Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Welcome To Womanhood: Allysse Shank

Allysee Shank

I had always thought becoming a “woman” meant I was to put childish ways behind me. Womanhood was to be a time when I became serious about life. When I was a woman, I would have a husband and some kids and a house. Maybe I’d have a job, and maybe I’d have brunches with old girlfriends from my childhood…

At 21, I was getting ready to start my last year of college. I was single, living with two roommates in a city five hours from home, and just returning from a study abroad trip I’d taken the previous semester. I was enjoying it all with the usual ups and downs of young-adult life. While I was happy and enjoying life, I still felt like I was “killing time” more than living.

See, at that point in my life, I had so far finished what was expected of me. I had hit all the milestones that everyone is “supposed to” hit at that age. There was just one thing that threw me off, and that was the fact that I was still very much single.

However, that year I read a book.

It was one of those books that I would have never picked up. The cover didn’t look like a style I’d enjoy. It was a devotional-type book, and I never really was able to finish those. This book fell into my hands on Christmas as a gift from my mother. 

The book, Lady in Waiting, by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones, helped give me perspective on my life; and, ultimately, made me realize that I was (at that very moment) already a woman.

In Lady in Waiting, there is a story about a friend of the writer. This friend was the only one of her group of friends to still be single by the time they’d all reached their late twenties. She goes on to explain how her friend finally stopped eating off paper plates and starting eating off her fine china because she realized she had been denying herself simple pleasures in life, chalking it up to her “waiting” for her life to begin. 

This story stuck out to me. It was something similar to an incident that very month where I’d put a plate set back on the shelf at Ross because I wasn’t sure if my “future husband” would care for the color. 

Long story short, this book made me realize it was okay to “eat off the fine china.” I needed to embrace living. I realized I had been waiting for my life to “begin” (cue Tangled song), but, in fact, my life was already in full swing.

This was such a key moment in my life! I’ve never looked back. I’ve never felt incomplete. More to the point, I knew I was a woman, not a girl, just the way I was. An amazingly peaceful feeling came with that realization.

I highly recommend the book. It’s a beautiful picture of how complete any woman or girl can be in pursuing a relationship with God. It taught me to throw aside all my goals of having a career or having a family and just find my own identity. Now, I feel like whenever those things happen in my life, I’m better for it all now. 

Allysse Shank, Founder of I Made Lemonade. San Antonio, TX. Offering a platform for others to give hope to the doubting. http://imadelemonade.com/

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