People don’t talk about this. 

People don’t talk about their failures. (Or if they do there is usually a happy ending with success or insight.)

People don’t talk about how they are unhappy. That their hearts are aching for something more.

People don’t talk about fighting the fight of faith and how hard it can be. 

People don’t talk about how they walk through life looking for something. How they don’t feel. How the wish they were something else.  

People don’t talk about needing to surrender control.

People don’t talk about how their whole self worth is wrapped up in a computer screen or what they look like in a swimsuit.

People don’t talk about how they deal with the same distractions, temptations, failures over and over. They don’t talk about the ways, they cope with food, excessive t.v. or internet time. Day in and day out they feel completely helpless and frustrated and disappointed with themselves. 

Yet these thoughts and feelings are eating each of us alive from inside. Because we think we are alone. We think that we are the only ones that struggle with that specific thing. We question ourselves “Why do I struggle with this? No-one else does.” “Why can’t I just get it together like everyone else”

I am here to talk about the things people don’t talk about.

I am here to put out truth that I am a failure. I deal with these things daily. I have a hard time. I get overwhelmed. I feel useless. I make mistakes. I make the same mistakes over and over.  I can be weak. I get mad at myself because I expect more out of me. I look for my worth on a screen. I often expect perfection. I am prideful. I sometimes choose mindless activities to avoid.

Why I am saying/admitting these faults about me? Why am I being vulnerable (which freaks me out by the way) by sharing my struggles?

Because I want you to know you are not alone.

I want us to stop hiding behind and stuffing this part of us away. I want you to quit beating yourself up thinking that you don’t have it together and that you are a nobody.  To quit thinking that you are too weak, because Suzy Successful pants is doing this better than you or this better than you. I want you to stop going through the motions and being numb.

So today I am going to share how I felt like a failure. I struggled all day with not having a clear focus and I turned to distractions. My biggest distractions. Food and Hulu. I also added stare-at-your-email-and-panic as a distraction today. Instead of choosing to turn to the LORD and asking for help to use the tools that I have. I chose to check-out. I chose to avoid. I chose to remedy the situation with my own will power. Welp, that didn’t work and I just kept getting more and more frustrated. I kept hearing “Gina, you went through this a week ago and now you are dealing with it again, you failure. You are ridiculous” “Gina you just got off an amazing 10 days on the MTH Tour and came home all fired up and look at you falling down already.” “Who is going to listen to you now? You are a disappointment, a joke” I was holding onto guilt and believing these thoughts. Just trying to remedy through with a new piece of jelly gf toast or another episode of Hart of Dixie.

None of these filled me up. NONE. They never will. I was trying to fill a God shaped hole in my heart with things that will never fill that space.

Today wasn’t pretty. Now typically I would want to create a plan to fix this. To make sure it doesn’t happen again. To make sure that I won’t fail. While I will prepare for a successful day tomorrow, I am keeping in hind sight that circumstances WILL come. I will fail. I will fall on my face. I will give in. That is just part of this world.

Yet If it’s for HIS glory? If it brings me to my knees? I want more of it. If it gets my heart in the right place? I will suffer through it. God is sovereign, he has put these circumstances in my path and he can use any of my failure for good. I just need to let go of my pride and surrender.

Now while I know I need to do this. Doing it is harder than it would seem. Here is where I fight. I fight my flesh. This is where for years I thought that these were my true feelings, the part of me that wanted to defy. The part of me that wanted to check out. The part that wanted the quick and easy fill. Now I am aware that this is the very flesh that can ruin me. This part of me I need to give up. That I am a sinner. I need the Lord Everyday. Every moment.

People don’t talk about sin being strong.

People don’t talk about fighting your own flesh.

But I am talking about it. Because it’s truth and a lot of us are in the thick of it. Struggling and feeling extreme guilt that you are choosing Facebook over your kids. Food over intimacy. T.V. over quiet time with the Lord. Money or possessions over peace.

Truth is powerful my friends. Truth can heal wounds, clear the clutter and bring out joy. We are all struggling in someway or another. So, let’s be REAL and share the good, the bad and the ugly. Because someone has been in your shoes. They might just be in your shoes right now. Your truth will encourage another to be more themselves. More like the beautiful person God made them to be.

I want more of this in my life. More of what that really matters.

Let’s talk about what people don’t talk about.

This beautiful little boy’s expression describes my heart today. His eyes are exactly where I am at.

  1. Madi

    Lovin’ on you girl. Sending prayers your way this evening.

