Home dating/courtship My Story: What the Locusts Have Eaten

My Story: What the Locusts Have Eaten

by Kelly Crawford

 “Grace, Grace, God’s grace….grace that is greater than all my sin.”

Twenty-one years old, still rebellious and lost.

Upon several requests, I thought I would tell our story about our journey into homeschooling and other related issues. As I’ve mentioned before, I first heard of a real homeschooling family when we moved to our current home and a neighbor homeschooled their four children. They were wonderful people, but even then, in my “wise” teen years, I thought I knew everything, including the fact that these people were ruining their children.


Fast forward:

I lived a total life of rebellion starting as soon as my parents placed me in public school in the 8th grade (upon my firm insistence), the place where I assured them, with all the power of of my strong will, I was going to “evangelize.”

I was quickly desensitized to the garbage around me, and 13 years of my Christian upbringing was laid quietly on the shelf.



Looks can be deceiving. I was a smiling Homecoming Queen on the outside, and an angry, broken, compromised child on the inside.

I dated regularly in high school, hanging out at friends’ houses with boys before my parents would actually let me go out, and getting special permission for an early date to a ballgame a few months short of my 15th birthday. That’s the day I lost my virginity.

Engaged before I graduated high school, then going through 3 or 4 more serious break ups that felt like small divorces, I entered the party scene mid-college, and found myself pregnant at 20 by a man-boy who didn’t bargain for a family.

Raising a baby as a single young woman, I managed to work and graduate from college a fairly stark feminist.

I graduated magna cum laude and learned very little except that life is all about me.

By God’s grace, I met a wonderful man (we were both working at a restaurant), actually while I was engaged to another employee there (and when I say God’s grace, you have no idea what he saved me from, and the kinds of guys I almost married several times before meeting my husband). Both my husband and I were saved, or for me “returned” to my faith shortly before we married. I had a 4-year old little girl and a whole lot of baggage from my past. But we were walking in the right direction and I cannot express enough how I believe God was working in our lives.

I got a job teaching high school English about a year after we were married, and we enrolled my daughter–for free–into a Christian, private school. The only nagging problem was that I would have a 5-month old son by the time school started. But, everyone else dealt with it, and so would I.

To be honest, I can’t remember the exact sequence of events that started our train of thought toward homeschooling. I do know that for both of us, we were highly concerned with helping our children avoid the dating pitfalls we had fallen into, and we began a chain-reaction of thinking concerning that one issue.

“If that lifestyle is normal to them, we will never convince them of anything else.” (I had attended a wedding of the homeschool children we knew who had never recreationally dated and it had a deep impression on me.)

At the same time, we were dealing with major behavioral problems with my son, and we felt, deep down, that it was his sporadic schedule and not enough time from me.

We decided to talk to a few people we knew who were homeschooling (we still thought they were all a little weird, and a friend loaned us “The Basic Homeschooling Workshop” by Greg Harris.

That message was a major turning point in our decision. We both simultaneously felt homeschooling would be the right thing to do, as scary as it felt.

At the same time, the Lord was moving my heart closer and closer to home, and making me more miserable every time I had to leave my son behind.

I remember walking down to my boss’ office one day crying. “I can’t do this anymore.” My husband asked me to finish out the year, but we knew after that we were an official homeschooling family.

What’s interesting is that it didn’t make sense for me to quit work financially, but we truly didn’t think much about it. Once you know something to be right in your heart, you push through the fire to do it!

Little did I know that the leap of faith to literally slash our already too-little income would work out to my having my dream job (other than the dream of being at home with my family)–writing, speaking, encouraging women and running a business from home!

Of course, once you take a step in that direction, it kind of snowballs from there, and more and more light is revealed. We delve deeper into the idea of rejecting the recreational model of dating and it totally met our spirits with peace.

A little farther down the road the idea that children are a gift kept pressing on our hearts and we couldn’t shake it. Eleven children later, I’m glad.

Looking back, I can’t imagine anything else. I can hardly imagine the way my life used to be. The relationships we have forged with our children from our lives being intertwined daily is irreplaceable. Academically, they are leaps and bounds ahead of where I was. I am being educated all over again.

When I consider all the joy our later-born children are, and how we could have so easily refused them, I become more and more thankful that the Lord turned our hearts.

