Thursday, January 5

the other woman

"God doesn't make ugly women."  --Tom Board

Kind of a shocker to most of us; most of us who believe we're too messy, too angry, too awful, too harsh, and too unlike what we want to be. Most of us have this alter ego, the "other woman". This other woman lives and breathes within us, making us feel like she's familiar and safe. Sometimes, we even believe we are her.

My other woman is one that I have usually liked. She is fierce and fiery, has the determination of four lionesses, and presents a certain kind of strength. Generally, I have felt like she holds a few qualities that I have needed to survive. It wasn't until recently that I recognized her for the harmful, even toxic, woman she is.

There are times, when I am afraid, that I find myself in a place so dark and desperate and my other woman releases a fire and anger so unattractive that I regret ever liking her. I find myself yelling, using swear words and thinking terrible, awful, no good thoughts. I feel like I've betrayed myself for ever liking the other woman.

And the worst part is knowing who I want to be. Knowing that I desire to be trusting and gentle, soft-spoken, easy-going, and a joy to be around, makes it harder to listen to the fear and anger released by her. Realizing that I have lost sight of faith and grace, and let myself slip back into the dark and despair, makes it harder to know I liked her.

But there's always a story. A story that Tom told me tonight, while I asked him what to do in these places of deep, dark despair. These are the way his words told the story, and how I heard them.

Imagine, that you are in a dark place. One of those places where you've been the most wicked and the most awful. Remember that night you were living for you, unaware of sin, and so caught up in darkness. What if someone had found you? There, in that place, they would have found you, removed you from the room, and taken you into the street. There would be twenty, maybe thirty, maybe sixty people standing around you. They would be mocking you, judging you, even degrading you. You'll feel ashamed, embarrassed.

They would ask me what to do with you. They want to stone you. It's what you deserve, according to them. They'll ask me, and I'll start drawing on the sidewalk. You'll think I'm not paying attention. You'll be baffled. Then I'll tell them to throw a stone, only if they have not sinned. 'Go ahead', I'll say, 'if you have never lied, cheated, stolen, killed, hurt.' The oldest ones will recognize their wrongdoings and they'll walk away. Then, the rest of them will slowly leave. I'll continue drawing, and they will leave.

Now, you're really baffled. You know what you deserve because you lived for you. You acted out of your desires, out of a selfish heart or maybe out of fear, rather than trusting that I've got it handled. You wanted to make it better, instead of asking me for help. But now, you'll also be curious; curious as to who I am, why I've come. I'll ask you, 'have they condemned you?' You'll tell me no, because they've all left. And I'll tell you,

"Then neither do I, beautiful girl. I do not condemn you because I love you. I love you, all of you. I love who you are, and I love who you'll become. You'll become something amazing because I've already planned that for you. I've given you gifts and blessings and resources to be truly amazing. But, Alyssa, even if you don't become something amazing, I'll still love you. You are mine. I have chosen you. Over death, I have chosen. You are my girl. You are a beautiful woman, that I hand-made. And I love you this ugly, and I'll love you that beautiful."

Even if you don't know this love yet, you can. Even if you've never experienced being wanted and loved when you're in a deep, wicked place full of ugly; even when you are the other woman, you are loved and wanted. And you're more; you are beautiful and kind and patient and gentle.


  1. Ah, yes. Grace. And not cheap grace, dear girl.

  2. Your blog is so fun to read, I'm glad I randomly stumbled upon you today!

  3. Thanks for reading, Sue! I'm so glad to have you here :)

  4. This is an incredible post. I knew I could place my name in there and it would still be true. God created all of us and his grace makes all of us beautiful

  5. You're so right. Thanks for reading this and seeing yourself this loved. :)