This post was originally written in July 2010. Sadly, it’s still something I struggle with. I needed this reminder today, so maybe it will help you, too.
It’s no secret that I struggle with comparing myself to other people. My hair, my clothes, my house, my car, my friendships….all are subject to scrutiny and the impossible task of measuring up. My relationship with the Lord, even, is not exempt. I see others in church on Sunday mornings and think, “She just gets it,” or, “I wish I could be like that with Jesus….” I see the way other women worship or pray or interpret Scripture and think that the way I do it is not good enough. I tell myself that God isn’t pleased with what I offer Him, and that He, too, wants me to do it differently and more like everyone else. Worse still, I start to believe it, and it colors every attempt I make at spending time with Him. I think I can’t spend any time with Him if it isn’t perfect time, and that I shouldn’t even try if I can’t do it “right.” “Just don’t bother,” I think, “because you don’t get itlike they do.”
It’s terrible and sad and a lie.
This morning, as I sat waiting for my food order to be ready at my usual working spot, I sat and read some Psalms to get my head in a better place. (Somehow, rushing around to get everything lined up so that I can work is not usually very inspiring for writing.) I flipped my Bible open and, in the tradition of those who believe that God will show them the right word for the right moment, read whatever my eyes fell on.
“I will sing a new song to you, O God.” (Psalm 144:9)
That got my attention. At first, my thoughts rested on the idea that I could offer something to God that has never been offered before. A song, perhaps, or something I’ve written – an offering of praise and adoration that comes from my heart and my heart alone. That offering is new – from me and no one else – and should never be compared to the offering given by anyone else. I can give something to God that no one else can. That realization alone was staggering.
As I sat, though, journaling and thinking over what I’d read, my heart went deeper. My praise and my adoration and my love for Him are what characterize my relationship with Him. Those things are unique to our relationship, just as certain ways of relating and talking and communicating are unique to the relationships I have with other people. In human relationships we have inside jokes, for example, and experiences that have colored the fabric of our relationship with one another. Those are things that no one else can understand, because they weren’t there when it happened and have different histories. With God, too, I have things that no one else has. I have the way that He speaks to me and teaches me in the mundane things of life, and I have the way He romances me in nature. I have the way we dance together as I write. I have the intimate moments soundtracked by worship music. I have moments in my car when it is as though no one else exists anywhere but He and I. I have those moments and experiences that are too personal and too special to even recount here. Those are the things that make up our relationship. That is our love story, and it’s uniquely us. I celebrate those things, and He does, too.
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