Dr. Kelly Zachary-Arnold has spent most of her life in the medical field. Through the last of her career, she found her calling in forensic medicine, focusing on working with the wounded warriors coming home from the war with PTSD. Dr. Zachary-Arnold has an immense love and respect for our troops, as she spent her life growing up as a Navy Brat and would then marry retired Naval Officer, Dr. Ron Arnold. Between the two of them, they have six children.
Kelly was raised in church by her beloved mother, the church pianist. She began Kelly’s piano lessons at an early age. This skill would lead her to compete in the Miss America Pageant System, but Kelly’s true joy came from playing the piano in the church with her mother. This would lead to a close, loving relationship with Pastors Dr. Jerry and Ann Price. As a teenager, Kelly played for the choir, whom Pastor Jerry Price led, and playing for specials that Pastors Jerry and Ann Price sang.
It was this deeply-rooted Christianity that would see Dr. Kelly Zachary-Arnold walking through the fire, in the biggest fight for her life.
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I grew up in Church. In fact, I’m fourth generation Church of God. I don’t remember when I was saved. I think I was almost “Grandfathered” in. Since my mom was always the Church pianist, I was in Church 3 times a week and I absolutely loved it! I do, however, remember in my early twenties backsliding and turning my back on God. I was more interested in studying Marital Arts and working out with my friends. My mother prayed for me daily and lectured me any chance she could get. It took me reaching the lowest point in my life before I gave my life back to the Lord. I remember walking into Church and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit. I fell to my knees, sobbing with remorse at what I had become. It was then that I found the mercy and grace of our loving Father in Heaven. He welcomed me back with open arms. It was then I vowed to always make God the Lord of my life. Like it says in Philippians 1:21, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I love the Lord with every fiber of my being. He reached down when I was at death’s door and performed a miracle on my heart. How can I not worship Him? There is a song that I used to play for Pastor Price and the Choir called To God Be The Glory. It has now become my theme song. “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove your love for me. The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude. All that I am, and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.”
About 3 weeks after my healing, God impressed on me to write Less Than a Year To Live. I was confident that I could do what He was asking of me because God had blessed me with the gift of writing. So, I told God, “No problem!” Then after I finished the book, God impressed on me to share my testimony with the world. Most people are called into the ministry. I feel like I was shot out of a cannon into the deep-end of the pool of ministry! All of a sudden, I’m flying across country speaking at Churches and other venues and I love it! I love sharing the testimony about my miracle healing. I still get tears in my eyes as I recall actually feeling the Hand of God touch my heart; I felt warmth go through my heart as my Pastor was praying over the phone with me.
Meanwhile, as I continue with speaking engagements, I felt God telling me to write a second book about my miracle healing, but this time gear it for Young Adult readers. That led to a third book for parents to read to their children. In my “spare time” I sleep!! We then received the news that several movie producers were wanting to make the book into a movie! When God had asked me to share my testimony to the world, I admit I had no idea how to go about it, but He is the God of all gods and is able to move mountains, and that is exactly what He has done. I just found out that I am scheduled to speak in North Carolina next month. God continues to open doors for me!
My Everyday Life
Music is an integral part of my life. I always have music on, usually I’m listening to the Gaither Vocal Band or Jason Crabb. Beaky loves to listen to the music and it’s cute to see her trying to sing along! When I am writing I always have my Gospel playlist on. It keeps me in the right frame of mind as I write about the mercy and grace of our God.
When Ron and I both come home, as soon as we get in the garage we can hear Mason and Mimi barking and Beaky squawking. All three of them bring such joy and fun to our lives. I thank God for each of them. I know that if Ron has be gone overnight I am well-protected!
I am now in the middle of writing my fourth book; a Christian Novel. I’ve posted 3 teaser chapters and everyone who reads it has fallen in love with this book. People are begging me to finish it, so they can read the rest of the story. I am really having a great time writing this one. The first three were emotionally hard to write, because I had to relive that time in my life when I was dying and didn’t expect to live more than a few more weeks. This current book, although it is a novel, it is a powerful story. According to my husband, it is the best book he has ever read. He is my greatest critic and fan!
My husband Ron is my best friend. We enjoy spending all our time together. We love the Church we attend, even though we have to drive 90 minutes each way. Pastor Todd and his wife Missy are very precious to us. Ron and I love to spend time talking with each other. We always end up talking about my healing and how God continues to bless us each day.
I have to say this. When I was dying, Ron was under tremendous stress. He tried to keep it hidden from me, but sometimes at night I could feel him crying. He was watching his wife die and there was nothing that anyone could do. He felt so helpless. He would come home from work and do the cooking, cleaning and shopping without ever complaining. When I realized that my death was imminent, I did the hardest thing ever; I sat down and wrote Ron a letter telling him how much I loved and appreciated him. I wrote everything I needed to say to him. It was a letter of undying love. It was a letter of goodbye until we are reunited in Heaven. I can’t read it now without crying.
Since we have six children spread all over the country; Brittany, Brianna, Anthony, Brandon, Kurt, and Christine, and we are “Empty Nesters” we treat our pets as children. We have Mimi, a Bichon Frise. She never leaves my side and even though she only weighs 18 lbs., she would give her life to protect me. She is also a Daddy’s Girl, but if he starts playing rough with me, Mimi runs up and jumps around growling at him. It’s hilarious!
