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Elena Holden

"It was like a knife in your heart kinda.

You just wanna do something to stop it, but you have no idea how.”

That’s how Elena Holden remembers feeling as she held her crying little sister and listened to her parents fight.

When Elena was 16 years old, her parents sat her down and said they were separating. This whole marriage thing, it just wasn’t what they signed up for.

“They told me they weren’t getting a divorce. They didn’t believe in it. They were just going to live separately. I remember being so angry with them. I stormed out. I was so heartbroken,” Elena said.

For years, the pressure and tension between Elena’s parents, Butch and Diane McCracken, had been building. Elena didn’t know the exact cause (a crazy amount of debt, tons of hours in a stressful work environment, old hurts that were still stinging), but she and her sister felt the effects.

“I don’t know that I felt responsible for the fights, but I felt responsible for helping them find a way out.”¬†

But it was Elena’s mom, Diane, who searched desperately for an answer and landed on Dani Johnson. She started listening to Dani’s training CDs and got registered for a First Steps To Success live training seminar.

“I remember my mom playing those CDs all the time. And I was like this voice is so annoying. This person is taking my mom away from me. But I went to First Steps To Success just to kind of see what it was all about. And I started seeing changes in my parents. My mom was on fire. She was the glue. She was so serious about solutions and doing whatever it took to change our lives.”

Her relationship with her dad, however, was still strained.

“I remember my dad would come home from work and sit on the couch. And I would get so mad. Like I was just MAD. I think I wanted a relationship with him, I just didn’t know how to communicate that.”

She also struggled to communicate with her little sister, Samantha.

“I made my sister cry every day. And I didn’t want to. I wasn’t doing it on purpose. I wanted to fix it. I just didn’t know how.”

But Butch and Diane continued learning from First Steps To Success and putting their girls in front of Dani’s tools, and their family began to change dramatically.

“I always felt like I wasn’t enough. If I got an A but didn’t get the extra credit, I failed. So, I hid behind my bubbly boyfriend and my bubbly best friend.

But, after seeing the changes in my parents, I started to get a picture of what my life could be. I started to learn how to talk to people and make friends. I learned how to choose what I really wanted.”

As her parents healed their relationship with each other and their daughters and got serious about paying off debt, Elena was understanding how to go after the things that were truly becoming important to her.

“My boyfriend at the time was great for someone else, but not for me. I believed in God, and he didn’t. I wanted to wait until marriage to have sex, but he didn’t.”

The relationship ended, and Elena realized she was suffocating under the pressure of public school. A few months before graduating from high school, she decided to be homeschooled and changed her college plans.

“I wanted to be a doctor, but I also really wanted to be a mom. With what I was learning, I knew that I didn’t want to ever sacrifice my kids. So, I went to work right away. My mom calls it getting paid to go to college.”

As a young adult, Elena stayed connected to the Dani Johnson community. On a shuttle bus from a First Steps To Success event back to a local airport, she met a young man named Isaiah. A few months later, that young man asked Elena to marry him.

“The great thing is that we didn’t just get married and hope for the best. We really drilled each other.

Like, are you who I’m really looking for. And it got intense at times but it was necessary.”

Elena and Isaiah got married as virgins in February 2018. Between the two of them, they have $130K in savings and assets, rental properties that would allow them to live without working and a beautiful fulfilling marriage.

Friend, Butch and Diane McCracken were at the very end of their rope. Butch was resigned to his lot in life, but Diane REFUSED to give up hope and searched desperately until she found something that worked.

Not only did they prove that it is never too late to change your story, but they have set both Elena and her sister up on better, more solid footing than where they started. Elena and Isaiah will continue that example for their next generation.

Friend, I don’t know where you are on your life journey today. Maybe you identify with Butch and Diane. Debt, stress, pressure, pain for the rest of your life.

Or, maybe you’re closer to where Elena started. Young. Angry. Uncertain of yourself and what you truly want for your future.

Maybe you’re somewhere in-between. What I do know is this: this family broke away from a trap so many of us fall into. It’s easy to do and way what everyone else says and does.

It’s easy to get worn down and beat up by life. But what if you COULD start fresh. What if you could heal from your past, and have everything you want out of your future? What if you could pass that on to your kids, and set them up for great success?

This family is proof that it’s possible. If you want to learn what they know, all you have to do is join us for three days at a First Steps To Success. Register now to see what your life can be.