In 1990 at the age 15 years old I was closer to be an adult than being a child. That year Disney started a program called Disney Afternoon.
From the Disney Afternoon Soundtrack
The Disney Afternoon was a two hour block of television that contained a grouping of four half-hour cartoons, Disney’s Adventures Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers and TaleSpin. I was an instant fan of all of the cartoons except for The Gummi Bears – which I seem to remember being on before.
DuckTales with Uncle Scrooge became a perennial favorite – I even got a watch at Walt Disney World and specifically requested he be painted in his DuckTales colors as opposed to his Mickey’s Christmas Carol colors. I could tell Huey, Dewey and Louie apart (Louie is my favorite); I liked Chip better than Dale, he was more detective and I liked his hat and bomber jacket and we named a dog after the mechanical genius of the group – Gadget; for my 16th birthday I got a tamed Cockatiel in which I named Kit from the character Kit Cloudkicker from TaleSpin. Like I said I loved them.
In 1991 though the changed the lineup and bumped Gummi Bears out and brought it a spinoff from the very popular DuckTales – Darkwing Duck – Launchpad transversed from Duckburg to St. Canard and became the sidekick to the titular character.
There were a lot of great things about Darkwing – he was a self-made super hero, a megalomaniac, self referential and an adoptive father to his daughter Gosalyn. Darkwing was the kind of hero/father I wanted strong, loving, and a dork. Growing up without my father (though my mother was loving and hardworking), I looked for people I would have liked to be my father and Darkwing was one of them. Gosalyn last name before she was adopted, as revealed in the first episodes, was Waddlemeyer.
Years passed and I joined the Army, married and this weird thing called the internet appeared. As the internet grew and usernames were needed and I didn’t always want to use my own name because if you were playing online card games sometimes guys would hit on you (I’ll tell that story later) so, waddlemeyer was adopted – much to the chagrin of my husband who thought I was making fun of my Rubenesque (and then some) figure. I wasn’t though just some fangirling (drakemallard, darkwing and gosalyn were already taken).
Later on, my husband had through our own adoption process and adopted older two boys. As they grew up my husband found the Wild at Heart and other books from John Eldredge where he talks about wounds and how men must look to and hear from their heavenly father for their worth. I listened it to it many times with the guys on our road trips to different Institute for Cultural Communicators events – such as Communicators for Christ, Flood the Five and Tournaments which always seem to be a 7 hour or more drive.
I did find the book a little frustrating because it always dealt with the male perspective. Finally John Eldredge released a book he co-authored with his wife Staci Eldredge called Captivating. I read (listened to) the book and similar to the Wild at Heart there a section where you take you question of value to your heavenly Father and ask him what is his name for you? I did and was given beautiful courage.
Honestly I struggled with this name because I didn’t think of myself as either beautiful or courageous. I was/am obese and my grooming habits were hit or miss. As far as courageous goes I felt like I was hiding all of the time.
Then God, using time and the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit, pointed out where I had shown courage. I’ve gotten three clear direction from God in my life. 1. Adopt 2. Homeschool 3. Start an Institute for Cultural Communicators chapter. They were all hard and difficult but number 3 was the hardest.
If I am part of a group I’ll do what is asked and try to participate fully – but I was having to do the asking. I am the type of person who would rather do anything alone then impose on others (outside of my immediate family) to help me. Here, I had to ask people not just to join but to pay money to join. It was stressful and hard – but it was what He asked me to do. And in that is way courageous. Not because I’m comfortable but because I expose myself despite being uncomfortable – or just downright scared.
After learning the name and before I got comfortable with it (that would take a few years) I played with the name a bit. Looked up synonyms and found radiant for beauty and mettle for courage. They fit, meaning it felt like the name I was looking for.
Since I’ve gotten my name a lot of things changed, some, struggles mostly, stayed the same. I’ve healed some. I found out almost 2 years ago that I’ve been suffering from low thyroid. Which help explain why some days I just wanted to lay on my bed like a slug. I did notice that my normal body temperature was a full degree below the average body temperature. My doctor said I would be a new person in a few months but it took longer than that – about 9 months to a year.
In 2015 I took a trip to Colorado and went to the Captivating retreat hosted by RansomedHeart Ministries founded by the John Eldridge. I enjoyed it and after that I seemed to come alive again. I became more of the person I always wanted to be but couldn’t seem to make myself become.
At first, a casual observer or even my husband and children, might not of noticed it. I did something that went against everything I’ve ever read or heard. I gave myself permission to do nothing that I didn’t want to do. That means that I couldn’t gripe at myself for being lazy and worthless or ask myself what is wrong with you. I did let my husband know who gave me an odd look after hearing my explanation but went along with it.
At first I did nothing. I might of watched streaming shows on my PC, played SodaCrush or whatnot. I did do somethings like maybe feed the dogs and cat, pick up a little, occasionally make something or a load of laundry but it wasn’t much. But I was okay and the internal gripping didn’t come. Then after a week or so I did do a lot more. My husband left for a business trip and I started cleaning my closet. Then I bought shelves for my shoes and then I cleaned his closet and bought shelves. I felt so different and I could do things now not because I had to but because I wanted to.
The weight of the guilt of never being good enough was gone. I was accepted. Not only by my loving father, husband and family but by myself. I am beautiful, radiant even. I show courage in ways I didn’t even imagine I could before – even in just the openness of this blog – which is always brave because there are people out there who will misunderstand or just disagree and will feel the need to put me in my place.
I am no longer the lost orphan Waddlemeyer who is looking for a fiction daddy. I have my Father in heaven who has accepted me and loved me and has named me RadiantMettle.
All who look to him will be radiant, and never cover their face in shame. Psalm 34:5