Today’s beautiful story comes from a woman many of us watched on tv growing up. If you lived in Arkansas or the surrounding states, you probably remember a Christian kids show called “Kids Like You”. Cathie Dorsch was the brains AND the beauty of that show. She worked hard to give kids a fun and thorough biblical foundation, ministering to thousands of children. Below, you can read her story of overcoming challenges and labels from childhood. Enjoy and be blessed!
How hard it is to let go of images and impressions built inside us in childhood! While many women struggle with bountiful weight or shape issues, some of us wrestled with problems of a different sort – too skinny, too tall, and once again ‘not just right,’ in the culture of Female Americana. I’ve been head and shoulders above my peers since Kindergarten, but not in a superior way – just because I’ve always been a full head taller than most around me! Growing tall so fast also meant I was terribly skinny. Add to that the fact that my straight brown hair was so non-compliant that my mother kept it cut short and pin curled it wet. Yeah, that made for some awesome school pictures… and my easily tanned skin was covered with hair! My arms were hairy! My legs were hairy! I was a freak and I knew it!!
My Louisiana grandfather had pet names for all the grands, with the boys getting rough and tumble age-appropriate names that meant they were cute or strong, and the granddaughters got lovely names, some of princesses or flora and fauna. My grandfather’s name for me, though, was Froggy.
I suppose I thought deep down that my grandfather loved me, but that label Froggy did something to me. Strangely enough, for a few years, I had a severe coverage of warts on my hands, which sure helped kids keep their distance. Everyone knows frogs give you warts! “She must play with frogs!!” – I was the Frog!! Then, there was the fact that I was an only child among Catholic classmates and cousins who all had multiple siblings, so naturally all thought of me as spoiled rotten, no less, and selfish. Life for me was actually quite different than they knew, because my parents taught me a work ethic, how to reach out to those around you, and why we give back to God who was Giver of all things. So I guess I would have to say that besides knowing I was terribly ugly, like way beyond Ugly Duckling ugly….I felt misunderstood. Which is more painful?
But life-changing love entered my life. Certainly, my parents’ love and value were priceless to me, but it was the supernatural God-kind of love that baptized my life in all new levels of joy and divine acceptance. As a teenager exposed to the Charismatic Renewal, I embraced Jesus Christ as my very own Savior, and told Him I wanted ALL of Him! Soon, He also baptized me radically in the Holy Spirit, with profound evidence and with a presence that has sustained my life in Him.
One of the very first things I remember learning as I sought Him more and more in college, was something He spoke right out of His Word – I didn’t need prophesies or to be called out with some special instruction – He often spoke right to my heart from the anointed pages of His own Word, causing His logos to become rhema to me. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
Oh what a discovery, that God was my Father, that He loved me, would provide for me, and that it was His GOOD pleasure to give me everything! His heart was toward me, not because I was a deer or a flower or anything, but just because I was HIS…. And He would exclude nothing from me. His entire kingdom was open. The idea of that love, of my purpose and place IN Him and in His Kingdom, melted so many things off my soul, and to this day, reminds me of the core of our relationship…our bond in Jesus Christ, His love, and my simple acceptance of it. Ephesians 1:3-9 says it further, so richly, that we are holy and blameless before Him in love… accepted in the Beloved.
My grandfather has long since been in Heaven along with all of my grandparents, and I made a conscious decision to forgive him and all who have perhaps unintentionally misshaped my thoughts. We’ll laugh about it in Heaven some day, and honestly I understand now it was my long skinny legs that brought the idea of “Froggy” to him… But to my Heavenly Father, ah to Him, I am only His. That is enough for me, and that makes me Beautiful.