So Vivid Women’s Conference’s host, Tanya ‘Lady T’ Amey features here this week (refer to the Tuesday and yesterday’s posts). Today being #TruthThursday, let’s talk about the little truths we, women, are often too timid to shed light on – you know, the ones that make us so uncomfortable to publicly or even privately admit to holding certain perceptions to.
So here’s Lady T once again laying the spotlight on some of those issues, as we busk on the pregnant anticipation for this year’s edition of the conference. Check this link for details.
When I first met Lady T earlier this year through one of the phenomenal ladies I also featured on this platform – Karen Powell – she came so highly recommended that until I sat across her and her husband, Pastor Mike Amey, I wondered; who is Tanya Amey?
You could always find me in church doing something
She said: “I was born and raised in Los Angeles (L.A.), California, USA to parents who have been married for 35 years now. I went to school and was brought up in a Christian home. I’ve always loved and been involved in church activities from as long as I can remember. You could always find me in church doing something.
“I got married when I was 23 years old, so Pastor and I have been married for ten years, although we’ve known each other since we were both only nine years old. We’ve thus known each other for 24 years. We had our first baby, Michael Jr., two and a half years after our weeding, in L.A. in 2009. I found out I was pregnant with Jasmine after moving to Namibia in 2011. She was born here in September that year.”
“I love everything about my upbringing, marriage, and motherhood so much, including the difficulties, because they’ve caused me to grow tremendously,” she added enthusiastically.
You should see and hear how her husband talks about her in public. I remember the night the Koi Worship Center [at which I have been worshiping since meeting this vibrant Christian couple] moved from its old location in Klein Windhoek, Windhoek, to the new location in Windhoek North. Once Lady T had led an exhilarating worship session, Pastor Mike walked up the altar and began thanking the key people who had brought the dream [of moving into the new location in 52 days] to life and when he finally got to his wife, the words that came out of his mouth made me teary. I wished that every single woman on the planet, at that point in time, could experience something just like hers.
So that night, I chose to admire, not envy Lady T
But we all know the fantasy of a distance – making conclusions, if not down-right judgmental comments either externally or internally about what we don’t know or understand – which often leads to little self-defeating self-talk we have about our imperfect present, compared to what we envy or admire, and end up actually sabotaging our blessings and even future, because we don’t have control over our words or thoughts. So that night, I chose to admire, not envy Lady T.
Even though I’d met this twosome and had a one-on-one, I still wanted to know more. So I asked if being married with children had changed Lady T’s life for the better.
“Of course. I was beginning a journey of experiencing this life with the one person I love so much and one who understands and loves me just as much or even more. That was super exciting! Even after ten solid years, he still brings out the best in me.
“And soon came the kids. Oh gosh! That was just the cherry on top, because there you are with these two precious little souls entrusted to your care by God Himself. It’s an exciting journey, I tell you, and it keeps getting better with each passing day, as there’s always something new to learn from it all. I’m humbled by the very experience.”
I’ve always wondered quietly; Lady T and Pastor Mike could have ended up anywhere in the world to serve a church…
“It was all God, really. We had visited Namibia on mission trips, through our local church in the U.S., well before we even got married. The very house in which we live now is the same one we came and prepared for night-time evangelism with praise and worship here. At that point in time, we had set our hearts to go wherever God would send us to serve His people as His hands and His feet.
In December 2010 on my birthday, we got a call to a meeting
“In December 2010 on my birthday, we got a call to a meeting. We showed up to the meeting not knowing what to expect, only to be told that we were needed to move here in Namibia and take over a church that had already been established in 2008. We didn’t even have to think about it. We just said yes! We left the meeting and looked at each other like; ‘Are you kidding? Did that just really happen?’ So we informed our parents and packed up. In January 2011, we came back for site inspection and then moved here indefinitely that March. The journey has been nothing short of phenomenal.
“Koi was born in 2014 here in Namibia, although it had been conceived in Pastor’s heart in 2009 while we were still in the States, because it is something we would eventually pursue that side. But when you know the Word says the steps of the righteous are ordered by God, and that has truly been our case.”
I grew up in a church environment where make-up, for a Christian woman, was a no-no, i.e.: a Christian woman doesn’t need to wear make-up because that means she’s idolizing her outer appearance/beauty. But Lady T can get dolled up on a Sunday morning like she’s just been airbrushed for Vogue’s photo shoot, and then lead the kind of praise and worship that gets you right to the gates of heaven, all the while standing and dancing in her six-inch heels at the altar. You would literally feel her spirit and heart for God get you out of the week’s struggles through her powerful voice, hitting deep tones in which she never runs out of breath.
