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We all have those moments in our life that define our story, the ones we will never forget and the ones that leave us forever altered. When I look back at my life thus far I see so many happy moments, like in junior high when I met my husband Scotty and knew almost that very second that he was the one I wanted to spend my life with, or the day I looked my son Grady in the eyes for the first time and knew that being a Mom would be my greatest adventure yet, I could fill a book with memories of those sweet days. Then there are those moments that are just as impactful, but seem far darker, the ones that can bring tears to our eyes even to recall them. One of those days for me was when I got the call that my husband had been severely wounded by a suicide car bomb while serving as an Infantry Platoon Leader in Iraq. Even though I was filled with uncertainty in those first few moments, the one thing I did know was that my life would never be the same.
God spared Scotty from death, but he did lose his eyesight. My world was shaken to it’s core and survival became our new normal. I took sole responsibility for Scotty’s care and devoted all my days to helping him recover and flourish again. Through God’s goodness, Scotty has gone on to do amazing things. He’s written a powerful book, won countless awards, completed an IronMan and is now traveling all over the country empowering others and working on Wall Street! I was there behind him, every step of the way. Pushing him, encouraging him and taking care of all of those details that make life difficult when blind.
On one hand, I was beyond grateful and happy for Scotty’s recovery, success and the opportunity that had come his way, but as Scotty started to heal it became more and more apparent that I never had.
No, my eyesight was not taken, but my life was forever changed. I was all of the sudden in a place where I had to manage everything for our family. I had to be strong for Scotty and everyone else. The pressure of this became too much and before I knew it I had hit rock bottom. My good intentions of serving my husband, family, kids turned me into someone who could only focus on herself and why she was failing. It left me empty and with nothing left for anyone.
Looking back now, I’m thankful for all those feelings and for walking a path that I didn’t understand. I’m thankful for it all because it showed me that bottling up our hurt and pain doesn’t do any good for ourselves or for others. Our stories and experiences are our greatest contribution to the world. They have power to make real change in the lives of others.
Maybe for you it’s not a huge tragedy, maybe it’s disappointment in marriage, an unfair childhood, whatever it is, it hurts and you’re not sure what purpose your pain has. We have all felt this way and that’s why sharing our journey with each other can be so powerful. How marvelous does it feel when you find out someone totally understands where you are coming from?
My passion is helping other women, whether they are a stay-at-home-mom or a CEO, to overcome whatever circumstances are holding them back and to boldly raise their voices to empower those around them.
Born and raised in Pasco, WA, Tiffany is married to her high school sweetheart, Scotty Smiley. The two met as teenagers and never looked back, even as Tiffany attended Whitworth University to become a nurse and Scotty attended the United States Military Academy.
In 2005, while Scotty was deployed in Iraq, he was injured by a suicide car bomb and lost his eyesight. Tiffany, who was working as a full time nurse at the time, left her job to care for him. Scotty and Tiffany founded Hope Unseen in 2010 in an effort to use their story to help and inspire others. They have appeared on Fox News, CBS, CNN, the Katie Couric show and multiple newspapers and magazines.
In 2016 Tiffany launched TiffanySmiley.com, a platform that she hoped would empower women to overcome whatever circumstances they were facing and to uncover true joy in their lives. Through her candid writings, the site reaches thousands of readers each month and has given Tiffany a platform to encourage women to be strong and join together for the good of those around them. She is in the process of planning Story by Faith, a conference dedicated to helping women share their journeys with confidence to impact and change their communities.
As a wounded veteran’s wife, Tiffany is passionate about reform in America for veterans, their families and caregivers. she has become a advocate and advisor to top politicians, non-profits and media outlets about VA reform.
The Smiley’s have lived all over the United States and now reside in their hometown of Pasco, WA, but can frequently be seen all over the country speaking at various events, conferences and churches.
Tiffany, enjoys spending time with all her boys – Grady Douglas, Graham Elliott, and Baylor Scott.