Tianna Cummings: I have known Tianna since she was a little girl. And I’ve also gotten to experience serving along side of her. She is passionate about what she believes the Lord is leading her to do and she loves deeply. I’m proud to have been able to be a part of her growing up years and I’m excited to see what the Lord does with her future. One thing for sure I know is that she will do it to the best of her ability and she isn’t afraid of following His lead. Glad to be a 2nd mom to this wonderful child of God!
My story with God, is a simple one – He saved my life. When I say that, I don’t mean God sending his one and only son to be crucified so that I might live. God sent me people that reminded me, not only who He is and why but that I matter and I have been given the gift of a life that needs living.
My parents got pregnant with me at a young age, they separated at a young age, which left me at a young age, without a father. Ironically, one of the few things I ever longed for in this world, was a strong, father/daughter relationship and that is still something I desire to have as a 23 year old young women. I truly believe that my God has a real serious sense of humor. He has always known my heart but our definitions haven’t always come from the same dictionary. God blessed me with a grandfather who has taken on some of the familial father roles; this is how God started placing people in my life.
I spent my formative years in North Carolina, while my father lived in Minnesota. When I was 11 years old, I told my mom, I wanted to move to Minnesota to live with my father, my step mom and my step brother, to help eliminate any of the excuses he fashioned for why we didn’t have a relationship. In the time I lived in Minnesota with them, I became very depressed and in fact suicidal. I think that I have always been a strong believer in the fact that God knows my heart and of course when you make those desires known, He will give them to you (within reason.) At 12, going on 13, the young girl in me, couldn’t understand why God hadn’t given my father the days off work to spend with me, or the courage to just tell me why he didn’t do for me but could do for his step son – those times and conversations never came. With that, I began traveling down the road of reason that if I couldn’t have the one desire of my heart – a true dad, then there would be no need to keep fighting for that or hurting over it not happening. But when I came back to North Carolina, I started almost therapy with my youth minister. Funny thing, looking back, that was God placing a man in my life to fill a void.
After returning back to North Carolina and starting high school, I began struggling with my mom. Growing up in a single parent household was given a new meaning when my life started. As I mentioned before, my parents got pregnant young, my parents and I are nineteen years apart. At no fault of my mom, I think it just got hard for her. At one point, we lived with my grandparents, I remember she moved out and I stayed with them to go to better schools and then she just stopped coming by the house, or I would only see her on the weekends and then back home with my (grand)parents. Definition wise, I come from a single mother household, but I grew up with two parents, they just didn’t directly birth me. That was a long way around, but starting high school, my mom and I began to have some issues of respect, and boundaries. Some would consider it normal, if these were issues with a parent you saw everyday, but that wasn’t us. This took me ever further down the path of suicide that I started a few years earlier – if the people that God gave me as parents don’t respect me or love me or want to do for me, then why should I make it harder for them?
I didn’t know it then, but God had always heard my prayers and knew my heart, but it wasn’t until that moment, he began to what appeared to be, as actively answering. He sent me women from my church, with boys, or adult children, or no children at all- women like Rhoda Gould, Ingrid Ruffin and Natasha Owens. These women all entered my life for different reasons and have stayed with me through many seasons.
Without these women and men, my story would have ended years too soon. My life is not perfect. I eventually had to accept that I would have to forgive my father and that my mom and I are better apart. I thank God for the role both my parents have played and still play in shaping the adult I am becoming. Now, my father believes he his entitled to a relationship with me and had this epiphany after my 21st birthday. I have now come to the realization that I had forgiven my father at 18, for the hurt caused up until that point, but now I need to forgive him for the hurt he’s brought back between then and now. And I am learning discernment in speaking to my mother as her adult child.
Some people think because I am outgoing and loud and comfortable in front of crowds, that it’s easy. I understand that there will always be someone my age or younger who has or is living something far worse than what I’ve experienced – it’s all relative, but that doesn’t mean that my monsters are any less terrifying to me or the same for the next person.
As my 21st birthday gift to myself, I got, “Matthew 6:25, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry for each day has enough troubles of its own.’
Love always and forever, Mommy.” I have learned my past took too much energy in worrying about a world without me in it. My God clearly states in that verse that I am more important than the animals and yet, even they don’t worry. Sharing that just leaves room for God to save another life, just like he saved mine! Tianna Cummings
Lord, be with Tianna as she moves into the next phase of life following You. Give her the people around her that will encourage her and help keep her on the path to You. Thank You Lord for allowing me to be part of her journey. Remind us Lord that we are to seek out those we can serve. Amen!