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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

The honesty that Jennifer uses to tell her story drew our young women in and captured their hearts. She provided them with practical tips that the women use daily to transform their lives. These decisions have caused them to do things differently. We loved her so much, we are having her back!

Chrissie Dunham

Chrissie Dunham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX

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

Jennifer has the ability to make you laugh, cry, and see yourself as one of God’s glorious creations — and that is just her warm up! Once Jennifer starts speaking, all you want to do is listen, learn, laugh, and love her. She takes you outside of yourself while helping you see inside of yourself, and does it in such a way that you feel safe, empowered, and capable to embrace all that the Lord is waiting to give you. She opens your eyes and your heart to hear from God in ways you never have. She connects you with others who share similar life experiences — and shines a bright light on the pathway to forgiveness, love, and blessings. Jennifer is also an amazing mother, compassionate, loving wife, and loyal, dedicated friend. Any opportunity women of any age have to hear from her is a gift and one that will produce fruit in their lives.

Lori Kennedy

Lori Kennedy, Outreach Event Coordinator, Riverview Evangelical Church, Bonsall, CA

I just picked up my girls from school today and they both talked all the way home about Jennifer’s presenation. It was a BIG HIT with Middle School and High School kids (both boys and girls). My high school daughter mentioned that she was glad that for once, a speaker focused on girl’s topics instead of sports or boy topics. She said that Jennifer engaged with the boys and made them answer questions too. My middle school daughter said that everyone in the middle school was paying attention too, and that all her friends were very tuned into what Jen was saying. Both girls said that they thought it was fine that the boys were with the girls during the presentation because the boys “needed to hear this stuff too.” 

Mother of two student attendees

Mother of two student attendees of Jennifer's U R MORE school program for boys and girls

If you think Jennifer gets the attention of adults, just see how the teenagers respond! My teenage grandchildren said they wanted to hear more from her and that her book was the only one they’ve ever really enjoyed reading! If teenagers are informed, inspired, and desire more, does anything else need to be said? Jennifer is an unusual voice of truth, integrity, and dignity. She needs to tell the world about her experiences and her victory. She encouraged me, a 70-year-old great grandmother. So, from teens to grans she has something everyone can benefit from.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon.), Speaker / Author / Founder of the Ready to Win Conferences

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