An Open Letter To The Woman That Raised Me On Her Own

An Open Letter To The Woman That Raised Me On Her Own

I couldn't have done it without you.
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What can I say? It's been a crazy run. I'd never admit it if you asked, but I really have needed the guidance you've given me these last few years. I know I never made it easy on you and I am well aware of how much stress I've caused you, but in the end, it has all been worth it.

I still remember my freshman year when you were always yelling at me for losing focus. While homeschooling probably wasn't the best choice for me, I still never reached the goals I should have. But no matter what, you were always there to give me the kick in the ass I needed. Going back to school brought so many awesome opportunities for me and I really can't thank you enough for supporting me through all 10 of my intended majors. Remember the days when I was going to be a music major and go to medical school? Those were good times. Even though I never really thought that medical school was my true passion, I knew I wanted to find a way to help people like you. I knew that whatever path I chose, if I really set my mind to it, I could do it because you did. While my plans have changed, your example is still my gold standard. Your drive and motivation has always been inspiring. Up until my junior year, I didn't realize how important that drive would be to me.

I'll never forget the look you gave me when I told you that VMI was the only place I wanted to go. As surprised as you were, I could tell that you proud. Believe it or not, that overnight was when I realized that we were the same. Although VMI and Chicago Med. aren't exactly the same, they both require us to be a cut above. For both of us, it's not about natural ability but about a blue-collar work ethic. You were right. My senior year, I hit my academic stride. I knew what I wanted and I knew how to get it. I wanted to get into VMI more than anything else and I know you felt the same way.

Getting that letter was one of the best days of life, not just because I was going to college, but because all of our efforts paid off. As much as I would love to take credit for all that I've done, I just can't. It wouldn't be right. I did the physical work, but you kept me on track. Everything that I have accomplished I have some reason to thank you for. Whether it be support, love, or a firm "get it together kid!", you were always there. As I sit in barracks realizing that in less than a month my time at VMI will officially starts, I couldn't help but realize how much of who I am is because of you. Thank you, Ma.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Thank You, Mom And Dad, For Staying Together Through It All

I hope one day I can find a love as strong as my parents so that my kids will never have to experience a broken home.

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Growing up, I always dreamt of finding my true love and having my fairy tale wedding when I was older. My parents gave me such faith from their relationship. They have been together since they were in high school and have never left each others' sides since. I have idolized their marriage since the day I was born and still continue to. I could not imagine going through life without both of them together. Many people in my hometown have divorced parents. It is not uncommon from where I come from, but I recognize how lucky I am. Sure my parents have their fights, even the one time they almost did get a divorce, but they didn't. And I am so grateful for that to this day.

Holidays are amazing. I don't mean to brag for the people who do have separated parents, but it is a privilege to be able to spend it together as a family. I don't have to choose where to spend the holidays or feel bad if I have to pick someone over the other. It isn't fair, and no one should have to do that. My parents have always and will continue to always put my sister and me first. I respect them for that. Even through all their issues, they manage to do whatever is in our best interest--even if that means staying together during hard times. No matter what, they always manage to work it out.

I get to experience life with both of them together. I know people who haven't talked to their dads or moms in years. They didn't go to their graduations— watch them walk across the stage and get their diploma. Their parents are missing out on so many important milestones in their life. I am so fortunate that my parents have always been by my side rooting for me. I couldn't even fathom the thought of them not being at such events or not even being remotely a part of my life. My parents are everything, and they are stronger together.

I have two opinions. I have two people in charge. When one says no, the other will say yes. I have two people to go to with problems at all times. They are accessible, they are there for me, they protect me. I may not agree with everything my dad says, but my mom will have my back on certain points and vice versa. We can work out our problems together. Nothing ever turns out biased when I have them both together. I wouldn't be able to do have the stuff I do with the support of just one parent.

With my parents together, I don't have to feel like I am a toy. I don't have to feel like I need to be shared or guilty I am spending more time with one and not the other. With my parents together, our family is whole. I know it is a privilege, and I am so grateful and lucky. I hope one day I can find a love as strong as my parents so that my kids will never have to experience a broken home. It isn't fair to put kids through something so stressful and saddening. My parents are amazing and I am beyond blessed to have parents that love each other and their kids immensely. Everything they do is for us. Thank you.

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