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This picture. This is a capture of the moment I first saw my teeth without braces. As I walked toward that mirror I was flooded with memories from my childhood. I was always so embarrassed by my teeth, my smile. I mastered the art of the “closed mouth smile”. I was flooded with the words of the many insults hurled at me from people making fun of my crooked teeth. Many of them that I can recall word for word. Sticks and stones do, indeed, hurt.

I love that myOrthodontist, and friend, Wendy is in this picture. She prayed for me. She inspired me. She showed me love. She cried with me. She held my hand through this journey.

And then my loving husband, Brent. Our daughter, Kass, took this photo and didn’t even realize that his reflection was in that little mirror. His expression, coupled with my “first moment”, has wrecked and blessed my heart all at the same time.

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It didn’t take long for me to fall into his arms with tears from my past and tears of gratitude for what is now. As I wept in the folds of his arms, I embarked in the here and now. The past… shattered. The now… embraced. All because my sweet family allowed me to go on this journey.

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Y’all… words hurt. When words are directed at your character, your dreams, your presence… they don’t go away. They stick with you. Choose your words carefully. Choose to see the heart of people. Because it is the heart that longs for beauty. At our core, at everyone’s core, we just want to be loved.


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