I struggle with something once in a while.
Actually, that's a complete lie--I struggle with it all the time.
Before I go deeper, let me say this -- I am blessed and I am so thankful for what God has given me. Only by his GRACE do I have an incredible husband and beautiful son...Tom and I have a house to live in, jobs we love, passions we share. We have amazing families who are loving and supportive. We have a healthy baby who sleeps through the night!, smiles, eats well, and I could go on and on about him...
Then what on earth is my deal?
I'm pretty sure I have struggled with this since I was very young.
I was the shortest girl in my class. I had the smallest feet (bizarre that felt sad about this, yes?). I had boring hair that didn't poof up as high as the other girls' (ha!). I couldn't shoot a basketball or win a race. I was a "nerd" because I carried my instrument home every day to practice. I didn't wear designer jeans. I didn't get an A in math, but that other girl did.
I could go on for a long time...I have a pretty sharp memory of my childhood, and the emotional memories are the strongest. My heart still hurts sometimes when I think of things that happened more than 20 years ago.
I wish I could say this penchant for comparing myself to others diminished as I grew up. But it definitely did not. After middle school (ugh) came high school. It didn't get easier.
In college, it got better. Wartburg was the place where I met people who understood me, who shared my goals, who took me for me.
After graduation, it was time to face the big bad REAL WORLD -- new town, new job, new life. I struggled leaving the "Wartburg bubble" behind. I missed my roommates, I missed the choir, I missed being transparent with everyone I knew. I became unsettled.
So here I am, ten years after college and the official start of being a "grown-up". There are peaks and valleys in life -- in all situations. Sometimes I feel really great. I have days where I am confident in my abilities, I am content with my house, I'm not worried about money, the jeans I'm wearing make my butt look good, my singing voice is hitting all the right notes -- I can hold my chin up, because life is good.
But gosh, there are some days filled with moments where my tendency to compare rears its ugly head.
I'll start thinking about my singing voice and wish it had qualities it just doesn't have. I want my voice to sound like that voice.
I'll wish I'd practiced piano more so maybe I could play as well as that one person who can play any and every piece flawlessly. I want my hands to play piano like that person's hands.
I think about my job, which I love, that doesn't pay as well as the job I could have if I'd done better in math and science. I want to have money like that person has money.
I remember that our little house hasn't sold. I think about the empty lot we purchased and think about the house we designed, to someday stand there. I want a beautiful house like that person's beautiful house.
I think it was God who said "You shall not covet." Yes, He did say it, in Exodus 20:17. He didn't say "you probably shouldn't covet" or "it's not a good idea to covet" or "eh, you can covet a little but don't get carried away." He said thou shalt not. We don't have a choice here, people!
It's so hard for me to remember on a daily basis -- no, rather a moment-by-moment basis -- that God created us uniquely with gifts and talents.
He created me. There is NO other person just like me. God has me exactly where I need to be, and others where He needs them.
If there is no other person like me, then there is no comparison.
No one can compare with ME.
And you -- yes, you -- no one can compare with YOU.
So can I choose joy, like this lovely photo says? I can. Not every day, all day. But I definitely CAN. Instead of being quietly sad and sorry for myself about things I can't control or change, I'll choose joy.
I'll choose joy right now.
I chose it. My heart is full.
Will you join me in choosing joy? Let's ditch comparison and remember God's intent in creating us, each unique and beautiful.