For all the women who ever thought themselves unworthy, I share this.
I am a good wife because
I am not a worthy or good wife because I am not the Christian I should be. I don’t follow the biblical example. I don’t give my husband the respect he deserve at all times. I don’t make enough money for him to not feel like he’s got to carry me or that I’m not a financial burden…
And it goes on for a couple more paragraphs. I berate myself as both a woman and a wife. I had not one thing to list under the “I am a good wife because” section, because at the time I really didn’t think there was anything about me that made me a good wife.
I came across several writings from when I was barely 25 and in the span of just a few pages I can see the broken person I once was alongside the dreamer I will always be. Even when no one else knows your pain or how you feel remember that time passes, new choices can be made, and if you take risks on your behalf your dreams can become real.
It was in August of this same year that I left traditional Christianity (that’s another story) and began the journey to wholeness where being broken, unworthy, and undeserving were no longer the standard of existence. I struggled for years in that marriage trying to do something impossible – please my husband. Just a matter of weeks after leaving my religion we were expecting our first child. I stayed in the marriage for nearly three more years but in that time, I never did become a good wife, despite trying. And you know what? I’m glad. Had I been successful in being what he wanted me to be at the detriment of my mental and emotional health, I would have never had the courage to be who I needed to be or who my daughter needed me to be.
Just a couple pages away in this little notebook from fifteen years ago, I also found this short writing dated one month after my 25th birthday.
The Artist to be Born
I believe that there is an artist inside of each and every one of us – a writer, painter, sculptor, actor, dancer musician. She is pregnant with anticipation at the birth of a new child. She is overdue and burdened by the extra load she bears, desiring to bring forth the artist who must be born. Her other children await with hope, happiness, fear, and anticipation of the newest arrival into the family. Will she be a great one? Will he change the way the world perceives us?
I often wonder, about myself and what expression of art I am to conceive. What is longing to be born from me? Longing for me to grow so something new can be discovered. She, like a mother, wants to be proud of me. She expects great things. I know that it is my challenge and I cannot let her down. She has born great ones. She has born those who’ve revolutionized the world. She’s even bore the ones who you nor I will ever know for their achievements weren’t marked in the great pages of history. She bore the starving artist, that we may never forget the dream or the effort. She bore the stand-in and the extras that we would retain humility. She bore the backup singer that we would never forget the contribution of another in our lives.
What will my experience be? How will I affect the world? What is my expression? Am I willing and ready to see it born? Will I allow myself to be challenged, that I might rise to it and perhaps be that great one? Will I allow myself to be one who changes the perception of the world?
I share this now, as a forty-year old mother of two, happily remarried, and finally embracing the artist within as a writer of fiction and non-fiction. The young woman who wrote both of these things is now free. There was an artist wanting to be born from me, wanting to contribute to the world, and little did I know fifteen years ago when I wrote this that I would find it the same year that I finally gave birth.
Are you still waiting to give birth to your inner artist? What will your experience be? How will you affect the world? What is your expression? Are you willing and ready to see it born? Will you allow yourself to be challenged, that you might rise to it and perhaps be that great one? Will you allow yourself to be one who changes the perception of the world?
Interested in my story of leaving traditional religion? Read The Fall and Rise of Faith: Leaving Religion and Finding God.