Antonina Griffin

by Terry Watson | September 16th, 2016
Antonina Griffin (Photo by Jarvis Harris)

Antonina Griffin (Photo by Jarvis Harris)

Antonina Griffin travels the world telling her story and promoting her business. Today she’s a highly sought after inspirational speaker and business advisor. Some might even say she’s living the good life. However, it wasn’t that long ago that her life and everything she knew was a perfect example of the polar opposite.
By most accounts there was nothing magical or magnificent about her childhood and certainly wasn’t indicative of the blessed life she now enjoys. “I spent the first 20 years of my life in what some would call the hood, projects or low income/no-income housing,” said Griffin. “My mom passed away when I was nine years old and my father was never around. My grandmother, Ruth Barrett, did her very best at raising my younger brother and myself. Growing up in a poverty stricken environment; life was tough.” “I was molested by a close family friend. I witnessed my mom being physically abused. Violence was all around me, but so was love. My grandmother loved me dearly. She loved me all the way up until her last breath. She died when I was 18 years old.”

When her grandmother died she felt her world ended. However, Griffin said it was her son who kept her alive. However, even that wasn’t quite enough. She couldn’t find the answers to the hard question that were constantly racing through her mind. What was she supposed to do? How could she be a good mother? With only a high school diploma, no guidance, or encouragement, what could she do?

After having her son, Griffin suddenly found herself stuck. With no money, real family or friends to depend on, she began doing whatever she needed to do to survive and to maintain some semblance of a decent life, including selling drugs. The heartache that she endured as a child only compounded as she grew older. Instead of finding the love and satisfaction that she so desperately sought after, she found their counterfeit counterparts.

Before Griffin knew it, she was a single mother of four children with three different fathers. She became haunted by the unsavory names people chose to call her and soon thereafter began to play the role in which she was cast. As determined as she was not to, she began repeating the cycle and lifestyle that she witnessed as a child with her own mother.

Even after trying multiple times to “get her life together” by going to church like her grandmother had taught and raised her to do, she always found herself back in the same rut and engaging in her old activities and tendencies. “I started hanging out in a different project. It was there where I learned about life. And it was there where I started searching for love in all the wrong places,” she said. After a night of partying and clubbing, Griffin chose to hang out with a guy at a hotel. Once she got there her intuition told her that something just wasn’t right and she made a decision to leave, but her friend refused to accept her change of heart. In the blink of an eye her life was forever changed. It was several years later before she revealed to anyone that she was raped that night. “I kept the rape from everyone for years and the first person I told was my childhood friend of 30 years,” she said. As difficult as that night was and coupled with all the other issues she held, Griffin said, “Instead of dealing with molestation, rape, feelings of abandonment and rejection, I swept it under the rug and I looked to men more to validate me.”

It took a great deal of time for Griffin to come to terms with her past, but eventually she did. However, it wasn’t something she did on her own. As a matter of fact, it took an intervention. God intervened and changed her life. “When I discovered Jesus, I discovered Antonina. I understood that it was all a part of my purpose. It was God that got me through it. The pain of life was sometimes unbearable and so I had to rely on the Word of God,” she said. “When I made the decision to stop clubbing, hustling, and devaluing myself by sleeping with men to make myself feel better, which by the way made me feel worse, and made the decision to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, then I realized He was all the man I ever needed. That one decision changed my life for the better!” Her relationship with God not only helped mend and repair all the broken and dysfunctional areas in her life, but it paved the way for her to develop and cultivate, other functional and healthy relationships, especially with men.

Today Griffin is happily married to Darin Griffin, whom she met at church. She credits her God-sent husband as the one who helped her “unpack” all of the “baggage” in her life.

“God sent me a man that helped me. Some stuff I needed to hold on to like the lessons behind the pain and other stuff I needed to get rid of, like excuses that caused the pain,” she said. “Now that I understand that the pain led to my purpose I’m in a thriving state of mind. When I was trying to figure Antonina out I was a survivor because I continued to live despite the hardship and danger. However, when I started walking into my purpose I started to flourish, prosper, grow, develop, bloom, blossom, succeed and profit. I became a thriver. It wasn’t easy, but it’s safe to say I’m in a great state.”

She’s not just in a great state; she’s in greatness overdrive. Her energy has changed; her effort has changed; and her motivation has changed. Griffin is currently a national director in Total Life Changes, a natural health and wellness business that simultaneously promotes increased health options for consumers and offers opportunities for those same customers to change their socioeconomic status through a rewarding compensation plan. In fact, the plan is so rewarding and has been such a blessing to Griffin and her family, she has been able to add to her net worth by purchasing Prominence Funeral Services in Thomasville, N.C.

Now a certified, legitimate businesswoman, walking in her purpose, Griffin uses every opportunity she has to not only tell her story, but help others, especially women, discover their purposes all while taking care of their health. She uses her book, “Perfectly Out of Order” as well as what she calls purposed “connections.”
“My amazing mentor told me that what you go through determines the type of people you minister or talk to. So I connect with people through their struggle. I know everything I went through wasn’t for me, but it was for me to help others come out,” she said. “I don’t have a lot of “friends” that I hang out with, but I have a lot of purpose that I must fulfill. I can only fulfill my purpose by praying and asking God to connect me to the people that he wants to connect me to.”

While Griffin is making purpose driven connections, she’s also looking to reach her personal goals, including opening a charter school in the very near future as well as conducting more of her “Loving My Inner Me” women’s retreats in the mountains of Pigeon Forge. However, Griffin says there’s much more to be done and she’s determined more than ever to get it done. Quoting one of her friends, she says, “I’m here for my dreams to evolve and not evaporate.”

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