Dear Mom, With Love

Dear Mom, With Love

I see a strength in you that I can only aspire to obtain one day.
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Dear Mom,

When I first sat down to write this piece, I almost didn't know where to begin. I was truly unsure of whether or not I wanted to publish something so vulnerable, but decided to break through the boundaries of my comfort zone because of the many words I feel that I have left unsaid.

It has been one hell of a year, filled with outstanding peaks, trips to the depths of the valleys, and situations of all sorts. Life has taken me in new directions, leading me down fresh paths that, at one time, I would never have expected.

This “new year” has now come and passed, and I look at myself and my experiences with a different sense of clarity than I once did. I have changed, I have progressed, I have grown.

Most importantly, you must know that I could have achieved none of it without you.

It has been said that everyone needs someone. Whether one’s purpose is to provide guidance, offer advice, or simply to listen, you have told me time and time again that everyone needs someone. As much as I know in my heart that that statement holds a certain truth, I think of the moments where I have rejected it, as well as your guidance.

There have been many times where I thought I knew best and simply did what I wanted versus doing what was right. As a result, I am certain you thought that I took your words solely with a grain of salt. It's now that I would like to say that thought is far from the truth. Throughout the course of this year, I have attempted to become a better listener. I have sat down and taken time to decipher the meaning of your words.

As I have grown, I have come to realize the abundance of love behind your intentions and your will for me to prosper. Though at one time, I may not have accepted that support to the fullest extent, it has quickly become a part of my own drive. It's not only what I keep in mind when working to pursue my goals, but what motivates me to live my everyday life in the best way that I can.

As I reflect on the lifestyle changes of beginning college, starting a job, and stepping foot into a newfound independence, I think of you. I think of the tools you have provided me with to become a successful young woman. I think of the times that I have struggled, and the endless words of encouragement you have offered me.

I look back on this year with memories of the laughs we have shared, the tears we have cried, and even the simplest of conversations that I have found takeaways in. I look back because, through both thick and thin, you have been there for me. I see a strength in you that I can only aspire to obtain one day, and I am beyond grateful to have your influence in my life. I hope to make you proud as I follow in your example, because I can gladly say that I am learning from the best.

With Love,

Gina

Cover Image Credit: Gina Brennan

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10 Struggles Girls Taller Than 5'7" Feel On A Spiritual Level

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"
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Any girl who is at least 5'8" will understand these struggles and possibly identify with them on a spiritual level.

1. Dresses not being long enough


Finding dresses for any occasion that will be long enough is like searching for rain in a drought. And when you find one, it's bound to either cost $$$ or not fit another aspect of your body.

2. Heck, pants are never long enough either

You are constantly flooding, or else you rolled up your jeans to look like capris. Unless you special ordered some jeans online in the coveted size LONG or EXTRA LONG, this will forever be your fate.

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

This is a personal preference people! Don't assume that a girl will or will not date someone just based on their height difference! Also, don't judge if they aren't interested in someone who is shorter than them!

4. Not wearing heels because you don't enjoy being the skyscraper of the friend group

Wearing heels can be fun buuuuuuuut sometimes towering over everyone else is not our idea of fun.

5. It's hard to find cute shoes that actually fit


You would love to have all those cute little shoes in the clearance section, but most of them barely cover your big toe.

6. Everyone thinks you walk too fast


Short-legged people just can't keep up with you, even though you aren't even walking fast. Like at all.

7. People want to jump on your back

Just because you're tall doesn't give them the license to make you into their personal camel.

8. Never being able to cross your legs underneath desks and tables

You. Can. Not. Get. Comfortable.

9. Awkward hugs

Some people will never understand.

10. Never knowing how to pose in pictures

Should you sorority squat? Pop the hip? Bend the leg? Contort your body to feel like a normal sized human? So hard to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Willoughby

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My Life Has Not Been The Same Since I Met My Father

He showed me angels, and told me I could put my weapons down because I've got protectors.

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I rang in 2019 with sexual sin and instead of being convicted, I felt condemnation (see previous blog post). This, coupled with isolation and watching my fellow seniors have future plans while I didn't have any for post-undergrad, caused me to be in a dark place from January to the first week of April. I honestly didn't want to live anymore, convinced there was no point to my life. Three months, 1 week, and 3 days later, I went on my first A Life Retreat from April 11th to the 14th.

We arrived at the retreat site on the 11th at night so I was just expectant for the next day, but I was trying not to be excited because I didn't want to be brokenhearted if Jesus passed me by. On the 12th, during the last session for the day, many of my peers were getting delivered. I was praying for their deliverance while hoping for my encounter with Christ. However, something shifted in me and I became jealous. I remember thinking I wish I had some demons in me so that God will finally pay me some attention (we could unpack another day so this post isn't 5 pages long). I began to doubt God, I stopped praying and was looking around with a cynical smile on my face.

After the leadership team dismissed us, I went to sit down, angry and dejected. Someone asked me if I was okay. I lied, answering yes. Another person asked me; I lied again. A third person asked, and I finally told the truth saying, "no, but it's whatever". She asked if she could pray for me and I said, "you can do what you want but it's not going to change anything". I reasoned, if God won't show up for me when I prayed for myself, why would He show up when someone else does. With persistence, she began to pray for me, but I wasn't paying attention. I was just thinking she will be done soon and go her way.

She didn't end quickly so I began hearing the words of her prayer. She was saying, "God loves you." I was chuckling, thinking yeah, right. As she continued to pray those sweet words over me, telling me what God was saying and thinking about me, I began to speak out loud what was in mind, telling her that she was lying. After some back and forth, some A Life leaders came over and began to pray for me and after a good fight, deliverance took place. I became free from the stronghold of the spirit of doubt.

The next day, I was hypersensitive to the voice of God. At the beginning of the first session, I heard Him tell me to put my shield down and what I saw behind it was incredible. I had detached a part of myself that was much younger than the current me and I would transfer all the blame of my past onto her. Everything I hated about myself I put on her (this younger version of me). God told me I was supposed to unite with her, but I didn't want to. I told myself I was shielding her to protect her, but actually, I was trying to hide her in order to hate myself less or to avoid judgment. I couldn't move forward until we became one. After another deliverance session in which I was able to forgive myself and reconcile all parts of me, I felt empty, but in a good way. While on break for the day, I remember thanking God for freeing me and asking Him to fill me back up.

Throughout the last session on the 13th, He showed up and showed out for His little girl. I saw multiple visions of how much God loves me. I don't really have an intimate relationship with my natural father so what happened that night was pivotal in my life.

In my first vision, while I was praising and worshipping Him, God told me to rest my head on His shoulder while He told me how much He loves me.

Then He told me to lay my head on his lap and at this point, I'm crying because He's also telling me how He feels about me and how beautiful I am.

He showed me angels, multitudes, and told me I could put my weapons away because I've got protectors and defenders.

He told me that they had always been there even when I could not see them and He did all this while hugging me.

There was so much more that God told me and showed me, but I'm focusing on these few because it tackled the daddy issues and brother issues I had.

My life has literally not been the same ever since April 13th, 2019. I don't even know how to put into words how my life has been, how I have felt, how much love I have in my life. I just want everyone else in the world to feel what I feel, to know what I know, to encounter WHO I encountered. I also want to thank the A Life leadership team. Just in case any of you are reading this, "thank you. I can only imagine the amount of time you had to spend in your secret place with The Most High so that you were able to war for me, and the other A Lifers with Him in the open. May our Father replenish and reward you for being dedicated to people to see them saved and FREE. I love you all."

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