Becoming Who We Were Meant to Be with Help from God’s Messengers

Dear Reader:

This beautiful piece of prose by Nikita Gill reminds us of all the roles we have played with a diversity of personalities within us….that have taken a lifetime to mold …and if we are really lucky…our clay remains pliable enough to continue creating new roles within each stage of life.

Even though I have always endorsed and cheered on the mantra…”Don’t let your circumstances define who you are”….circumstances certainly play a role in our development…in either positive or negative situations. It is, however, up to us to strive and lean towards the light in our lives that guides us to becoming who we were created to be.

It is has only been lately that I have come to realize the importance of others in the final “product” we turn out to be. At different crossroads in my childhood, youth, young adulthood and older…there has always been someone to help me find my way…these days I can’t help but think they were all carrying out roles God had commissioned them, consciously or unconsciously, to steer me in the right direction.

Circumstances played a major role in my early childhood….the loss of my father at age five and mother’s loss of her left arm to bone cancer at age 6… these circumstances definitely left scars for years inside me that visibly manifested themselves into extreme shyness, exaggerated fears of personal loss, excessive bouts of homesickness, and an introverted personality.

But then came the “messengers” to the rescue…..first my amazing aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of my family… my grandmothers…all who tried desperately and relatively successfully, to fill in the voids with their love and generosity of time.

At 10…Mrs. Williams, my fifth grade teacher, would take me on as her personal “do-over” project (aware of my family’s challenges)…I was her personal helper, I was selected for every recognition and award that year…and miraculously… instead of being labeled the ‘teacher’s pet’ and shunned by my classmates…they started looking at me differently…Mrs. Williams was an older, strict disciplinarian, and if she had chosen me…there must be something there.

I came out of my shell, my true personality… hidden for so long behind a facade of timidity and fearfulness, bloomed into a metamorphosis of extroversion. From that grade on…I saw myself differently…as someone special….what a gift Mrs. Williams gave me that year.

At 13…my “messenger” was Pat Richardson and her little boy, Gregory…they lived on the other side of the duplex and she let me come over after school to help with Gregory who I loved as much as his mother…she talked to me about adolescent things I couldn’t talk to mother about….problems at school…she single-handedly helped me survive those difficult middle school years.

I emerged from them still intact and ready to take on high school. *I loved Pat, also, because she loved my younger brother, David, who was struggling under the physical challenges of Marfan’s Syndrome Disease that ended up taking his life at 21.

We had moved to Laurens my freshman year and I was reunited with my cousins…so I was easily accepted into my new environment and thrived there all four years (class officer, cheerleader, etc.) before heading to Erskine College.

And it was there, on the first day of school that my life-altering and life-long “messenger” arrived in the form of my unknown roommate…Brooke….my long-lost  sister growing up in a mirror-look-alike home environment, a parallel life,  who was always upbeat, funny, and taught me to loosen up, not take life so seriously, and always land on my feet.

Once again…circumstances came into play those four years…Brooke losing her mother, being “adopted” emotionally by mine…adored by my whole family…my sister by friendship and love.

To finish out the college experience…Libby and Jackson, our suite mates, completed our circle of friendship….friends forever. Each bringing their personalities and outlooks on life that somehow complimented each of our own personalities…making us complete and accepted …true friendship. (Our “honky-tonk” days! 🙂

Marriages, children, jobs….all came and went in a blur of busyness and daily challenges…but through it all…also came love, family, and friendships to connect us to the world and each other through the thick and thin times of life.

And now….now I am happier than I have ever been….a proud mother and grandmother (five times over-adorable grandchildren)…blessed beyond measure with amazing friends, neighbors, as well as, time finally to follow my own passions…writing and gardening.

So no matter when or how the story ends…it will always conclude that “I lived happily ever after”…because that is the way we should live every day of our lives…happily ever after.

So until tomorrow… “Remember our bones have grown, but what made them has never changed.” (God, our Creator, remains the one true constant, the compass in our lives…sending out messengers to keep us traveling true north.)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

 

The Turners left Tuesday for Disney World and the Dingles returned yesterday from Fripp Island…in spite of the rain and in between showers they managed to hang out at the pool and beach and had a wonderful time!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to Becoming Who We Were Meant to Be with Help from God’s Messengers

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    I admire you so much!You have no idea how much you and your words mean to oh so many! Love you lots Boo❤️

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh Honey…you definitely have always been a messenger of generosity of love and giving…every time I heard that beautiful story Mr. Rogers learned from his mother about coping with life’s tragedies I think of you…in every difficult situation…you are the first “helper” to appear and start soothing and comforting those in need.

      Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

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  2. Becky, I so love this! You have never let your circumstances get you down or define you! Your circumstances and your “messengers” only molded you and made you a better person—this lesson is such a gift to all of your readers! You are such a strong and determined person who is full of happiness and joy!!! You remind us all to look for the little things in life that God gives us each day to bring joy and happiness into our hearts! Thank you for being a “messenger” to me and your other readers daily—Your Blog Is a BLESSING to so many people! LOVE YOU friend!☀️💕

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Well now you did it Lisa…the “boo” is “boo-hooing” …thank you for your continuous support of love and encouragement…our paths were definitely destined to intersect and I am a better person for it.

      Like

  3. Bekah Barbour says:

    You inspire me so much! I’ve always gotten down so much about my own circumstances and I’m still that shy person! I never knew you were a shy and introverted child, you’d never know it!! That gives me hope even though I’m older in life now that things can still change and there is definitely hope! I always love being around you! You’re personality and sense of humor is infectious!

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Too sweet Bekah…you have everything it takes to be successful…just keep the faith that each step you take…whether it is a job or a relationship is putting you in the path of someone …your messenger…to give you direction. Life is simply all about relationships and networking…start looking around you at work or church or an activity Ady is involved in and stay open to new possibilities that can alter your life. They are always there. Love you, Aunt Becky

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  4. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Love catching up on your blog…always inspirational…love you

    Like

  5. Becky Dingle says:

    Thank you sweet Gin-g…so glad to hear you are slowly returning to the land of the living and soon all this will be just a distant memory and you will have a new start on life.

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