Kelita's Story of Hope
Some of you may find my life to be not much unlike your own. Some of you are carrying hurts and emotional scars that are cut deep. My story is one of hope; hope that could be yours. I have been through heartache, loss, pain and abuse; however I've also experienced miracles, peace of mind, joy, forgiveness and enormous healing. For years I hid behind the masks that veiled the deep dark secrets of my life, riddled by shame, guilt, fear and self doubt.
As far back as I can remember the desire to sing and perform was there. Deeply wounded after my father's suicide I wrote my first song when I was 11, instinctively acknowledging this very special gift from God. Then at age 14, shortly before my mother's death from cancer I solidified my commitment to my faith. Two years later my half brother, the perpetrator of my childhood sexual abuse, died from a heroin overdose. At 18, escaping the clutches of my wicked stepfather and dysfunctional family I moved 2,200 miles away.
Music and acting were a positive escape for me. They fed my soul and I took pleasure in the attention, applause, and laughter. My self worth completely hinged on pleasing others, including my first husband, who was even more insecure than me. Never living up to those expectations, for years, I ran from others, myself and God. Deceit, drugs, alcohol and sex numbed my misery and filled the emptiness; all the while diligently continuing the climb to music success.
Emotionally, mentally and spiritually bankrupt, hauling myself out of a ditch at 4 am one morning after a near fatal automobile accident, I had an epiphany. Inner strength and courage overcame me in the following days as I finally faced my own truth. I knew I had been saved by a greater power and that my new path and journey of healing and recovery would be directed by God. My marriage of 10 years ended, as did my dream of a US recording contract, however, I was, for the first time in my life in the best place possible. I found that facing the truth was the hardest thing I had ever had to do but the freedom that followed was nothing short of life changing and life giving.
While pulling my messy life together I remarried, had a child and began a new career directed towards encouraging and inspiring people through my music, story and comedy. Double betrayal was the next card dealt to me, as early in the marriage, while still a new mother, I faced the despair of an unfaithful spouse and a good friend. Even when my whole existence was challenged like never before, my determination and faith gave me the strength and belief to overcome a heart wrenching experience. My husband and I fought to find a deeper love, one of forgiveness and renewed commitment. Happily married today, I am so grateful for the miracle that took place in my marriage.
Even in the midst of great healing, I lost my younger sister to a car accident and a brother to a drowning accident. My music, my comedy and my passion for people continues to bring me before audiences, reminding me that we are NOT alone. We are all forging our way through the brokenness of life and we desperately need to share our stories and our struggles with one another. We need to hold onto our faith in humanity and more importantly to our hope in God!
The expression of our deepest needs, longings and hurts can sometimes only be felt in a line of music or a word in a song. All these experiences and those that spring forth today continue to write the music of my life, of your life and others just like us. I am truly blessed by people who feel that my music has contributed to their healing and recovery. Some say the songs resonate with their soul, have given them hope through adversity and gradually have helped heal the emotional scars. It is a wonderful gift from God that I feel privileged to share.
I hope that you will discover the music that you need to hear and then share it with those that desire to hear it as well. You will find CDs in my store. The words to the songs and stories behind the songs are in the Music section.
Child Exploitation in Cambodia
GOD BREAK MY HEART. That was my simple pray.
It all started one day, very innocently, while I was working out at the gym on the elliptical. Working away I began to watch a program on the TV. It was a Christian program. At my gym? That in itself was a small miracle. As I watched I realized it was one another one of “those’ programs. You know, the ones where you want to change the channel because you truly don’t want to see or hear what they’re talking about.
This was different. I was being drawn in. I started listening closely and began hearing the shocking truths about the child sex trade in Cambodia. I watched and listened with horror, and disgust. I saw little children standing in their nighties who were living in dimly lit rat and feces infested rooms. Little girls as young as 5 years old who were being tortured, drugged and raped ,as many as 20 times a day. My heart completely shattered. I wanted nothing more than to reach inside that TV and bring each child out to safety, simply hold them and let them know they were loved. I thought - somebody has to do something. This time was different! I knew that I could no longer sit back and watch.
I was compelled to take action against the evil that God had allowed me to see. The drive in me was powerful and the vision so strong that nine months later I was in Cambodia meeting 16 of the most beautiful girls ages 9-17, all who had been rescued from some of the worst kinds of evil imaginable. Some of these children had literally been raped 1000's of times. After looking in to the faces of these girls I knew that I could be somebody who could help them - that I would be a voice for them. This was God’s heart and His heart was breaking…and so was mine. He had answered my prayer in a way that I could never have imagined.
"Heavenly Night" was the advocacy and fundraising initiative that I directed from in 2006 - 2012. With the help from a number of amazing individuals who also wanted to make a difference and rescue some of the precious souls from this injustice, we saw many of our dreams and goals come to fruition. Through our fundraising efforts by way of the "Heavenly Night" Christmas CD, DVD and concerts we assisted many Cambodian girls with healing and the hope of a new life. Over a five year period we were able to send over $250,000 by partnering with Ratanak International.
We also learned that when our compassion, vision and determination are focused on those less fortunate we in turn are expectant of our own healing and restoration. Undeniably we are responsible for helping to change the lives of those who are waiting to be rescued from this atrocity. Getting involved with this cause changed my life in profound ways. What a gift is has been to help these young children.
To learn more and to make a donation please visit Ratanak International. They are truly one of the most incredible organizations under the leadership of Brian McConaghy.
If you would like you can also contribute by purchasing the "Heavenly Night " Christmas CD.PURCHASE THE CD HERE