I’m waist deep in the comparison game. Every day starts and ends with all that I didn’t do well…all that I’m not. It’s suffocating and all-consuming. A longing to measure up to anyone who’s ever given me the impression that I’m less than. Haunted by the evil that’s shattered me, shame weighing me down until I can’t see The One who put me back together. Squandering fleeting moments of cradling babies and playing hide-and-seek on self-hatred, I’m loosing sight of the beauty of all that I’ve fought for. This toy-scattered living room, walls coated in tiny handprints, is a dream out of reach for so many and I am daring to somehow find the negative in it all. I am blessed beyond measure…and filled with discontent. And I know I’m not alone.
The cry of so many hearts is to know that we are “good enough”, measuring our worst up against the best of the person standing next to us. Locking up our deepest pain, we waste years carrying the hurt and forfeit a freedom easily within our reach. We could be standing on the doorstep of all we’ve ever dreamed of and not enter into it, all for the sake of this familiar misery. The truth shall set us free…but we’d rather believe the lie.
The truth I accept will be the truth accepted by my children. Right now, my words tell them that they are God’s handiwork (Ephesians 2:10), created in His image (Genesis 1:27), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). While my self-degrading actions tell them that, regardless of what God has to say about it, the world’s view of them is most important. While I stand in awe of who God’s created them to be, I can’t bring myself to see past my own failures to who God’s created me to be. The very real threat that I may never know what God’s given me to bring to the table in this life is staring me down. I lay my burdens down before Him at church every Sunday and pick them back up on my way out the door, holding on to sin that He died a brutal death to save me from. I’m offered a Way, a Truth and a Life to cling to…and I cling to my insecurities.
What has to happen for this to end?
I think knowing the answer is easier than applying it. The battle has already been won. Grace is in place. It’s beautiful, and it’s freely flowing from the heart of a loving God. Nothing can stand in the way of it. It can reach into the depths and wash clean the filth of sins we would never speak aloud; free us from bondage, when we didn’t even know we were being held captive. But it has to be chosen. Accepted. He would never thrust it upon us. He waits patiently for our heart’s return home. A choice we have to make over and over, moment by moment. A choice to show grace to ourselves, and grace to the person standing next to us. Our pain is real. Our pain connects us. But it doesn’t need to define us.