Maria Kelly was one of eleven children, born to Dutch parents in Paraguay, South America, and immigrated to the United States in 1964. She has been married 47 years, has three adult children and eight grandchildren, and currently resides with her husband, Bill, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
She was a stay-at-home mom until her children were in High School, then enrolled in Kennesaw State College, Georgia for an undergraduate degree in Psychology, graduated with a Masters in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola College, Maryland, and was licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado. She shared a private practice and provided Christian Counseling in a variety of settings.
In her years as a Christian, she has been actively involved in teaching VBS, Sunday School, Women’s Bible Studies and Retreats, Christian Music Ministry, and Worship Leader. Attending, primarily, conservative Christian Churches, she struggled to live the fruitful life she read about in Scripture, and observed this struggle in many of those to whom she ministered.
During a difficult time in her life, she felt abandoned by God. In the midst of this trial she experienced a deeply spiritual encounter with Christ, which God used in her life to give her a new understanding of Jesus’ life and words. She learned to hear, know, and follow His voice (John 10:27) with joy, through blessed and difficult times. From these experiences, she felt led by God to write this book, sharing her experiences and the teaching received on the “abiding life” in Christ. Maria has used many of these Scriptural principles in teaching women in her small study group, and trusts God can use it as a source of Christian growth, encouragement, and fruitfulness for individuals and small groups.