Jennifer Glass is a current student in the Adult Degree Program at Concordia University Texas, earning her Bachelor of Arts. Her path to Concordia is an incredible story of God's sovereignty, combining life-changing faith, connections and opportunities.
Glass' faith in God is palpable, and the trials she has faced have solidified her faith.
Diagnosed with cervical cancer, Glass endured 19 surgeries. The doctors gave her the prognosis that she could never have children. When Glass became pregnant, they warned her not to name her baby because her child wouldn't survive.
But Glass had faith that God would bless her with a healthy child, and He did. She has a beautiful, healthy little girl.
A couple of years ago, Glass was wrestling internally and, in her words, often gave up when faced with obstacles. While at church on Mother's Day, Glass met Nichola Cotto, the founder of the nonprofit We Are Not Broken.
About We Are Not Broken
We Are Not Broken exists to share the stories behind the scars that women have. In contrast to the photoshopped pictures plastered across magazine covers, social media and everywhere else, Cotto uses We Are Not Broken to share real pictures of real women with real stories.
Each woman visits her studio in Georgetown, Texas, for a photo shoot to showcase their scars. The women then share the stories on video for the We Are Not Broken YouTube channel.
"My mission is to change the narrative of how women are viewed," Cotto said. "Don't be ashamed of your scars. They show you what God did, what He brought you through. There are amazing testimonies behind scars."
January 17 is now officially national We Are Not Broken Day. "Be true to the woman who God calls you to be, not to the image the world expects you to be," Cotto explained.
Sharing the Story Behind Her Scars
After getting to know Glass, Cotto wanted to document her story of surviving cancer and having a child when the doctors said it wasn't possible. "Nichola told me, 'this doesn't define you; it's God's way of showing you that you have so much to live for,'" Glass said.
Although she was hesitant at first and incredibly nervous, Glass felt an incredible burden lifted when she shared her story. "I felt like a sheep who was bogged down by wool, and a person came and sheared off everything," Glass explained.
Although it's a continual process, Glass has peace knowing that God holds the shears. After sharing her story, she began to contemplate how she would fulfill God's calling for her life. This road led her to Concordia.
Choosing Concordia University Texas
Glass is a special education paraprofessional at KIPP Texas Public Schools. Working with children who have special needs is her passion. As a child, Glass was a special education student. "I want to be able to give to another generation the help that I received," she said.
She performs all of the tasks that a teacher performs. In an effort to help Glass elevate her craft, one of the teachers suggested that Glass complete her bachelor's degree because it would grant her access to more opportunities.
The first in her family to pursue a degree, Glass wanted to finish her bachelor's degree, but obstacles kept delaying her from doing so. After learning about Concordia for the first time from a coworker who earned her master's degree from CTX, Glass decided to look into the University.
"When researching, I noticed that Concordia is a Christian-based college," Glass explained. "Ironically, I was praying for a Christian education for my daughter but not for myself."
Reminded of a conversation she had with Cotto about ensuring that God is in the center of everything, she requested more information from Concordia.
Chrysta Grebing, an ADP admissions counselor at Concordia, helped her with the admissions process and worked to make her feel welcomed as a fully online student.
After telling Cotto her exciting news, Glass discovered that Cotto's husband, Ricky Cotto, is a 2007 alumnus of Concordia University Texas.
"This isn't just a little 'aha' moment," Glass said. "This is God showing me that He has strategically put me in this place and put people in my life to show me what He's capable of doing."
Glass is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Business. She would like to become a special education coordinator, but she is focusing on finishing her degree and seeing where God leads her.
Her degree will open the door to new opportunities to advance, receive better pay and, most importantly, make a greater impact.
"My daughter is going to see success, no matter what," she stated. "I am focused on earning my degree. I know what God needs me to do for her — to succeed."
Glass offered advice that is beneficial for everyone. "Do not fix your eyes on the timing of man," she said. "Things will happen that need to happen according to God's will. He will use your story for good."
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