That aside, I watched her up-close while working with her during the Wernhil Park Spring Week expo two weeks ago after her missionary trip to Brazil, as she applied make-up, and eyelashes on the ladies who bought the Vivid tickets. She had her hair closure on to protect her hair and had her artificial nails well done, not to mention her ever professionally glued, super goooooooorrrrrrgeouse eyelashes. The ease in which she did that for hours and hours on end, on her feet the whole time, made me wonder why we all couldn’t be as comfortable with make-up as she is and still praise God without thinking too much about what people think about our make-up or lack thereof. So I asked her what she thinks is the biggest lie about wearing make-up (as well as weaves and hair extensions, nails, eyelashes…the works) in our society, for Christian women in particular and women in general, and what HER truth is about it all as a Christian woman and a Pastor’s wife.
“My mom also grew up in a church where you couldn’t wear make-up or wear pants or jewelry and the like. I think such restrictions were set up for order and nothing else, because when you look at biblical women, they were adorned and would put on make-up, hair and perfumes and all these wonderful things. And this was over 2000 years ago. Esther, for instance, was bathed in perfumes and went through an entire beautification process for 12 years, to be presented to the king. So I have no problem, whatsoever, with make-up, because I use it to enhance what already exists. The only problem arises when one uses make-up to cover, transform or compensate for what’s lacking on the inside.
That said, I love make-up, the hair extensions, the eyelashes and the nails, and super high heels, because I’m a girlie girl and those things are so much fun to wear. But I also like wearing my natural self, because I love me, regardless.
Make-up doesn’t change who I am. I just like to doll myself up because it’s fun. I’m a girlie girl and I love to have fun with it!
So the biggest lie society has created around the beauty enhancement tools for a Christian woman in general and [for me] as a pastor’s wife leading other women is that one can’t do these things. But why can’t we when in actual fact, God created these things? So why not partake in it all while showing others how to live from the inside out?
It doesn’t mean those who don’t want to do these things should start doing them. No. But that makes it all fun for me, because often times the reaction most people have once they find out I’m a pastor’s wife is interesting and priceless, to say the least, because it ignites a conversation I love to have, as it ends up in the spiritual part of it. They soon find out that what’s in the inside of me makes what they see on the outside mean nothing.”
On a Sunday or while attending an elegant event, I’ll probably take three to 45 minutes to get my make-up done, because I’m quite detailed with it
“If I may,” I asked; “how long does it take you to wear your make-up? Why do you wear make-up – does it enhance your self-confidence/esteem or beauty?”
“On any regular day, give me three to five minutes and I’ll have something going,” she said, adding: “but on a Sunday or while attending an elegant event, I’ll probably take three to 45 minutes, because I’m quite detailed, not to say that I’m a perfectionist, as it were, but I like to sort myself out in detail.”
“It absolutely makes me feel good, not because I do not appreciate myself without make-up, but because it amplifies what’s already exists; the features are already there. It doesn’t change who I am. I just wear make-up and doll myself up because it’s fun and I like it,” she giggled.
To a woman hurting right now, and at the verge of giving up and feeling suicidal, if Lady T were sitting across the table from you right now, this is what she’d tell you, in light of all that SHE stands for:
“It’s too soon to quit, dear. There are a lot of challenges we all face, but trust me, there’s someone out there having it far worse than you. But if you don’t stick around to experience the true life you were created for, the enemy will want you to feel incomplete and vulnerable and add toxins into your life. Refuse to live in hurt. I also hurt sometimes, but I refuse to be unhappy because I’ve let external factors weigh me down. I know I have been placed on this for a purpose. So I live each day pursuing that purpose and will let nothing stop or delay me in reaching my utmost for His highest.
“Challenges happen to us. They’re not who we are. Just because something hurtful has happened to us, doesn’t mean we have to dwell in it. Rather, we pick ourselves up by surrounding ourselves with people who can encourage and inspire us. But the internal decision to live and move forward without letting anything stop us must occur. That self-affirmation has to happen.
“Sometimes we let the external factors weigh heavy in our worlds that we feel we can no longer go on, but what about the inner strength we naturally possess within us, as women? It is something so beautiful that we have to tap into – put more energy in tapping into that strength. With the help of God, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to fight to live, to show that strength and who you are as an individual.”
Parting shot – Of vision for Vivid at inception and whether or not it has so far satisfactorily achieved its mission: “My heart is for women to gather in the spirit of sisterhood, so that as we’re united, God can breathe in us all in one central area where once we depart, our lives will never be the same again. Vivid has accomplished that goal and probably far greater. I believe that once we’re gathered together, the experience can only get bolder, brighter and bigger, and that’s my prayer. Each time, we’ve seen the hand of God in an environment like that and it can only get better.