When I see my daughter glow as she talks of the excitement she anticipates as she gives all of her heart to her husband one day, I can hardly believe the Lord has been so gracious to spare her from the diametrically opposite attitude I had toward boys. (Update: she did give all her heart to that husband and is head over heels in love.) By her age, I was neck deep in marriage-like relationships with boys who now are complete strangers to me.

Spiritually, we have the opportunity to teach our children the things of God as we walk by the way, lie down at night, when we rise up, and sitting in the house. That alone would be enough to do it all over again.

We have so much to learn still! We’re just very ordinary parents with all sorts of shortcomings, problems and things to work through. But one of my passions in life is to share this incredible experience with as many other parents as possible, extending hope to Christian families that they don’t have to give their children up to the destructive vices of the world.

“There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end are the ways of death.”

But “faithful is He who called you, who also will do it!”

To answer the question of talking to husbands about homeschooling, I am an advocate of sharing your heart and sharing any information you can find that would inform your husband in a positive way. Godly submission does not exclude sharing your heart, stating your concerns and beliefs. There are great books, on-line resources and audio messages that can have a huge impact and cause someone to think about things in a very different light.

As I mentioned, Greg Harris’ series was great; very balanced and informative, and convincing.

And most of all, fervent prayer that God would move his heart and direct him.

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Kim M. January 29, 2009 - 11:32 am

And what a beautiful story! I found myself relating to different parts…especially the uncertainties. Thank you for sharing!

Kim M. January 29, 2009 - 11:34 am

P.S. I enjoyed the pictures too!

Kelly January 29, 2009 - 11:35 am

How awesome our Ransom is! It is always great to hear another story of how God redeems those who accept His redemption. Thank you for sharing yours!

Mrs. June Fuentes January 29, 2009 - 11:39 am

I am so grateful to see true and bold testimonies for Jesus Christ!

We all need to be bolder about sharing what the Lord has saved us from.

My story is something I would like to share one day, I am sure many will be stunned…and hearing your story helps many others, including myself, to do so.

Thanks for taking the time to write this out, many will be blessed…

Brenda January 29, 2009 - 11:57 am

Thank you for sharing your story Kelly! What a great testimony to the changes the Lord can make in lives, hearts, whole families!

And you haven’t aged a bit.

mrshester January 29, 2009 - 11:59 am

What a wonderful encouragement for what may be in the future for my husband and I. I never knew you had that kind of past (that sounds horrible but I truly don’t mean for it to), but to know now what you have both over come, as a couple is really moving to me. Your family is such an encouragement to my heart, I can’t even express it. There is hope for me!lol

Thank you for what you do, Mrs. Kelly. Thank you for sharing yourself with the rest of us.

Civilla January 29, 2009 - 12:42 pm

Thank you so much for sharing that, Kelly. It was a truly amazing story. Strong-willed people are strong for God when they are turned around to the right way. We have a God who is powerful enough to make good come out of evil if we co-operate with Him.

We are hoping for the same with one of our sons.

Quinn January 29, 2009 - 1:18 pm

I think that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine did some really great articles in this issue (winter) about why a Christian must homeschool. In the fall issue, they have a how to start homeschooling article. It’s available online at their website in the bottom left hand corner.


Gombojav Tribe January 29, 2009 - 1:32 pm

Thank you for your openness, Kelly! Isn’t it lovely how God makes beauty from ashes?!

Catherine R. January 29, 2009 - 1:35 pm

If you don’t mind me asking, Kelly, what has happened with your oldest daughter’s dad? If I am following the story correctly she has a different dad?

Word Warrior January 29, 2009 - 1:54 pm

Catherine R.,

He left the scene shortly after I discovered I was expecting. Though difficult then, I am constantly filled with gratitude that she is not torn between two families…especially since he had no Christian background at all, and I feel is probably still living a very perverse life. In my wildest dreams I can’t imagine being forced to “share” her with a lifestyle like that.

Word Warrior January 29, 2009 - 1:55 pm

I should add, Aaron picked right up and is a wonderful father to her. Again, God’s grace in full motion.

