Shelly Rozzel Clark, [Remember that name] her personality is infectious kind of like a sweet smelling flower when the fragrance takes over a room in a lively and rich way. Even in the face of adversity, she giggles and smiles luminously without reason. She’s not bashful at all. This nature, this self-love and awareness is a blueprint of places she’s been, and the roadmap to her new beginnings. Shelly’s gone through a lot. She’s been through some situations— Some heavy stuff— It's the juice and seasonings that gossip blogs are marinated with. It’s also the testimony that allowed her to pen her first paperback called Beyond the Cracks: Finding God’s Grace and Mercy.
The brilliantly written book is a devout manuscript that takes readers through the trial and errors of Shelly’s life, with provisional references from the bible serving as an aide. Whether you’re on a spiritual walk or you’re a Christian, this book is certainly a poignant read. In fact, it’s a must read—When you talk about FIGHTING through, this book explains that in profound transparency.
“I feel like it’s an inspirational workbook on encouragement, and hopefully it inspires people to come out of the dark place that they find themselves in just to reach out for help. God will never leave you. He didn’t bring any of us this far to leave us. If you are alive and breathing, you have a purpose in the earth. In this age of social media, it’s amazing that many of us are still lonely. We find our importance in the number of likes and the number of views on Instagram and Facebook. Sometimes, you don’t know the impact of what you’re doing. It might be that one person that you interact with at Starbucks, or that one person you speak to on the way to the job. How do you measure success? How do you measure your effectiveness?"
Along with that manifestation that she pointed out, Shelly suggests a chapter from the book entitled “When All Hell Breaks Loose.”
“When all hell breaks loose, press-on. That’s the only thing you can do. You got two choices and really only one. "Are you going to sink or are you going to swim? Are you going to live or are you going to die?” Shelly asked the rhetoric quite calmly.
‘I think that chapter speaks to me the most because we find ourselves in situations when all hell really has broken loose. Whether you’re the cause or it’s something that’s imposed upon you, [the question you should ask yourself is] how do I get from where I am, to where I need to be? There’s no magic to it, you just need to keep pressing. In the book, I give unique steps because if you don’t make it life applicable, then the book is just words. Press-on, it actually means “pray, repent, have expectation, surrender and speak.”
Passage from When All Hell Breaks Loose: “Friends become foes and allies become enemies. It didn’t seem to matter that I covered their secrets and sins in prayer. I went from the top of the mountain to the lower depths of the valley in no time flat...”
Shelly is a native of Bluefield West Virginia, and that’s where she lived before moving to Charlotte, NC some years ago. While in the small town of VA, Shelly was loved by the community. She was a business woman on top of her game. She had everything going for her. Then, something happened, something so scandalous and timely, that it ruined her reputation and pushed her into depression. This took Shelly to a dark place where sanity and mental health, her mental health was tested at every turn… but GOD! Shelly’s testimony, and swirly differences, they helped to shape her character in the now. These blustery distinctions and life experiences carved out this poised woman of God for who she is today. Her personality is a undeviating footnote of her struggles, her breakthrough, and her arrival from Beyond The Cracks.
While penning the book, Shelly confirmed that she learned other lessons. Some things from her past resurfaced… “I’m in my mid 40’s and I’m just at that place where I’m accepting all of me and all of my story. I let go of the shame. For a long time, I was ashamed of certain parts of my story. There is so much that comes with being a female in this day and age, including how you look and how you carry yourself. Knowing who I was and where I was, at one point in my life, and where I am now as far as my weight— It’s amazing the strain that you take on when you don’t meet that mark of what today's beauty standards are. You hide and you retreat. I did. There are various mistakes with relationships that I shouldn’t have found myself in but I did. Oh, man… I wore the scarlet letter. It was all me. I did it. It doesn’t matter that it was a participating sport of two adults. When the backlash came, the fingers were pointed at me and I was the harlot, and the homeworker. The place [church] that should’ve been my safety and solace, it wasn’t,” admits Shelly, who became frank about her mistakes as well as her experience with betrayal and church-hurt.
Shelly lived in obscurity and isolation for a little while. This jiffy allowed her to reflect on another unnerving situation that scarred her to the core. “I had an encounter with a friend when I was younger, someone that that I grew up with, when I lived in West Virginia. We played together as kids. He was a guy-friend,” Shelly paused for a bit before she continued to breakdown the details of her story. “He would visit my house often-- You don’t expect somebody that you know and love as a friend, to violate you. I didn’t see it coming because he was my friend. When it happened, that changed me.”
Shelly was victimized and assaulted by someone that she trusted. An animal, who preyed on the weak. Let’s call him what he truly is, an overzealous monster. Shelly blamed herself for a very longtime, like many women do. This took a little bit of her light and glow. But, God—Please read the last two words again. Shelly rekindled her light. She finally told her mother about what happened, and then others. Conclusively, that darkness that she carried, she let it go. She regained her power, her strength and sense of reckoning. “I did seek counseling,” she says. “I was so angry for the longest time, but that was a root to everything.”
It’s no secret that Shelly went through her share of crucial things, some embarrassing, and other things that were painful… “I want to help empower other women,” she reflected. “I want to empower other young girls. We’ve all had various traumas happen. Being black in America, that alone is terrifying… Trauma shouldn’t impact us any less because we are perceived as strong black women," she continued.
Although Shelly came to grips with all of the downtrodden episodes of her life, she would like to help others find their way beyond the cracks. “Life is hard, and everybody won’t have it easy, but you can do it. You can press forward,” she says.
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For more information visit: Beyond The Cracks
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Synopsis: Life is filled with detours, twists and turns. The hills and valleys, the ups and downs are all a part of life?s journey. Have you ever found yourself in a place that was far from what you expected and contrary to your own belief system? Maybe you feel like you?ve fallen through the cracks and you're living well beneath the privileges that belong to a child of God. It's never too late to discover and walk in the purpose that God has for your life. Detours can show up out of nowhere, but so can the grace and mercy of God. Dust off guilt, shake off shame and run to the author and finisher of your faith. This book is about finding God?s grace and mercy beyond the cracks in our lives. It is my prayer that this book will empower you to move from fear into faith and from hurting to healed.