A story of Faith and healing with Mrs. Kelley Butler. She is a survivor and women full of faith that is sharing her story is to help someon else.
Name: Kelley Butler
Profession: Fraud Investigator Coordinator
College attended/Educational Information: University of Central Arkansas, 2003; BA in Psychology
Area of Study: Psychology (I love people and very interested in how people think in all situations)
Kelley Butler is married to Elder Marcus Butler and is the mother of three children, Jerimiah, T.J. and Kelis. Her husband Pastors Holy Trinity Church of God in Christ in Brinkley, AR. Kelley is the Fraud Investigator Coordinator for the Department of Human Services and is the founder of Blessed by Design Ministries. She was a Probation/Parole Officer for 8 years and before that she was a counselor of young girls at Youth Home Inc. On April 23, 2011, she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer and has vowed ever since to educate young women on breast cancer, the importance of early detection and finding the “new you” after hardship and adversity.
How do you describe yourself? I would say that I am very annoyingly positive. Lol. At least that is what I am told. I can’t help it. I must focus on the positive aspects of my life. It will bring me down if I do not. I am still a work in progress but if I truly had to describe myself in one word, it would be Conqueror. I really do believe that there is absolutely nothing that I cannot do if I really want to.
Discuss your successes in life or something you are very proud of?
I am very proud of my journey through breast cancer (among other things). I see so many people that have gone through the same situation as me but came out far worst or simply did not make it. I am also very proud of my journey to loving me. I am finally at a place in life that I have accepted the skin I am in; flaws and all. I am grateful for my career and how many times I have been denied for jobs, but those denials helped me to get to where I am now. But last but not least, I am EXTREMELY proud of my relationship with God. None of this would have happened without Him. He was there all the time.
What was the hardest thing that you had to deal with as a young female/ teenager growing up?
Growing up I had to deal with the inability to love myself. I did not like the way I looked. I was too skinny (not curvy enough), too tall, big feet, I wore glasses and I was more top heavy than bottom heavy. I was always looking at other girls wishing that I had their looks. That eventually led to me using other avenues to validate myself.
Did you have a lot of friends in school?
No. I thought I did but that was because I did not understand the meaning of friendship. I met my best friend for life in the 9th grade. We are still best friends to this day. People use the word “friend” very loosely these days. Everyone is not your friend. Friends WILL NOT get you into trouble. Friends WILL NOT use you to get what they want. Friends WILL NOT belittle you or make you feel bad on purpose. Friends WILL NOT turn their backs on you at your worst point. Understand friendships through God. He is the best friend anyone can ever have. I have gained more friends in my adult life now because I recognize the traits of good friends. You have to really get to know someone for them to receive that title.
Did you find making friends easy? Please elaborate with your answers.
I think I do make friends easily now due to my personality. It really started to bud in college. I didn’t realize how strong it was until I was exposed to different people in college. Before college, I was very shy and because people tended to find me the butt end of the joke, I would only expose myself to people that really knew me (family and best friend). I thought people were my friends, but I realized that they were my friends long enough to get what they wanted to get out of me. Friends are people that love you at your worst and tell you the truth, no matter how bad it may be. Not to hurt your feelings, but to make you better. You can tell the difference. People sometimes describe me now as the life of the party. At work, I am the one that makes everyone laugh and for the last ten years or so, people tend to seek me out confide in and get advice from.
How important are relationships with others?
They are very important. I believe that it is not wise to go through life alone. You need people you can truly be yourself around (flaws and all) and you need people that you look up to that will hold you accountable for your goals and mistakes.
How important is your relationship with God in your everyday life?
Without God, I am NOTHING!! He is the reason that I live, move and have my being. And to be honest, this journey to loving me and accepting me started when I chose Him to be my ultimate leader. He is the reason I am what I am today.
If you had the opportunity to speak to a group of young females/teenagers what would like to say to them?
Seek God first. Learn the Word of God because that is the way to fight the biggest war of all…your mind. Your thoughts are will either give you life or kill you. It should never matter how others see you if you are following God. Do not seek to be popular; seek to be an inspirer or encourager. Never settle for mediocre; not from others and definitely not from yourself. I would be much farther in life had I been taught to having a spirit of excellence early on. Do not conform to other people and how they live and think. Be yourself. God made you perfectly and believe me, someone will love your thoughts and personality (Romans 12:1-2). Seek wisdom through the Word of God. It will show you how to communicate and how to interact with people that do not believe the way you do.
How did you decide what you wanted to do in life and what had the biggest impact in the decision that you made (i.e. parents, faith, family, siblings etc….)
I remember driving down Asher and University in Little Rock, AR about six years ago and I asked God what was my purpose in life. He simply spoke these words, “what do you think about doing everyday?” At this point in my life, the only thing I really thought about was speaking and teaching. I wanted to help and inspire people (especially females). I really did not know where to begin, but when I got diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2011, that started it all. I started writing and speaking and encouraging women every chance I got. I had always been an encourager, but now I had a powerful testimony of how God can really change you and how you can use negative things in your life to help someone else. That is why I want to go back to school.
What would you say was one of the barriers to accomplishing your goals in life?
Myself. I was the reason why I did not do what I wanted to do. My thoughts kept me from speaking. My thoughts kept me from pursuing God and love. My thoughts kept me from being a better person. My fear of what others would think and what others would say about my new found life (because they would remember me most from my past), kept me from moving forward in life. My faith and my transformation of how I think now has given me favor and has opened doors that not man can close. My thoughts about myself have changed for the better. And because I am no longer focused on other people, people now notice me. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. And now that I know what God can do…there is nothing that I can’t do.
A fair amount of unhappiness and pressure results from media– which presents images that tend to portray a narrow standard of beauty.
According to a 2010 study 5:
81 percent of girls would rather see “real” or “natural” photos of models than touched-up, airbrushed versions, yet 47 percent say fashion magazines give them a body image to strive for.
63 percent of girls think the body image represented by the fashion industry is unrealistic and 47 percent think it is unhealthy, yet 60 percent say that they compare their bodies to fashion models, 48 percent wish they were as skinny as the models in fashion magazines, and 31 percent of girls admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight.
In short, girls see images that – despite recognizing as unrealistic, unattainable, and often not even real – they aspire to meet and then suffer when they can’t help but fail to do so.
* retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/girls/html/issues/issues.shtml
Remember what ever your story there is purpose in your journey!
Song of Solomon 4:7 #Beyou God made you Beautiful!
Mak sure you share this interview with someone else.
Much Love, Nora