Mrs. Lady Sofia January 29, 2009 - 1:58 pm

You are a brave woman to share such a personal testimony here in the Blog Land sphere, but I feel it’s a testimony that many need to hear. So often in Blog Land when women visit the sites of other women, it can easily be taken for granted that their lives have always been “blessed,” but little do we know, for we are unaware of past trials they may have faced to get to where they are today.

I am glad that you shared you testimony. My husband and I are currently in a “tricky” transition of having me become a SAHW (stay at home wife) when my current job ends in June 2009. It’s what we both want and have prayed for, but just like you stated in your testimony, those feminist view points don’t go away easily, and only through the grace of God can you do HIS will.

Also, I’m in a similar position that you were in years ago – about where you mentioned that it didn’t make sense for you to leave your job financially, but in your heart, you knew you were doing the right thing. Technically, I could get another job but why, since God’s greatest calling to women is being in the home.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your testimony, and like someone else said, you haven’t aged a bit! In fact, when I saw the first picture of yourself, I thought it was you NOW and I was wondering, “If she is pregnant, why isn’t she showing?” Then I saw underneath the photograph that it was you at 21 years old. LOL.

Misty Smith January 29, 2009 - 3:32 pm

Oh, Kelly! My heart cries out with joy the our Lord has done such a work in our lives!!! Wow, my life is very similar to yours. I talked my parents into letting me attend public school. Yes, I could insert my picture into your story and only have to make a few minor changes. I can remember the angry spirit that I had as a lost and out-of-control teen– all of the baggage that I accumulated.

God has been so good to us! There are still many who are living in the bondage who need to be liberated. I pray that they see this, and accept the liberty of Jesus Christ without wasting a minute!


Jeanette in WA January 29, 2009 - 4:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your story and your life with us Kelly. I am grateful.

Deanna January 29, 2009 - 4:15 pm

Hello Kelly,

Thank you for sharing your homeschooling story with pictures.

Very new at this blogging thing, but having fun learning the ropes.

I haven’t gone back through your archives, so I don’t know if you have written any about not having sexual relations before marriage and why this is so wrong?

Why God counsels us to avoid sexual immorality?

If you haven’t…perhaps you will share the struggles that come from being rebellious and ignoring godly counsel concerning sexual intimacy.

Thank you for blogging and being candid about many things. So many are blessed by your blog.


Stephanie January 29, 2009 - 4:19 pm

All I can say is Glory be to God. He has brought you through so much! I am SO thankful that my husband fully supports the decision to homeschool. We were both homeschooled and wouldn’t do anything else! I can’t wait!

Civilla January 29, 2009 - 4:25 pm

Many of us need a “hit up-side the head” experience before we come to our senses. This has recently happened to our son who has come to his senses and is back in church. I pray he will one day do great things for the Lord, as you are doing.

Word Warrior January 29, 2009 - 4:41 pm


I don’t know that I’ve done a post on this topic before, but perhaps it would be a helpful post.

Word Warrior January 29, 2009 - 4:43 pm


Since you are on the parent-end of this, I’m sure you have lots of insight! My parents were deeply grieved for years and spend hours in heavy prayer for me.

“Back then”, there wasn’t much about homeschooling but they have said if they knew then what they do now, they would homeschool.

Catherine R. January 29, 2009 - 5:03 pm

That is wonderful about your husband picking up the dad role. Step parent situations can sometimes be very strained.

It seems like in this case it is more of a blessing that the biological dad is not involved. Sometimes the potential for a big mess is too great.

Thank you for sharing a good example of God’s “make-over” skills : )

Jen in Al January 29, 2009 - 6:52 pm

what a precious, beautiful testimony of the Lord’s love and grace your life is!!! your family is an incredible blessing! We are so thankful to call you “family” in Christ. Thank you for your transparency and humbleness. The fruit of the Spirit is very obvious in your life! blessings, jen in al

rixja January 29, 2009 - 8:31 pm

Oh, Kelly, thanks for opening so much of your heart and life to help and encourage others. I tend to forget that we *all* have pains and sufferings and that if we allow and trust the Lord to use it for our good, He will refine us and make us more like Him. You allow Him to shine through you so very often and so very courageously. You have a beautiful family and I am thankful that He has blessed you so abundantly and in so many different ways.

videogirl25 January 29, 2009 - 9:09 pm

Kelly, thank you for your post, it is very inspiring. I can’t get over how much you look like you did back then. wow you literally have not aged a second. well done girl!