Ron bought me a bodyguard in the form of a 200 lb, blue Neapolitan Mastiff named Mason. We drove to Tennessee when we got him at the age of 8-weeks old. He already weighed 35 lbs. at that young age! Mason is now 4-years old and is my constant companion and protector. When I am on a speaking tour, Mason walks around the house with a stuffed animal in his mouth, whining the whole time! Ron calls him “Sissy Boy”, but he just wants Mommy.
Mason and Mimi love each other. Since Mimi is older, she is the Alpha dog, however, Mason likes to be a typical baby brother and he is always bugging her. His favorite thing to do is block Mimi into a room where she can’t get to me. She doesn’t like to walk past him because he will swat her with his massive paw! We’re always yelling, “Mason! Let your sister get by!” Invariably I have to go pick up Mimi and carry her over him. When he stands on his feet he looks like a bear. He is about 7-feet tall when he stands like that!
When Ron gets home from work, Mimi starts in with a high-pitched bark, and Mason runs and gets his basketball-sized ball, so he and Daddy can play. When Mason is playing, you do not want to be in his way; he’s like a tank and just about as strong! I played Rockin Robin once and started dancing with Mason. Now anytime I play that song he come running so we can dance!
We adopted a Cockatiel named Beaky two years ago. She had come from an abusive home and when we bought her a new 72” cage and tons of toys and treats, she didn’t know how to act. She is slowly coming around. Oddly enough, Mason and Beaky are best friends. She has learned a few whistles I have taught her, and when Mason comes over to her cage she whistles to him. They are very much the odd couple!
My Favourite Things
After years of being unable of doing anything besides lying on the sofa with the Mimi and Mason on top of me, I am now enjoying being able to do things I love once again. I was once asked what my favorite thing was to do since my healing. I told them that it was being a wife and homemaker again. I love to bake and try out new ideas for dinner. I actually enjoy being able to clean my own home again! I like to make homemade things to eat and Ron usually takes something to his guys at work. Lately I’ve made Hot Pepper Jelly. It is delicious. It is both sweet and hot at the same time. I like to give a jar to family and to close friends. Ron likes to take a toasted bagel and spread cream cheese and Hot Pepper Jelly over it. The combination is delicious! This summer I made several batches of blackberry and raspberry jam. I have to keep them hidden because they disappear quickly!
Ron has a monster-sized sweet tooth, so lately I’ve been making his favorite things. During the summer I would make homemade ice cream. It’s incredibly good and fattening! I use my favorite vanilla ice cream and tweak it by adding peaches or strawberries. I even made chocolate chip ice cream. I need to remember to use the mini chocolate chips. The large ones get stuck together.
This week I made Ron Pumpkin Bread and an apple pie. I had done something really stupid and I had to make it up to my wonderful husband. I had decided to take the initiative and check the oil on my car. When I saw that it was a little low I added some oil. Much to my horror, I discovered I had added it to the radiator! I have never claimed to be a mechanic. Ron was so sweet about it and told me that it wasn’t a big deal. He would just have to drain and flush the radiator. From now on I’m going to stick to the kitchen or writing!
I am now able to go shopping again! Heavy on the shopping…I have to make up for lost time! I am also enjoying decorating our home. I like to make things by hand. I experimented and made a cute little Tic-Tac-Toe set. I painted the board and added the squares, then I took small, flat rocks and painted Ladybugs on one set and Bumblebees on the other set. It was cute considering I’m a novice at that.
Several years ago, Ron bought me an electric Grand Piano for Christmas. I had not played in many, many years. I had just begun trying to learn to play again when I got too sick to do it. Now, when I have the time, I get on my piano and play. It is one of the ways that I worship the Lord. If I had the time I would play for hours. As a teenager, my mom and I both played the piano in Church. She played for the Worship Service and I played for the Choir and special singers. We made a good team! Those are some of the happiest moments in my life. Now my precious mother has gone to be with Jesus, but I know that I will see her again!
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The birth of our Savior has always touched my heart and soul. Listening to the Christmas Carols that I’ve sung all my life. Now I am able to continue the traditions I’ve had since a child and that includes spending a lot of time in the kitchen making goodies for family and friends. Now that Ron and I are back on the east coast, we enjoy watching the changing of the seasons and with it the hope of a White Christmas!
Now that I am able, Ron and I act like a pair of kids. This summer we went to the Ocean City Boardwalk and played in the ocean for hours. We had a blast riding the waves as they crashed into the shore. Then we went to the carnival at the end of the Boardwalk and rode every ride! We were both screaming our head off when we rode the rollercoaster! We woke up the next day to find that while I had a new heart, we weren’t children anymore. We were hurting in every part of our bodies! And I wouldn’t trade that day for anything!!
We went to Baltimore a couple of weeks ago for Fleet Week. We went aboard the ships and even toured a submarine that was in port. I hadn’t done that in many years and I’ve missed the life of a “Navy Brat”! We even rode the scooters that you can rent on the side of the road. Now THAT was a blast! Speeding around and trying to avoid collisions with people and each other. We plan to go back to Baltimore Harbor just to ride the scooters around again! It is so great to be alive!