This post was originally posted over at Canadian Catholic.
They say ‘curiosity killed the cat,’ but in my experience, comparison has always killed this cat. I’m not sure if the men struggle with this as much as the women, but comparison has always weighed heavily on my heart hijacking my self-esteem and worth and wreaking havoc amongst friendships with other women.
Can you relate?
Over a month ago, I was hugely blessed to go to a 9-day retreat, 5 of which were silent. I was tremendously scared of what I would uncover in my time at Triumph(link is external) but God was so gentle with me, I had nothing to fear. A couple days into the retreat, we were given a pack of brand new crayons and asked to go off and draw how we view God.
When was the last time I drew a picture or used crayons? My palms began to sweat. As I sat in the quiet of the church sanctuary with my crayons splayed out on the pew, I closed my eyes and began to see a prince before me. But before I could clearly see Him, I realized He was surrounded by a crowd of women in colorful saris. I jerked open my eyes. WHAT?! Yes, I had been to India earlier this year hence the saris, but even still, why is my Lord surrounded by other women?! Nevertheless, we were instructed to draw our initial thoughts and not overthink it, so I began to draw in spite of my annoyance.
I started with the surrounding women. I found myself growing more and more insecure. Their beauty taunted me, ate at me, and made me feel smaller and smaller still. They were colorful, vibrant, beautiful, elusive, and beyond my grasp.
When I was finished with the group of women, I began to draw Jesus and something strange happened. I felt myself relax and even begin to enjoy the exercise. And as I drew, I noticed something. Jesus was stepping away from the other women and coming to seek me out.He shocked the crowd. Even amidst this pack of beautiful women, He was stepping away to seek me out! Little ol’ me – who am so unworthy of His love and time. He was coming towards me with arms outstretched, seemingly unaware of the other women vying for His attention. I was the woman He was seeking out!
When I look back throughout high school and university, comparison has always weighed on my heart. We tell little children to not compare themselves, but somehow when we grow up, this piece of advice gets tossed out and everything is measured against others. It is a constant fight against all the thoughts of things I am not.
More recently, I have been able to stop these thoughts before they lead to a downward spiral of negative feelings. I’m more aware of when I start to live in these lies and am able to see them for nothing more than what they are – Satan’s weak attempt to attack my true worth and beauty.
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!(Psalm 139:14)
So here’s my invitation to you this Advent: Don’t let comparison steal any joy in this season! Take out a pack of crayons and draw how God looks to you…and slowly you’ll hopefully let yourself see how God looksat you. Who cares if it looks like a 3-year old drew it? No one is going to see it and no one is going to compare it to any piece of Picasso.
This Advent, turn your gaze from others to Jesus. He is coming to seek you out. He is unfazed by the others surrounding Him.