Deb Hadley has seen her share of personal storms.

Of course, she knows that is not something unique to her, but her response to those trials may seem a bit more contrary to how others might react to them.

“God will heal your heart,” said Hadley, adding that is if you let him.

Hadley spoke about the storms of her life Jan. 23 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Milroy. Her presentation was funded by Catholic United Financial, and more than 130 people from across the region were in attendance to hear her message of how she has seen God work in her life.

Hadley, who currently calls Alexandria home, spent some time in Redwood County as the 4-H program coordinator, and prior to her move to the north she lived in Sleepy Eye.

It was June 5, 2013 when Hadley’s world turned upside down, as that is the day her daughter, Kaylie, died unexpectedly. Having been experiencing epileptic seizures, Kaylie died of a condition known as SUDEP. She was a teacher and was in the midst of planning her wedding when she died.

In those times, said Hadley, you have two choices.

“You can turn toward God or turn away from him,” said Hadley, adding she chose to turn to him, and it was God who helped her come out stronger on the other side of this personal tragedy.

Now Hadley wants others to find what she has learned. 

Hadley said she found her strength in her faith, adding that was tested again when tragedy struck her family a second time with the death of her son, Tyler, in a car crash March 7, 2014.

Hadley admitted the trials of life are not anything she could have handled on her own, adding God sent people into her life who not only stood by her but offered prayers and words of encouragement – with those messages always seeming to come at the moment she needed them the most.

Hadley said she has learned to be grateful and thankful even in the midst of the storms, because she knows in those times God is working to help her grow as a person and in her relationship with him.

While being in the storms is not easy, they can be made easier if one is willing to trust that God knows exactly what he is doing.

Hadley said she received a unique gift from her father when she was younger when he told her that a strong person is one who gets the help that they need when they need it. She said her dad emphasized the importance of her taking care of herself, and as Hadley spoke to the audience at the Milroy church she expressed that same sentiment.

“Getting help is not a sign of weakness,” said Hadley, adding it demonstrates true strength. When those challenges come people can help, especially those who may have been through a similar situation, although she added when those storms come the best thing one can do is just to come and listen.

One does not need to be an expert, she said, adding in her times of grief she was not looking for someone to give her answers. What she wanted is someone who would be there to listen.

The good news, Hadley added, is she has learned that God is always there and he is listening to you.

Hadley has established the KT Humble Hearts Foundation as a way to honor Kaylie and Tyler and to share her message of God’s faithfulness.

Learn more at kthumbleheartsfoundation.org.