meet Gina

In 2004, I was knee deep in raising little ones in a foreign country. One journal entry from that time captures the internal struggle I felt. I talked about the tension between not wanting to be seen as emotionally unstable, but not wanting to be insensitive or stoic, between not looking perfect (because I wasn’t) but not being the girl who can’t get her act together, between not being someone who can’t rely on others but not being “that needy girl.” My conclusion was, “I just want to be real,” but I didn’t know how.

I was living a put together life externally, but inside I was exhausted and threadbare, terrified to open the door to my mess of my heart. Then God invited me to wake up. 

In January 2005, my husband and I participated in a week of intensive, heart level coaching. During that week I felt raw and exposed at my core, yet more known and loved than I knew I could feel. They saw my weary soul, and invited me to lay it down. That sounded wonderful. In its place though, they encouraged me to open that door to my messy heart.

My journey began through one of my favorite places – books. I swam in the anthology of Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, and others, seeking to anchor myself in God’s love so that I could brave the turbulent waters of embracing all that was coming to the surface of my mess.

One of the coaches I met during that conference in 2005 puts it well, “Waking up is hard to do.” It’s true, but it’s where God has me. Since then, my journey of becoming awakened in my soul has led me through a great deal of emotion, desire, contempt, doubt, and wrestling, as well as deeper rest in the unlimited reaches of God’s love and grace. Along the way I have been learning what it looks like to live on the solid ground of who He is, while living out that real self I longed for back in 2004.

It has become my deepest passion that others be encouraged to be awake as well. Whatever hides in our hearts, whatever we choose to hide, God has light to shed on it. He longs for us to live whole and free.

So this is my invitation to you: Join me. Open the door to your heart, and invite God and others in. Let’s wake up to all that He is doing. 

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