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Letting go of Livy: musings from a momma’s heart

I thought by now I’d be raring to go on my new life as a mom with a daughter in college. I thought I’d be excited about the future and taking the bull by the horns with the time available to me now. Not so much.

Truth is, I miss my girl. I miss her bounding in the bedroom at night and babbling about her day. I miss her crises and insatiable need for my attention. I miss those brain-numbing moments when I think I’m not getting through to her, and the surprising truths she shares as we lay our heads on the pillow — and I realize we actually have gotten through to her!

After eighteen years of conversations and debates and fights and laughs and snuggles and connection, I can’t help but want to keep the light on in her empty room. Sometimes I just lay on the bed and cover myself with her blanket. I’ve done it all — and as a mother I have very few regrets. I gave her the barest and deepest part of me and I let her be free to shape and mold her own life. I’ve let her go and held her close. I know God’s got her — she was one of His wisest and best gifts to me from the beginning. He will encamp His angels concerning her, and I’ve seen that promise fulfilled already.

But the truth is, I miss her, and that’s really the main thing I want to say today. I’m going to begin writing again — writing for you to inspire your day. I’ll be teaching writing again. I’ll be creating. But first I want to be honest about this.

We know Jesus gave beyond the point of pain, and He did it for the “joy set before him.” I know joy is set before us. I know. I also know that many of you reading this have let go too. And I think it’s okay to not just be “pretty” about our best instagram snapshots of dorm rooms and senior pictures and sorority celebrations — but also to be real. It’s hard to let go. I guess it gets us a little closer to the heart of God for his kids. He designed us to walk in freedom — so setting someone free is the greatest and best gift we can give them.

And we know that the more we give, the more we shall receive.

In His Grip,

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About the Author: Jennifer

Jennifer Strickland is a wife, mom, TEDx speaker, and former professional model. She is the author of Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, and Beautiful Lies, among other books and Bible studies that teach women their worth in God’s eyes. Since leaving the modeling industry, she founded URMore.org, a non-profit ministry that provides resources to hurting women and girls. Her favorite moments are found working on the family ranch with her husband, who she calls “the Cowboy”; in her kitchen, concocting a new version of her famous spaghetti; or spending time with their three precious children.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”

Nancy Ortberg

Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church

“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”

Allie Marie Smith

Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made

One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”

Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries
As a teacher, participator, and observer of public speaking for most of my life, I’ve come to realize that many speakers make one of two mistakes when interacting with their audience (especially when that audience is mainly teenagers.) They either expect their audience to climb up to their level (which feels unattainable to the crowd) or they step down to the level of their listeners (which feels cheap and pandering.) The best speakers meet their audience where they are and lead them up to where they want them to be. This feels genuine. This is what Jennifer did over the last few days at our school.
Jennifer Strickland is a funny, engaging, dynamic speaker. She shares truth with authority and credibility that comes from both experience (her story is powerful) and an obvious depth of study in the Bible. The ideas she presents about Value, Identity, and Purpose are truths everyone needs to hear.
I heartily recommend her for your conference, school retreat, or any event where you want your people to be encouraged and challenged with deep, impacting truth.

Andrew Doan

Andrew Doan, Concord Christian Academy, Concord, NH
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