Yancey Snavely is a native of Atlanta, GA where she balances her time among her career, family and passion for God. A proud wife, mother, daughter, sister, step-mother and ex-wife, Yancey understands the daily challenges of putting God first in her life. As a result of her life experiences, Yancey was inspired to establish her business Key Chain Verses and Everlasting Choice as a way to share God’s love and peace through her publications and unique personalized Key Chain Verses gifts. Yancey began her career as a high school teacher in Smyrna, GA and was the recipient of the coveted Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award in the second year of her career. For the past several years, she has authored multiple Bible studies and has been a guest speaker on topics of Faith, Marriage, Parenting, and Divorce. Yancey has taught hundreds of women out of her home and through the church. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and The Lovett School in Atlanta.
We all have a story. It makes us who we are. What is my story? Good question. Simply put – I am a woman grateful for my pain. Does this statement surprise you? I wouldn’t blame you if it does. Even though the struggles we experience are supposed to be endured, put in the past and quickly forgotten, I know that they leave wounds on our hearts and wrinkles on our foreheads. But they can also having a lasting effect on who we are – and in a good way. I feel that I have been given the greatest gift to go through something very painful – because of what it did to my heart, to my perspective and most importantly, to my relationship with God. I know that you also have a story. Your pain may be even greater than anything I could ever imagine. Or maybe you are trucking along fine, with God exactly where you want Him to be. Or maybe you aren’t convinced there is anything beyond this life or anyone to believe in… Either way, you may not know it yet, but you need God. However we find Him, He was already there waiting for us.
I am a woman who grew up with my brother in a loving home with Christ-following parents who treasured us and taught us the promises of God. I knew I was pretty lucky. My childhood was relatively carefree and untroubled, but I never understood how fortunate I actually was until I grew up and things just didn’t turn out quite the same way for me.
Starting my life as an adult, I felt that I could accomplish everything I wanted and believed that I could create the perfect life that I had always dreamed of. If there was a problem, I felt I had the solution. And, honestly, life started out exactly as I pictured it – marriage, two kids, nice home, and a bright future for us. But when at the age of 38, I found myself dealing with my husband’s two lengthy, very public affairs, the foreclosure of my home, and a painful divorce, I could not have been farther from my planned life of perfection that I had always imagined. How did I get here? What does my future hold? Embracing bitterness and hatred seemed natural. Although I had followed God all my life, I found it was easy to slip into these destructive emotions. But day after day I realized that it was making me sick. My anger, resentment, and feelings of hopelessness were destroying my peace. My joy was robbed every day with my desire for revenge. Not only that, but I looked at my two children and knew deep down that they deserved better. Through God’s help, a lot of therapy, many a morning crying on the kitchen floor… I decided to choose a different path – God’s path of forgiveness.
Although it has not always been easy, I am in a different place now – free from that resentment. My ex-husband or Was-band as I prefer to call him now, is a better father than he has ever been. We are great friends, we strive to co-parent successfully so that our kids will see two parents who work together and put them first. I am now remarried to a wonderful, kind husband who has three of the cutest, sweetest blonde boys you have ever met. Our life is crazy sometimes with five kids and a stubborn basset hound, but I feel so blessed for all the laughter and energy that permeates throughout our home.
When I look back on my life I clearly see how my choices affected me. Choosing to follow God’s Word has made all the difference. I have learned to make God a part of all decisions; I have learned that pursuing things and the “right everything” will only leave you with emptiness. Starting my day in prayer is the best decision I ever made. Choosing to forgive opened the door to so much happiness with my children and as a result, I have a great friend in my ex-husband who helps me so much. In fact, he was the one who helped me start KCV and now has designed this beautiful website. I asked him once why he did all this for me and he said that he wanted to turn the bad he did into something good.
So, I am, indeed, a woman grateful for my pain. Even though our struggles can bring us to our knees and make us feel lost, God asks us to embrace them, to be thankful for them, and to learn from them. I know that they imprint their indelible mark on our souls, angry red scars that remind us of our journey. But they can also shape us into the person God wants us to be. I am grateful for my pain because the difficulties I have experienced have taken me to a special place. A place where I know that God loves me, where I feel Him working in my life, where I believe that following the Word is the key to joy and peace, where I trust in the power of forgiveness and where I am certain that my Heavenly Father will never leave me or let me down. If you had asked me if I realized and believed these principles when I was younger, I am sure that I would have said yes; but, I now know that I wasn’t convinced of what I knew, what I felt, what I believed, what I trusted or of what I am certain – until now. And this, my friends, is what I want to share with you. I look forward to sharing my life experience and those of people who have suffered far worse, but have persevered with Christ, with the hopes that you might experience the same love from our Savior that I have. For you to know, with unshakeable confidence that your Lord is here for you, always…