On my tippy toes I stood to watch her play her piece. I swear the spotlight drenched her in angel light. I looked around. My heart was not the only one mesmerized by her presence. The roar of applause for her solo was deafening to my ears. I wanted to be loved by others like Tammy.
Tammy was a year older. I remember watching her at a school assembly when I was in 4th grade. She was so cute with her mini skirt, white go-go boots tapping to the beat, gorgeous tan, wavy blonde hair and pearly toothed smile. Everyone liked Tammy, she was always surrounded by friends at lunch and on the playground and she played the flute.
Me, I was in the midst of change. Teeth, hands and feet seemingly way too big for my body with pale skin sprinkled with freckles – in my eyes, an ugly duckling. To top it all off, it was the 60’s and I was from a fatherless home. Back then in my community, I might as well have been wearing a scarlet “D” pinned to my chest. I saw and heard the whispers behind my mother’s back and the furrowed brows that glanced at my sister and me. Certainly I heard the distressing sighs and clucking tongues in our direction. An era when people often considered divorces the result of a wife who couldn’t keep her man – not that my mother did not have her stuff to own. Single parent home, finances tight, I often wore hand-me-downs. There would be no sparkly white go-go boots for me. I’d eventually play my step fathers “family” clarinet in the age worn burgundy case – I hated it!
I wish I could say there was no comparison going on – Ha! That would be a lie. And there was also much more going on in my young heart. How could a girl like me, one from the “wrong side of the tracks” become a Tammy? You see I was certain Tammy was not only loved by the school assembly, but by her parents as well – especially her daddy, for her beauty. It was the answer to my daddy’s abandonment and lost love.
Yes, there would be other “Tammy’s” throughout my growing years, beautiful girls who seemed to have it all together. I still remember their names, Michelle, April, Merilee, Rene to name a few. Even when my adolescent becoming had finished and I was a pretty petite teenager, I craved to be loved by others.
Obviously I am not a little girl, teenager or young woman. It’s no secret. I am fifty three years old and a woman who has been through decades of changes. And although at sixteen this age seemed, well… ancient, I’m finding that’s simply not true. It seems every day I am discovering more of the woman I’m created to be and more of whom and what I want to be when I “grow up”.
So, that was a really great paragraph. It is true and full of hope. The rest of the story would tell you that I often struggle with who it is that I am. Honestly, I am tempted to run from the very thing I long for – to know and embrace what it is that I am uniquely created to give to this world.
The truth is, once again my body is changing, inside and out, in ways that often feel awkward – some changes I do not like – and yet all completely normal for a woman my age. I’ve passed the developmental milestone of menopause – like puberty in reverse. My body is softer, curvier and drier. Yes, I am trying to be very kind and honest. I will never be 12, 21 or 30 again. Not sure I really want to be. While I’ve implemented lifestyle changes to care for my body in this new season, it doesn’t mean I am a crotchety old woman. In fact, there is vibrancy to this season. I wasn’t expecting that nor did anyone tell me. Surprise!
And in the midst of these changes, I still desire to be loved by others. Who doesn’t? And I’m grateful to have a few who do love me well. Something important I have discovered… is one must love themselves in the becoming. If not it doesn’t bring life to others or to yourself and the vibrant possibilities slip right through your fingers.
My heart is becoming too! No one changes in a continuous straight path upward. It involves stumbling, failing, doubting and honestly, just outright blowing it. Becoming requires great kindness, truth and grace spoken to the heart. Ugh…and patience. Yep, I just said that…
So, what about Tammy? Well, I have found there is always a Tammy – the woman who seems to negotiate the becoming with such beauty, grace and ease. Here’s the thing, God didn’t create me to be a Tammy. He had a true Robyn intended that He desires to redeem. A Robyn made in His image that would reflect the heart of God.
And that my friend is the most important becoming/journey I or you could ever take – becoming my/your true self through the love of God. The woman He had in mind for me and you from the beginning of time.
Gosh…even I feel drenched in angel light!
Robyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her beloved husband of 32 years. She has an adventurous heart that is learning to breathe. Lover of truth, seeker of story, aspiring author and newborn dreamer, this mother of three is in search of redemption and living her Kingdom purpose. Robyn writes here. n