Michelle (She Looketh Well) January 29, 2009 - 10:09 pm

Kelly, Thank you for sharing your beautiful tale of redemption. It is uncanny how incredibly similar our stories are. I long to have the time to write my/our story, simply because it is so precious and beautiful. God’s sovereign hand and amazing grace is evident all throughout it. It brings me to tears and to my knees.

To be blessed so abundantly with an amazing marriage, many godly seed (though one has strayed and will come back)and a desire (that I believe God puts there) to serve Him with everything I am…how can it be that He loves me so??

I find myself asking “what did I do to deserve this”, I am reminded, it is GRACE, I did nothing to deserve it…Jesus did it all.

Amazed by His Grace,

MrsFranklin January 30, 2009 - 6:55 am

What I love about this post is that it proves that we dont all come from the same background and same mold. So many blogs would have you believe that they never missed a step and everything in their lives are picture perfect.

Your post touches so many because family dynamics arent always the “traditional” way anymore.

God’s grace is so amazing because he takes you as you are where you are and grows you, stretches you and increases you.

Thank you for such a candid and inspiring post. We have so much in common!

Bethany Hudson January 30, 2009 - 11:51 am

Thank you for sharing, Kelli!

simplebeauty January 30, 2009 - 2:02 pm


Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a single mother. I married a man who was and still is very much a man who follows the world. He left when my little girl was nine months old. It is nice to hear stories of God’s redeeming power at work in other peoples lives, and to see how he got you through it.

I still have a lot of challenges with my little girls father, and I often pray that a day will come when he will willing give up his rights to her so we can live in peace. I do know that God is a mighty God and that he loves my little girl and I.

Thank you again for sharing your story and giving a tired working mom a glimmer of hope.

aka simplebeauty

PS My greatest desire is to “court” my Boaz who will become my husband and allow me to stay at home with my daughter and many more little darlings :O)

Civilla January 30, 2009 - 2:16 pm

I am very proud of my son and how he has allowed the Holy Spirit to work in his heart and come back to Christ. He goes to church regularly now and works hard. He has become a man.

His maturity now astounds me. He refuses to allow me or my husband to take one bit of blame for his former waywardness. “This is 100% my fault, because I wanted this.” He said, “It is not your fault, it is not the public school’s fault, it is not the other kids’ fault…it is my fault.”

I think, Kelly, that I WANT it to be my fault. I WANT to think that it was because I made all the wrong decisions (never mind that we prayed about every decision). Anything but face the fact that my son has a fallen nature.

James 1:14 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

NO! Not my baby! I don’t want to face the truth that when I gave birth to him, I brought a human being with a fallen nature into the world. I would rather take the blame for any wrong that he has done. I love my child so much. Blame me, Lord! Not my child! I’ll take the punishment.

But, we are all fallen, and while people/places/things are an INFLUENCE for good or bad, they are not the CAUSE. WE are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed, we must take the final blame after all the explanations and excuses have been made, and only Jesus Christ can take the punishment for our sins.

Now, of course, I am NOT saying that we shouldn’t make every effort to put good influences before our children. That is our parental duty. It gives our children a good foundation to come back to, should they, God forbid, stray. Don’t ever say, “What’s the use…it doesn’t matter.”

My son assures me that he would not have allowed me to homeschool him, and if I had tried, he would have run away from home many years ago, and been out on the streets at 15. Because we tried to make life as ordinary as possible for him (he was a hard-headed, unusual child) and put all the restraints on him that we could, he stuck around until he was 20, and of age.

So, if I had it to do over again, I would make the same choices that I did. You can’t tighten up enough on some young people; some of them simply have to “get things out of their systems” and “beat themselves up” before they fully submit to God. I’m afraid I’ve been there, too. Why should my child be any different? He takes after me!

To assume that, if we put our children in a perfect environment, they won’t “mess up” is to assume from the start that “humans are basically good.” That is what “the liberals” think, and they are wrong. Humans are born with a sinful nature. We are “basically evil.”

Who knows what you would have done if things had been different in your life, Kelly? Be thankful that you got this stuff out of your system when you were young. You see too many older people “having a mid-life” and TOTALLY wrecking their lives. Yes, you have regrets, as do we all, but you haven’t wrecked your life.

