How did you get connected with The Fatherless Daughter Project?
Denna asked me to be a part of the documentary.

Can you tell us in a few sentences about your personal story of father loss?
When I was born, my dad left. He came back when I was still very young but at the time he struggled with substance abuse. Although he came back, he still wasn’t very present. He went in and out of jail throughout my younger years but finally when I was about six, he moved to Myrtle Beach and shortly after, remarried. From that point on, I saw him occasionally but little to no contact in between. We have never had a close relationship and still don’t to this day.

What has been the biggest challenge being fatherless?
Just knowing that I was lacking something without ever really feeling it until now. For so long, I put all my negative feelings and emotions in the back of my mind. I got so good at it in fact, that I honestly believed it didn’t affect me. As I got older, and began dating, I realized something was different about me. I experienced severe anxiety about losing the men in my life (especially my boyfriends), I had major trust issues, and was clingy to the max. I have never been the girl that agrees with the “I have daddy issues so that’s why I do these certain behaviors” mentality but I do believe there is some truth in that. Some girls abuse it by using it as an excuse but all B.S. aside, I know there is SOME truth in it.

What has helped you to survive?
Honestly, my family and strength found in God. The support I have received over the years has been incredible. Men stepping up, acting as a collective body to fill the gap my dad left open. Instead of having one “dad,” I have had multiple “dads,” It has been indescribable. I am so blessed to have so many supporters and caregivers throughout my child hood and even today! God is good.

Is there a special person(s) in your life that has helped you find healing?
There are special people in my life that have helped me find healing. I believe God puts people in our lives to do his work. I think a miracle isn’t some miraculous act of the divine; I think God performs miracles through the generosity and work of those around us. He works all things together for our good and he definitely has in my life. My Uncle Steve and Uncle Jack have been here for me throughout my whole entire life supporting me financially, emotionally and lovingly! I would not be where I am today without them. Also, my stepdad Robb. I have learned more about what a Godly man looks like through his relationship with my Mom than any other man has ever taught me. He loves me and corrects me. That’s the most important thing. He corrects me. A girl needs that in her life in order to be set up for future successes.

Where do you shine?
I think I shine most when I am sharing my heart with people. I have learned that a connection with another person is far more valuable than anything else. What you say to people can change their future; it can shift their whole life focus. There is power in words.

What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to face the pain and embrace it. Pain turns to strength and you are strong enough to handle it.

If you could have a theme song, what would it be?
“Oceans” by Hillsong. Listen to it!

How do you hope to make a difference in the world?
I hope to show other girls/women that it is okay to feel. For so long I went by the famous quote from Disney’s Frozen, “Conceal don’t feel.” Not only do I want to break this way of thinking, but I want to show them how to use it to their advantage and turn it into strength and positivity.

Fill in the blank: “The most amazing thing about my life is _______________.”
that I get to share my story and change the way others view their lives. It’s all I ever wanted.


Thanks, Laken. We are blessed to have you in our sisterhood!

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