Growing Up Sandy


Good Lord, what a life! I feel the need to start right there because so often I had wondered, what in the world would life have been like if I had God in my life as a child? Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so horribly self conscious, so ashamed simply by waking up as me each day.

I used to imagine having this family that laughed and told stories about their day over the dinner table, who went to church together, loved each other in a healthy close way, hugging and so many easy “I love you’s” expressed. It’s easy to picture other families living that way when you’re looking from the outside in but I’m thinking that not too many resemble that fantasy I had.

I’d daydreamed wondering what would have been if only I had felt loved, adored and cherished.

  • What if someone told me how special I was?

  • What if a parent looked me in the eyes and showed me how much I mattered?

  • What if someone recognized my learning challenges?

  • What if someone saw something special in me and invested in me? Mentored me?

  • What if I was actually fed what I was starving for? Not that anyone could know how to do that. Everyone does their best with what they've been given right?

Did you grow up having those things YOU needed to flourish? It turns out that yes, it does matter but, in the end it really doesn’t. My life will be summed up and measured by my ending, not my beginning. Same as all of ours will.

When I think of how the hurt, damaged well meaning people in my life passed their broken pieces on to me it used to make me really sad. I was so painfully stuck there for so long. I struggled for decades with depression that made me invite the earth to open up and take me away from it all so it could be over. I had so much anxiety, insufficient identity and purpose and that changed who I was. Life’s very definition equated to being this broken sad and alone kid so much of the time. Did anyone notice? Were there signs? I always had plenty of friends and a smile on my face. I hid it well, or so it seemed.

Did you grow up having those things YOU needed to flourish? It turns out that yes, it does matter but, in the end it really doesn’t. My life will be summed up and measured by my ending, not my beginning. Same as all of ours will.

However, I see how God used it all as I look back. He called to me at such a young age and it took me forever to find Him but when I did……He worked in me, He put the right people before me to help me understand and learn and just dig into my new life.

Growing up Sandy, I had no idea how confused I was in my thinking about myself. I was clueless about what I was thinking as my opinions of the world were forming. Learning issues made even well meaning teachers annoyed with me. I remember how I was never even able to remember the actual question the teacher just seconds before asked the class when I was called on. I felt so dumb and painfully mortified so much of the time. Can I please just be invisible please?

Somewhere, maybe like you, I got this hardcore message that I wasn’t okay. Barely a couple of pounds overweight as you can see by my picture, and a message that further deflated my already broken spirit. A well meaning grandfather saying I will PAY YOU to lose weight. $100 worth of clothes if you lose however many pounds. Call it incentive. Call it a bribe, call it anything you like. It killed my spirit. It gave birth to multiple eating disorders.

You can dress that baby up and tie a big bow on it and it still screams shame, not good enough, you are not okay, you need to look like someone else. It taught me that I won’t be accepted the way I am….and probably a dozen more combinations of words that killed, literally murdered who I would grow up to be. That's just not okay with me anymore. I decided, I’m taking back my rightful, God given life as He intended it to be! Even if I have to do it while I am still overweight. I declared, I WILL NOT allow the number on the scale dictate who I am and my value and worth ever again. Even if I’m fat…..

Even in my 50's....

My shame over the number on the scale, over what I ate, what was in my shopping cart or what I ordered in a restaurant buried the true organic nature and the very spirit of me. Somewhere, where it could not even be a distant memory anymore it was buried so deep. I didn’t know she ever existed. I forgot her....