in the changes instead of being heartbroken. There has been a constant theme of my life not looking logically correct and yet God stepping in and doing great things…whether it be financial provision, comfort in desert times, friends in needed seasons and so on. I’ve been on a life long journey of watching how our individual stories all fit into a much bigger story that is constantly unfolding.
So there is my background in a very small nut shell…I will save my college years story for another time…it is a whole different chapter full of crazy stories, friendships, trials, and world rocking situations. I am so excited to be on board with A Girl Like Me and hope this gave you a little glimpse into where I came from. I am looking forward to diving in deeper with you all in the very near future.