When Christina walks in the room, I cannot help but notice the confidence that she carries. She isn’t much taller than me, but she stands with a statue that commands attention. She captures the room before she speaks a single word. I know that she is a mother and a grandmother, but I swear she does not look a day over 29 years old. The wisdom in what this powerhouse of a woman has experienced does not show until you listen to her speak and you look into her eyes. Christina has persevered. Christina has overcome. Chistina has loved. Christina has given of herself beyond what might have broken another.
As she shares her story as a young mother in school, working to make ends meet and doing what everyone said was the “right thing to do”, she tells me that she refuses to cry and I can see why. Christina has conquered. When life brought her to battlefield, she responded with the might of David - the underdog - no giant was going to keep Christina down.
And as she takes me back to those dark days with hungry mouths and not enough in the pantry, the tears almost creep into this sacred space between us. I can see the apartment and feel her desperation. And then she makes me laugh and the resolve of her story fills that expanse of years between then and now.
Christina is inspiring. Not only for what she has overcome but for the soft spoken resolve that she brings into her life and those around her. I don’t know, yet, how this story will unfold as she goes back into the dark crevices of her past to tell how food and family brought her to today, but I am excited to watch what her story will become.
Listen with me. Because Christina definitely has something to say.
Buy a ticket. Mark your calendars.