She Shows Me What Strength and Faith Look Like – Jacqueline’s Story

There we are at our local coffee spot. The library closed at 7:00 and she needs more time to work on a project. We can’t just be here and not purchase anything. Two days away from payday means that I have -$5.00 in my bank account. Using my ATM card isn’t an option. I quickly rustle up some cash that amounts to $3 and some change, as I contemplate how I will look dropping all these coins on the counter. She watches me fidget with a dollar and a few quarters, nickels and dimes. “Mom, don’t worry about it, I got it. We’ll both get a coffee. I have my debit card.” She heads to the cashier with her independent self to buy us coffee. A white iced coffee for her Momma and a warm white chocolate for herself.That was yesterday. I found myself at the coffee shop with the love of my life – my daughter. Our internet has been disconnected again. Only this time, it’s been weeks, not days.
In truth, it’s been over a month now…

I didn’t expect such a delay, but too little planning and too much debt finally caught up to me. Days turned into weeks and here we are, with Christmas only a few weeks away.

My kid is such a trooper though. She knows it’s been rough and she just rolls with the punches. She’s in the midst of finals, the worst time for her not to have access to internet, but she’s learned to adapt like she always has. It’s been a lot of late nights and weekends at the library. Grabbing every second of time she can to take advantage of their free WiFi. Never once complaining – just sighing a few times here and there and trying to find subtle ways of asking her already stressed out mother, “do you have an idea when the WiFi might be back on?” All the while, making it sound like it’s the cable company at fault and they somehow need to rectify the problem. In the same breath, she’ll tell me it’s better this way because it forces her to focus and get on a schedule.

Standing at that counter, I felt a sense of shame come over me like a blanket.

How did I let it get to this? How did God? How did life? FUCK. We’re standing there and the cashier is taking too long to take our order. She’s joking with us, not knowing that I’m cringing inside and wishing I could disappear into myself all at the same time.

It’s crazy how time can stand still and in a matter of milliseconds, you can experience so many things. The cafe was full of people, but in that moment, it just felt quiet, as my shame silenced everything around me, my daughter noticing how uncomfortable I am, and the cashier smiling and talking.

It feels like I’m watching an accident – an inner tragedy, my dignity dying, and nothing can be done to remove me from the situation. I just have to go through it.

Everything is going both slow and fast, and somehow my mind is taking mental snapshots to remind me of it later. Have you ever felt like you’ve stepped outside of yourself, watching your discomfort in slow motion?

It all sounds so tragic really, but it’s just your heart and spirit trying to make sense of it all. In that moment though there is no making sense, only feeling it, and you try and go through it as fast as possible, but we can’t possibly try to heal past the scars.

These moments cause the scars that will carry us to our wins, evolve us and leave us with memories that will allow us to feel like warriors. 

I felt so much pride and even shame at the same time. My daughter did a selfless thing on her way to grown-woman status. A beautiful young woman stood before me and it all happened because her mother failed her. Again, I thought… how did I let it get to this? How did God? FUCK.

The answer – life. Shit happens. Sometimes, we’re fuck ups and let it happen, and sometimes God tests us right when we’ve decided to finally put all our faith in Him.

I just mentioned being a warrior and healing, and in this modern world, we no longer have ceremonies allowing us to know that we’ve reached our evolution. That’s why we have to have our own temples for celebration. We can’t overcome something without a test, we can’t look back and remember without a scar, and we can’t overcome if we don’t start with love. As women, we have high expectations and little patience and understanding. We have it for our loved ones, but often lack it for ourselves. I’m human, I make mistakes, but that doesn’t make me any less of a warrior.

Allow someone’s faith in you, inspire you. 

As we head back to our seats to indulge in our drinks, my daughter manages to make me laugh. She tells me about her day, from the kids that don’t get her, to the teachers that do. She is an old soul after all and she’s been the light to my darkness. At 5’2 and 102 pounds, she doesn’t look so menacing, but it’s her inner strength that shows how powerful she really is. As she talks and lightens my day, I look at how beautiful she truly is. With her long dark hair down to her waist to match those big dark eyes, she’s manage to see me past my failures. Loved me past my setbacks.

She shows me what strength and faith look like.

Later on that night, after apologizing for how hard things have been lately, she tells me, “It’s not fair, Mom. Why does everything always have to fall on you,” and ends it with, “but it’s okay though. I know you got this and everything is going to be okay. It always is.”

I’m just a single mom trying to live her purpose while being the best example I can be for my daughter. I was homeless and labeled a runaway at 15 and then a statistic at 19 after I had my daughter. What I learned is, it’s not important what others label you, but what you label yourself. Signing off as Jacqueline Diaz – dope single mom, writer, and evolving entrepreneur. Follow me on Twitter at @amigapreneur and on Facebook.

Jacqueline was quite a surprise when she sent me her submission and I immediately fell in love with her story as it was one I knew all to well. I went through a similar situation with my mother back when I was in the 10th grade, with a Global History Regents around the corner. This story has grown from the time she emailed me, to this present moment on this page and I cannot thank you enough Jackie for bringing back all of those feelings and remembering that in the end, everything really will be all right.



  1. Roconia 02.02.2015

    My favorite part about this is the timing.

    People love success stories. People want to hear about how you made it through and how everything worked out. People seldom want to read the struggle story that ends with “I’m still working on it. I’m still fighting.”. And that’s why I love this. You’re not writing to say “hey y’all everything’s okay now,” You’re writing through the shame and scarring, while it’s happening. That’s what sets you apart as a warrior writer. Good read!

  2. Jacqueline Diaz 02.03.2015

    Thank you so much Roconia! the best thing a writer can read is that someone gets it. I really appreciate your comment hermana (sister).

    I think more of us are in the “working on it” stage then over it. It’s a daily struggle but I hope everyone knows that there is def more good than bad coming our way. In the meantime while you’re in it remember how badass you are just because you keep pushing.


  3. Yetti 02.03.2015

    I don’t even know what to say…
    Except we all will get there. Beautiful post Jacqueline.

    • Jacqueline Diaz 02.04.2015

      Yetti, with just a few words you warmed my heart. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.



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