Dear "Woman I Should Be,"
I'm not you. I've tried to be you for a very long time, but it's just not going to happen. We're going to have to split up. Break all ties. No longer see each other. I'm sorry...it's not you, it's me. I think it's best we see other people. Like "The Real Me," "The Me I'm Becoming," and my absolute most favorite, "Who God Created Me To Be."
Look, you're a great girl. You do all the right things. You're the type of girl that is 15 minutes early, wears cardigans, and vacuums her home multiple times a week. Your hair is never a mess and your children are always perfectly behaved. You're never overwhelmed and you're constantly content. Your husband raves about you because you are equally a sexy vixen for him in the bedroom, but certainly never too flashy in public. Your hem lines stay low and your standards stay high. Your smile is always on display and your cleavage stays hidden. You dance in that adorable I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing kind of way, and you'd never thrust or jolt or shake on the dance floor. You thrive in your kitchen. Your music choices resemble that of a preschooler or a nun, and the worst word you said last week was "butthead." You don't get angry or upset or feel unjustified. You're okay being unnoticed and unseen and know people don't really mean to forget to show their appreciation for you. You're never too much. And you're just quite enough. You have an opinion as long as it doesn't offend anyone and is agreeable with those around you. Sure, you have flaws, but they're manageable and endearing. You speak about them to make you relatable but they don't, they can't, hinder you. And yeah, you've had trials, but you only share about them once you've been healed or delivered from the chains of their pain.
Many people envy you, and envy me for being associated with you. You are the girl that never says no and always lends a hand. Who wouldn't want to be (with) you? I know so many people are going to be frustrated, or annoyed, or disappointed that we're no longer together, but I just can't keep up.
You see, the moment I took Jesus into my heart, ALL THE FREEDOM that washed upon me was quickly suffocated by the new waves of the "woman I should be." The expectations as a mom, a wife, a friend, a believer, and a human being all seemed to create someone I'm not. Someone that I can never be - YOU. Our relationship is not balanced; it's unhealthy even. I'm the victim and you're the hero. I stay on this perpetual journey of shame and guilt and desire and try harder and "if I could just." And it keeps me trapped and lonely. The fear of never adding up to YOU is deafening. You silence the voice of God. You squash my voice of reason. You drown out the shouts of hope and joy and grace.
So, as hard as this is, you can see that we just can't be together. We're no good at all as a team. The struggle of the two of us becoming one, of taking on all the "shoulds" is not a battle I'm willing to fight. I wave the white flag. I surrender. I'm now waging a war that's much harder, but definitely more rewarding. The fight to become who I am. And that, in the end, makes me victorious.
This is Candace. She hates long walks on the beach and would prefer a short drive to get a doughnut. Her creative spirit leaves her husband constantly guessing which room she'll decorate next and her kids requesting elaborate birthday parties. She'll tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it. But don't worry, she'll make you laugh to soften the blow. Her heart longs to share the realness of her life and provide someone else a "me too" in a moment of isolation. Words are her thing; she writes to heal. God grasped a hold of Candace as a teenage mama, and she's been desperate for His love and sensitive to His voice everyday since.