  2. Madi

    AND SO THANKFUL for you and your vulnerability.

  3. Kelly Cummings

    You’ve got this, Gina. And if you need a boost, a kick, a reminder; well you’ve got a whole lot of people who would love to return the favor you gave us when you challenged us to look you in the eye and promise things to you and ourselves.

    As someone who spent the past few (or several) years avoiding my problems with a screen, with my work, with blog stalking, with beating myself up over not stacking up to Sally Successful pants. You deserve better for yourself and I’m going to hold you to your advice! Live from your core. I believe in you.

  4. Victoria Derrick

    I’ll talk about it with you, anytime, anyplace! xxoo

  5. David Sno

    I’m right there with you….thank you for this post. <3

  6. rachel

    okay…long comment coming…please have grace with me as I process. I don’t know you, just follow you on twitter. You are right people don’t talk about those things, especially in the interwebs. I would consider myself a conservative/moderate Christian. Can I be honest about something? I think it’s hard when churches (including my own church, similar to Bethlehem) continually preach the depth of our sin and need for a savior. I think it’s true, but when we get so caught up in how our sin often swallows us whole, the attention gets focused so much on ourselves instead of on God… Instead of on just simply being and receiving from the vastness of God’s love. I have found it very freeing to just sit and receive lately…with the focus off of me and onto God. Does that make any sense? I am not trying to say we shouldn’t know the weight of our sin, I just think their should be an appropriate shift in our focus off of ourselves sometimes and onto the love God has for us just as we are.

  7. Laura

    Gina-

    Please excuse the book I’m about to write..

    Words don’t begin to express how grateful I am for this post. I have be floundering and feeling so lost since MTH. After being so energized and wanting to make so many changes and restructure- I have found myself more creatively and organizationally frustrated than I’ve been in a long time. Maybe it’s because MTH finally opened my eyes to my complacency, or maybe I am just stuck- but my heart wanted to shout “YES” to this post. So many temptations (food, hulu, late nights (ahem!)) are all crowding at me- and I have got to lay it at His feet. I have got to arm myself with HIS truth, rather than give into my flesh. Thank you for being so honest and transparent. Thank you for continuing to make things happen for those around you. Thank you for meeting me right where I am at tonight.

    I so needed it.

  8. Terri

    Gina you are SO awesome! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  9. Megan

    Thanks for rattling to my core this morning. I needed to hear that!

  10. Emily

    YOU are amazing. I love this post so much. It’s so real. I love your heart and MISS you so much. xoxoxoxo E

  11. Elizabeth Glessner

    Thanks, Gina, for opening up your heart and keepin it real! I needed this today 🙂

  12. Ali

    28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
    29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
    30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
    31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

  13. Jessica Bishop

    Thank you for sharing your heart!! Being honest and vulnerable is much more fulfilling than being prideful and fake- this is something I am working on every day!

  14. Jill

    Hi Gina – THANK YOU so much for posting this. I really needed to read this. I am glad I am not the only one. You have given me hope. Thank You!

  15. claire

    You are such an encouragement to me. I have only recently come to realize that this whole experience is so common. It is so easy to get weighed down within our sinfulness. I am proud of you for being so vulnerable and honest. I love you, girl! 🙂

  16. Megan Miller

    This brought tears to my eyes. It’s a weird mix of feelings to realize how beautifully hard life is, to know you are not alone in these difficult times, and to want for it all to bring glory to the one true God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Ashley

    He is strong in our weakness. I love your heart and authenticity, you truly make the difference as a photographer.

  18. Kate

    It is because of you that I could talk about these things.

  19. Varonica

    I needed to read this! Thanks Gina for having the courage to share this with us. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in my struggles and to not project perfection onto people who I think are awesome. We all have struggles. I will think of this the next time I get down on myself for spending too much time in front of the TV or playing games on my iPad. You are awesome (even if you don’t feel like it all the time)!

  20. beka

    Dear Gina, I just love you to pieces. I’m grateful for your honesty and inspired by your authenticity. I’ve been thinking on one part of this post all day – how I used to think that some feelings were my true feelings when really they were just diversions in disguise, trying to get me to accept less than what I was created for. Thanks for making me think long and hard. You are a wonderful blessing. I’ll be praying for you tonight!

  21. Brittany

    Love. Love. Love you. Hugs.

  22. Lara

    I love you. Just had to tell you again : )

  23. whitney

    love this! and loving your gift of both photos and words!

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