My Testimony:
I’m just a normal kid. I was raised in the 60’s and 70’s in a rural northeastern Ohio town called Middlefield. (Yes, that’s right – Middle . . . Field.) The only minorities we had in those days were the Amish! I didn’t realize I was different from my Amish friends until I was eight years old. The adults in town were all farmers or factory workers. The more sophisticated ones worked retail.

I believed I was a Christian by virtue of the fact that I was American and I wasn’t Jewish. My strong will and outspoken personality went from cute to exasperating as the years ticked by. Thus, I gave my parents fits!

I remember, when I was 10 years old, watching the riots at Kent State University on television. As I lay on my tummy on the plush carpet in my comfortable middle-class American home, I watched what would later be called the “May 4th Coalition” at which students were shot and killed during a Vietnam War protest. I turned to my mother and said in my normal hyper-child rapid fire speech, “Man! I wish I could be there and riot, too!” I knew NOTHING about Vietnam. That was my early recalcitrant personality.

Not surprisingly, a life of rebellious choices brought me into a violent marriage at the age of 18. (While shopping for white wedding shoes, I had to stop and upchuck beside the curb. Morning sickness will do that to you!)

More . . .

Very soon I had a beautiful baby girl named Angelica. 16 months later I had an adorable baby boy named Alexander.

We had a marriage of disparage. After growing weary of being slapped, choked and told I was worthless, I fled with my two toddlers. I lived for Satan, often considering suicide until I was 24 years old.

Facing the frustrations of single motherhood without knowing Jesus Christ, I fell to my knees at a women’s retreat in Columbus, Ohio. I asked Jesus to come into my heart – quietly and alone in the bathroom of my hotel room!

(And hey – guess what? I found myself never alone again! Even through stormy times God is there with me, assuring me that things will get better. Even when they seem impossible, they actually DO get better! It’s great! Christianity is really incredible!)

With the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within me, I sought the Lord with my whole being. In time, God graciously blessed me and my kids with a Godly man of integrity -- Jerry Stigliano, the handsome, single principal at my daughter’s Christian school. We were married in November of 1985 and have conquered the statistics that plague reconstituted families.
(DivorceMag.com quotes US Divorce statistics showing that in 1997 60% of remarriages ended in divorce.)

“They” Facts:
Desiring to serve Jesus as a couple, Jerry and Kelly have

  • helped on a medical mission trip to Jamaica
  • coached a Bible Quiz Team
  • hosted home cell groups
  • ministered through Christian schools – Jerry as Principal and Kelly in Development
  • led a single parent fellowship group in their home (Having both been single parents, we have a heart for people in that terrifying position.)
  • currently volunteer together for the Clay County Center for First Coast Women's Services

Pertinent Kelly Facts:

Pertinent Jerry Facts:

  • has three sons from a previous marriage – Todd, Seth and Joel
  • adopted Angel and Alex as his own
  • amazingly made it through the first, nearly unbearable, years with Kelly
  • thanks God for Kelly’s (albeit very S-L-O-W) transformation into a good wife
  • is the most supportive husband in the universe

Education (or the lack thereof):
Well, like all bored-with-life teenagers, college wasn’t too interesting to me. Keeping it real, I will just bluntly tell you that I went to the “School of Hard Knock-ups” instead of a traditional school of higher learning. Can I get a witness?

As a young mother in the early 80’s, I attended a modeling school in Cleveland, Ohio. Believing the lies that I was stupid and irrelevant, I was trying to cash in on what I felt was my only asset – my outward appearance. (I don’t regret this move because it kind of “citified” me. Now I know how to apply make-up perfectly for a disco dance club and can enter a room without slipping off my high heels. My parents are so proud!)

Upon becoming a single parent, I began to regain my self-esteem and realized I had more going on inside of my head than I had been told. So when my kids were toddlers I attended a business school in Cleveland, Ohio, receiving a certificate for secretarial studies. (That way I could better support my little trio.)

Through the years I have attended seminars and workshops for Christian School Development. In 2001 I attended CLASServices, honing my speaking and writing skills. A couple of correspondence courses in writing have augmented my reporting abilities.

So you see, like I said, I’m just a normal “whosoever”. God loves us normal “whosoevers” you know. The Bible is full of verses that say how much God forgives us and loves us - just as we are. We don’t have to be perfect to receive His unconditional love. Grab a Bible and read John 3:16. (You’ve seen that sign at the ball games forever. Haven’t you ever wondered what it meant?) Well, that’s you and me. We are “whosoevers”!

Now let me hear about you! E-mail me at kelly-at-kellystiglano.com





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