Gift of Guidance – Jimmelynn Garland Rice

Local Speaker, Mentor and Author Jimmelynn Garland Rice Helps Those Who Are Struggling

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photography Provided

Let’s face it. We all long to be loved and accepted. If we’re not careful, however, we can surround ourselves with the wrong crowd.Jimmelynn Garland Rice

“If you don’t learn to think for yourself, you’ll follow the path of least resistance and find yourself associating with people who will lead you to a dark place,” says Jimmelynn Garland Rice, a former public high school music teacher who grew weary of watching so many of her students spiral and self-destruct. A wife, mother, teacher, worship leader and public speaker, Rice founded Girls Nite In International (GNI) 15 years ago to mentor and empower teen girls and young women to make wise choices, and become bold, confident, courageous, compassionate, strong leaders.

Being female in today’s society can be challenging because so often many women don’t feel as if their voices are heard or validated.

“I believe that God has created females with wisdom and the ability to see things that perhaps are missed by others,” Rice says. “They then address those things by developing a strategy and following through with it. Women often want to inspire an army of women to accept the challenge of making change in the world.”

Rice closes out every GNI event by delivering a “Letter from Jimme” to her audience, in which she shares personal stories that weave in practical tips and guidance that she feels nobody is sharing, particularly with the current young generation. She then sends the girls home with a copy of the letter so that they can refer back to it any time they’re struggling.

Many girls have created a notebook with Rice’s letters that they take with them to college. They have also shared the letters with friends, creating a ripple effect of love. Through the years, hundreds of women and men have requested copies of her letters. In addition, she’s had parents approach her with tears in their eyes, saying that they wish they had such life lessons to refer to when they were growing up.

“It became clear that the time had come for me to write a book that compiled the letters,” says Rice, who wrote “Letters from Jimme: Life Lessons I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self.”

The book, which will be released on April 9, tackles a number of difficult but important subjects including anxiety, depression, body image, sex and self-respect, addiction, bullying, toxic relationships, suicidal thoughts, jealousy, self-worth and dignity, and eating disorders. She also covers divorce and blended families, dating violence and self-protection, loss and grief, social media influence, courage and perseverance, confidence, and life purpose. She’s humbled that people trust her to speak truth into their lives.

Jimmelynn Garland Rice“My goal is to bring value, wisdom, strategies, coping skills and tools to navigate difficult challenges, and to provide hope, healing and life guidance,” says Rice, who believes that she’s been given a voice to articulate the pain and conflict churning inside generations. She does a lot of work with middle school, high school, and college-aged females who ask themselves, “Who do I want to become? Who do I allow to influence my life and my future? How do I learn to think for myself?”

She’s found that females in particular often focus on the negative voices in their heads that tear them down, beat them up and insist that they are not enough. She implores women to stop listening to that voice and instead redirect their thoughts toward positivity. Anxiety is also sky-high for many these days, and that can have a crippling effect on mental, emotional, physical and psychological well-being. This is why she tackles anxiety in chapter one of her book.

“If we keep saying to ourselves, ‘I feel so scared,’ we create a rut in our brain that we default to,” Rice says. “That fear can paralyze us so we can’t move into the future. Therefore, we need to change the words we speak to ourselves. By counteracting that voice of anxiety, we replace it with trust and with hope.”

Rice also wants to deliver the message that we are not alone.

“We need one another,” she says. “We aren’t meant to do life alone. When we allow someone to come alongside us to encourage us as we choose personal, spiritual, emotional, mental and relational growth, we get out of the negative rut.”

Rice’s goal is to infuse hope in someone who is feeling worthless, to bring clarity to someone who is feeling confused, to create joy in someone who is feeling despair, and to provide guidance to someone who has lost their way.

Some people don’t feel welcome or wanted in their own home. Others struggle at school or at work. And when it comes to cyberspace, the online universe can be nothing short of vicious.

“Words are so important,” Rice says. “They can be weapons of destruction, or they can inspire and empower.”

“Letters from Jimme” is for everyone – male, female, young, old, at any stage in life. The book is already being translated to Spanish. Other languages may follow.Jimmelynn Garland Rice

“I’m waiting with anticipation to watch what God is going to do to reach people in despair who need help and hope,” Rice says. “We can’t change yesterday, and we can’t fear the future. We can only live for today in this moment.”

“Letters from Jimme: Life Lessons I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self” ($19.99) will be sold through Amazon and in bookstores. For more information, visit

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