The Journey of Victoria Koloff
article by Mary Napoli | photography by Joli Livaudais
Victoria Koloff has taken the road less traveled, and it has made all the difference. Her life has been far from typical, and her path has been unexpected. There have been regrets as well as blessings, and one different decision could have changed it all. But in her heart, she knows that a higher power walked with her along the winding road that became her path in life. Knowing this, she can trust she is exactly where she is meant to be.
It isn’t often that a woman who suffered through abusive relationships and a devastating abortion could manage to pick up the pieces and rearrange them in a way that would bring success, both emotionally and spiritually, and stack them in a way that would create a successful career and family. But Victoria Koloff has achieved that. She used the broken pieces to form stepping stones to success and a stairway to heaven. Its an unusual combination, to say the least.
Today, Koloff is a star of a prominent television program on the Lifetime Network, a popular radio host of two separate well-known programs, an Executive Director of two pregnancy centers, and an in-demand speaker for Christian ministries. Her accomplishments are many, but the greatest of those are her four strikingly beautiful, intelligent and loving daughters, who are proud of their mother beyond expression. Regardless of the way she got there, Koloff has an impressive career and an interesting personal story.
A native of North Carolina, Koloff was married at a very young age–far too young to comprehend the commitment she was making at the time. This marriage produced two healthy and happy daughters, Teryn and Tawni, who are now 30 and 28 years of age respectively. Although motherhood suited her and her relationship with her daughters was deep and rewarding, her marriage was not sustainable. Once the relationship with her then husband dissolved, the challenges of single motherhood were heaped on to her shoulders. The weight of being responsible for the lives of two young children was difficult to carry, even though she did it with grace. At 25 years old, she became involved in a relationship that she felt was serious and hoped would be lasting and committed. After learning she was unexpectedly pregnant, the relationship rapidly dissolved, and left her frightened for the future of her small children, who were four and one years old at the time. Upon the baby’s father’s urging, Koloff walked into an abortion clinic and made a decision that would affect her life in profoundly destructive and overwhelming ways.
Unsure and frightened of the choice she was making, she made the appointment. In her heart, she knew it was not a decision she was comfortable with, but the pressure to see it through was too great for the young mother to bear.
In a hushed, choked voice, she tearfully recalls, “When I walked into the clinic and spoke with the woman who was going to take my $350 cash, I remember looking at her and saying, ‘Are you sure this is okay?’ And she said, ‘Yes,…but just remember, if you change your mind when you are on the table, you don’t get your money back.’ I went into the next room and ultimately, even lying on the table I wanted to scream, “No!” I literally felt my head saying, ‘Don’t do this! Don’t do this!’…and the procedure was over in a matter of minutes. I grabbed my things and got out of there as fast as I could. Immediately when I got on the elevator, I knew that my life was never going to be the same.”
She was right. Her life would never be the same. Feeling seemingly insurmountable guilt, she fell into a series of abusive relationships. Years later, Koloff would find forgiveness through her relationship with The Lord. Although the burden of shame and regret she felt never left her, she began to receive therapy from a Christian counselor in a pregnancy center. Koloff learned that the forgiveness she received was not something she had to suffer for, but a gift that she must find within herself to accept.
“After about four sessions, I felt I was healed,” says Koloff. “I understood God’s love for me was unfathomable and without end. He is my Father, and He loves and forgives me as His child, just like I would love and forgive my own children. I had to learn to accept His forgiveness, and when I did, I could finally put that burden down and use my experience to help other women who had made the same choice that I had.”
In 1986, she became the Executive Director of two pregnancy centers in Nashville and created programs that provided faith-based counseling for women and men who were recovering from the guilt and regret of abortions. Through helping others, Koloff continued to heal her own wounds.
“I do it for the women that we help. We help them to restore their own souls,” she says. “And I do it so that my child didn’t die in vain.”
In 1990, she married Nikita Koloff, a former professional wrestler for the World Championship Wrestling Corporation (WCW). It may have seemed like an odd pairing, but the two dynamic personalities were deeply in love and remained married for 18 years. Her husband adopted her two children, and they added two more gorgeous daughters to their brood, Kendra, now 21, and Kolby, now 17 and a student at OCS in Monroe. When their marriage became difficult, the two began to look to their spirituality for answers. In 1993, both Nikita and Victoria were saved, and began a solid spiritual walk with their Savior. The enigmatic couple sparked interest within the community, and people began to request to hear their testimony. Without planning, the Koloffs began their own ministry.
Although their faith was stronger than ever, the marriage ended after 18 years. From there, Victoria Koloff carried on as a single mother and a Christian minister. She was and remains an highly sought after speaker at women’s and Christian conferences where she shares her platform of healing and hope. She also continues to provide abstinence education to teenagers through her program, “Real Love Waits,” and speaks to parents about how to raise children in a sexually saturated society. Koloff is also the author of a book, They Lied to Us, which discusses the affects of abortion on women and men. The pregnancy centers where she serves as Executive Director, also remain a top priority, and she is instrumental in coordinating spiritual retreats for those who are healing from regretful abortions. Being a divorced Christian mother and minister is often met with hesitance or criticism, but after she shares her testimony and life experiences, her audience begins to see modern Christianity from a new point of view.
After practicing her ministry for several years, her career took an interesting turn of events. A network television station contacted the Koloffs and began to interview them for a possible program that was in the works. After months of interviews and discussions, the Koloffs agreed to take part in the series. “Preacher’s Daughters” is a popular primetime television show in its second season on the Lifetime Television Network. It is a reality program that shadows three pastor’s daughters as they navigate their teen years and the difficult choices they face in today’s society. The families share their views on how to adequately balance the expectations they have of their daughters while maintaining their religious values and spiritual beliefs. Koloff’s daughter Kolby is one of the three daughters whom the program focuses on. The show is very successful and brings a new perspective on divorced Christian families.
Kolby, who is just as beautiful and dynamic as her mother, has also created her own independent space in the world of media. Her closest friend at OCS, also has a famous face and well known name – Sadie Robertson. Together, the teenagers host a YouTube Channel called “The New Different.” With over half a million viewers watching, the self-assured young women discuss modern issues that all teenagers deal with, from dating to social pressure, to friends and parents. This faith-based program speaks from the heart and invites its viewers to consider its Christian point of view in making life choices. These brave and confident friends are spiritually solid and obviously have their famous parents’ magnetic charisma.
In addition to her television career and ministry, Koloff hosts two local radio programs. With Mike Carson, she hosts the “Mike and Victoria Show” on the popular Country Music station, 92.3 The Wolf. Mike and Victoria can be heard from 2pm to 6pm on weekdays. Their show keeps their listeners on their toes and often rolling with laughter. Koloff also can be heard on Christian radio station 104.3 The Bridge from 10am to 2pm during the week. This gives her the opportunity to share the Christian message she holds dear.
Despite her busy schedule, Koloff remains a dedicated mother and self-described “Jesus lover.” Her relationship with her God is closer than ever and is recognizable in her life at all moments.
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. With God, all things are possible,” says Koloff. “I set out to prove God right, and I am living proof that God walks beside us through all the trials and tribulations. We are as close to Him as we want to be. Where are you? He hasn’t gone anywhere.”
To learn more about Victoria Koloff, look to her website, www.victoriakoloff.com, her blog, or on twitter @Victoria Koloff.