You seem like a hard-headed individual, Kelly, and now you are using it for the Lord.

However, I concede that now, 20 years later, as things have gone further and further downhill in the schools, etc., to where they are not even safe any more, in areas of the country other than where I am blessed to live, I would certainly look into homeschooling seriously, since I now know that it can be “relaxed” and not a gung-ho clone of a regular public or private school.

Sorry this was such a book.

Leslie January 30, 2009 - 9:13 pm

Oh Kelly……now I treasure your friendship even more! (even tho’ it is only through the blog world!)

I have said so many times that I would love to know her story of how the LORD “turned her heart of stone to a heart of flesh!”

Thanks for being transparent enough to allow an e-friendship that glorifies the LORD for so many!

Kim from Canada January 30, 2009 - 10:50 pm

Wonderful testimony! It is always encouraging to know that the blog writers I visit aren’t “perfect”. Thank you for sharing so openly.

Claudia October 6, 2015 - 12:32 am

Oh Kelly…how did i ever miss this precious story of trading ashes for beauty and of God’s amazing grace! My story is similar in many ways, but I have not shared it on such a public forum. You are proof of the Truth that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony!! Just so want to give you a hug for allowing the Lord to use you! Your story affirms boundaries we have set for our sons that are rarely popular with others (though they actually handle it well). And your parent’s continual and steadfast prayer…clearly part of your return to the Lord…and also an encouragement to press on in prayer! Thank you!! ((hugs))

Kelly Crawford October 6, 2015 - 12:48 pm


Thank you so much. You will never know how much I needed your words of encouragement today.

6 arrows October 6, 2015 - 9:32 pm

Wow, I’m not sure how I ended up on this page today — OK, I do know; God brought me here — but am so glad I saw your comments, Claudia and Kelly. Prayers for both of you dear ladies, and praise to God for how He works in our lives!

Blessings and peace to you both.

Marie June 15, 2016 - 11:31 am

I ended up here today because, well, actually I went looking for it out of sheer nosiness. I received your post in my email and clicked over to it. For some reason, I remembered that somewhere along the line I saw a blurb on the web that your oldest daughter was from a previous relationship. Of course the awful blog that I found it on painted you as a backwards, simpleton, hypocrite, who is screwing up her kids. I was so happy to find your story in your own words. All I can think is that some people just have a whole lot of venom! It was clear from your testimony that you admit you had a wild, sinful past…learned from it…and went on to do your best to learn and act out your faith, and to shield your children from those sort of former mistakes and damaging situations. Does it make one a hypocrite to raise their kids differently than they were??

Truthfully, I am a very lapsed Catholic, and certainly not a Fundamentalist. I’m pretty sure there are items of dogma and faith on which we would disagree…but it certainly doesn’t upset me that you are teaching your own children the values and truths which you believe to be the absolute most correct. I don’t know how you continually open yourself up to the brutal scorn and ridicule that is out there, BUT I’m glad that you do. I really appreciate your blog and have gathered much to ponder and emulate over the years.

My only concern with your blog is that lately you seem to be bending over backwards to make sure everyone knows that YOU know that you’re not perfect and that you’re not claiming to be. I appreciate the truth, depth, and reality of many of your posts, but please don’t feel like you have to include that disclaimer with everything you write. I doubt that anyone who reads your blog with the right intention is looking to call you out on your “imperfections.” Love to read about some of your current victories and ideal moments 🙂

Wishing you continued strength for the journey,

Kelly Crawford June 15, 2016 - 1:14 pm


Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this comment. Because it gives me hope that people still have discernment, don’t take everything at face value without seeking truth, and have the eyes to see things for what they are.

Yes, I have haters. The way I deal with it is I don’t read it anymore. It’s not productive to read lies, especially when they are about you, and especially when they are so vicious. If others read it and believe it, then they are ignorant and undiscerning.

I also love your encouragement to share some victories. Yes, I probably let all that I know is out there affect how/what I write more than I should. But I also have been through a long, dark time and usually I just write from where I am, and consequently, it resonates well with others.

BUT, I do not believe in staying in the place of defeat (thus today’s post) and I think there too many blogs out there now allowing women to feel good about their shortcomings.

But, again I so appreciate your words and that you took the time to share them. Many blessings to you!


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