Before you stands an individual that has earned a higher education, is a very strong person, a loving and giving person that has overcome a great deal of obstacles in their life. This strong individual that you see today didn’t always possess that strength, through many obstacles that were faced they persevered. But the greatest obstacle that they had to endure was that of a lost identity. Not knowing who you are is a difficult task to get through. Trying to figure out who you truly are can be insurmountable, even devastating. To have the person that you once knew yourself to be taken away from you is tragic. Regaining that identity can be even harder. Especially in the way it was taken away. Marie faced such a tragedy. Through it all, she emerged with a new identity, with an even better identity.
Marie’s father came to spend the day with her. Marie’s mother told her to change her clothes so she could spend the day with her father. Marie did not want to go but did as she was told. Marie went to her room, sat on the bed, and prayed.
Her father escorted Marie to his truck, opened the door for her to get in. Marie asked where they were going; her father told her they were going to lunch, a movie, and shopping. They never made it to lunch, the movie, or shopping.
Marie’s father got into the truck and sped off. Her father was acting strange. He asked Marie about the incident with her step-father. When she tried to explain that he beat her and tried to rape her, her father hit her across the face and said she was lying. He said he had come to take her to live with him. That Marie needed a father figure to get her under control. Marie stated that she wasn’t out of control, that her step-father had beat her and tried to rape her several times. Her father back-handed her again. Marie saw stars.
Her father punched her real hard in the face and told her to shut up. Marie felt something warm running down her face; it was blood. Marie got quiet, but her father hit her in the face again because she would not answer his questions. When they reached Jefferson Blvd, her father lunged at her; he ripped her shirt open and hit her several more times in the face. He managed to get her pants and panties down and jumped on top of her. She kicked and screamed, but no one came. The cars just kept passing by. Marie managed to get a hand free and hit her father in the privates. He grabbed himself, and she was able to get up, but she could not get out of the truck.
He had removed the panel, doorknob, and handle. Once Marie got into the truck, she could not get out. Her father planned this all out. But why? Marie kicked and kicked on the door until she finally got it open, she fell out into the street, and a car just missed her. She got to her feet pulled up her panties and pants. Across the way, there was a police car. Waving her arms, Marie got their attention and pointed toward the truck. The officers handcuffed her father and put him into the car. Marie ran toward home. When she got there, the police were there talking to her mother and father. Marie came in through the back door so that no one would see her. She got her dog and grabbed a sweatshirt. She headed to the safety of her grandmother’s house.
Her grandmother hugged her and called the police; Marie was a bloody mess. The police came and took Marie’s statement. Her father was arrested but released a short time later. After the event with her father, Marie became depressed because she did not know who she was anymore. Her own father had done this horrible thing to her. Was it her fault, why did he do it? Who was she now? So Marie stopped using her last name. At school, she would turn in papers with only her first name, as she no longer had an identity tied to the last name. That man could not have done what he did to her and be her father. Fathers did not do that to their daughters. Marie no longer had an identity.
Until one day she read through the Bible in Ephesians 1:3-15 where it states who she really is. It wasn’t about her last name, the important thing was how God saw her. As she read, she learned more and more about her true identity, and she learned that she did in fact have an identity. Marie was a child of God, while she may have lost her earthly identity, God gave her a new identity, a better identity. God restored it. Oh, and by the way, I am Marie…
Dr. Joyce Marie Kelley is an author, motivational speaker, and minister who loves the Word of God and all that it has to offer. She has been on God’s team for a long time. She is a faithful member of Renewed Life Church in Long Beach, CA. As a young child, Joyce accepted Christ as her personal savior. Dr. Kelley, fondly known as “Dr. J” has a heart and passion for helping others. She gives unselfishly of herself in the pursuit of sharing the healing power of forgiveness.
Dr. Kelley holds an Associate Degree in General Studies. A Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies and a Doctor of Ministry Degree. She returned to school and earned a second Master’s Degree in Theology. On July 8th, 2016 Dr. Kelley was Ordained as a Licensed Elder/Minister. Joyce recently earned a second doctorate degree in Theology. She is the Founder/CEO of “Exalted Consulting”; a ministry sharing the power of forgiveness through seminars and workshops. Dr. Kelley is the Founder/CEO of “Hip Hop Step Inc.”, a nonprofit ministry that transforms walking apparatus for those in need at no cost to the recipient. She is also the Founder/CEO of “3G Custom Gift Baskets”. Her philosophy is that “One should always practice Acts of Random Kindness” (ARK’s).
Dr. Kelley is a child of the highest God and resides in Southern CA.
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. “ (Matthew 19:26b, KJV.)