The Other Woman
Zai Chandler | Destiny Church | Columbia, MD
She winks. Not the awkward one where you close both eyes at the same time. No, she’s like a professional winker. She knows the measure for which she can make it happen, and she knows how to do it so it’s not seductive or stupid but seamless. Not only does this woman wink well, but she talks with a rasp that doesn’t make her sound like a man but like a soul singer. And she walks with a swagger that rivals Sasha Fierce. Yes she is fierce, but she is graceful. She is witty and prayerful. She knows so much, yet walks with much humility. She is kind. She is beautiful. She knows when to grab her husband by the hand and slow dance in the kitchen after a long day. She reads night time stories to her kiddos and never gets frustrated that they run away naked. She’s had kids, but somehow has a taut, fit body. She’s disciplined. Dynamic. Embraces the changes of a growing church like a renowned surfer. She squints at fear and spends her time gazing at her God.
She is the other woman. An elusive figure I see in my dreams, or maybe they’re more like nightmares. Because I’d see her and all she poses to be and become immediately shamed. I’m not her. I am generally confident but randomly and at the most inopportune time (like right before going up to preach) I’m choked with insecurity. My timing is off sometimes in my jokes and my wink is more odd than it is captivating. I try to be mindful of my husband’s busy days at work, but it doesn’t always come across as sweet and as thoughtful as intended. I love my kids, but after the night time routine, I’m pooped. Truthfully, changes in the church scare me. When things are going really well, I still tend to worry more than worship. If I’m to be real honest, I have a tendency to walk more by my sensory mechanisms than by faith.
Yet something inside, rather someone inside has me trying to pursue her. This idea of her: a better, godlier, version of me. Maybe your woman doesn’t wink well, she’s just a lot more happy. Maybe your woman is more peaceful. Perhaps she’s into fitness or cooks like Pioneer Woman. Maybe she simply has the courage to develop deep relationships. Maybe she preaches. Perhaps she stays at home with the kids and her heart is settled about it. Truth is, we all have the other woman in our head. And there are gaps from that person we aspire to be and the one facing us in the mirror. Yes, God loves us and accepts us for who we are. Yes there’s abounding grace when we miss the mark. But there is a prophetic picture God’s given us of the person He’s called us to be. I’ve discovered and am still uncovering that it takes honesty and vulnerability to make her happen. Honesty from ourselves to those closest to us. For example, my other woman was about 15 pounds lighter. I would look at her and look at myself and notice I didn’t like the difference. I didn’t hate myself, I just knew I could be better. It took me going to a friend’s wedding and another woman calling my thighs juicy (they really meant no harm, but their words lingered) for me to finally get serious about weight loss. And I’m so glad I finally did. I was tired of wanting something yet doing nothing consistent to make it reality.
Whoever she is, whatever she does, we have the goods to make her happen. God’s power rests inside of us so we don’t have to rest in less than us. So, embrace the mess of change and take courage when the journey goes a lot longer. Don’t settle in the silent awkwardness of learning something new. Will it be easy? No. Is it simple, yes. This other woman is a better version of ourselves. Let’s love us and those around us enough to give her a shot at coming more alive. It goes without saying, this is without pressure, just pursuit.