“You are a body with many members. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve, if its is teaching, then teach if it is to encourage, then give encouragement, if it is giving, then give generously, if it is to lead, do it diligently. If it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans: 12
So often I find myself falling into the comparison trap. “That woman is prettier, wealthier, more successful, more outgoing (my introversion sometimes pains me), I never measure up”.
A while back I was talking with a friend. She is everything we as women are told we should be: bright, beautiful, fit, happy, engaging, educated, kind, generous, married well, great kids, the list goes on and on. Seriously, she’s the bomb. In fact, she’s so great that on this occasion she showed up at my house to bring me a holiday gift as she knew I was grieving being away from my son for the first time ever in his life, for the holidays (it’s been rough). This gracious creature found time in her life and schedule while being descended upon at that very moment by dozens of people for the holidays, all staying and eating, sleeping, and showering for a week at her house…and there she was at mine, to be a comfort to me. She’s that great.
During our conversation though, it turned towards the changes coming up in her life over the upcoming year. Her youngest, now a senior in high school, will be leaving for a military career in the late summer – her Momma heart is breaking. She is doing everything to be present to each and every remaining moment she has with her son while she has him at home. This is a place in life I remember all too well. Her sorrow was not just in her son leaving, but in the empty nest she will face once he is gone and what she will do. As a stay at home Mom, her kids have always been her career (yes, being a stay at home Mom is a career choice). Now, she is on the verge of having to redefine her goals and chart a brand new course at 50 years old. It’s no small task! I find myself sitting and listening to the comparison I thought only women like me were subject to inside our heads; what will she do, every other woman is so much further ahead of her in life, she has no skills beyond being a mom. She feels so lost, no one will hire her because she’s not good at anything, yet, this woman can single handedly structure, organize and run an entire high school soccer tournament – she’s a powerhouse of organization and has a get it done attitude! There is my sweet, beautiful friend struggling with her enough-ness right in front of me in a time of my life where I felt like I was drowning in my own…God bless us both.
We talked about how being a stay at home Mom truly is a career choice, so she has indeed had a career. We talked about her education and jobs she had before her kids were born, about what she loves to do and be part of, what she’s super good at that she doesn’t give herself credit for because it doesn’t come with a paycheck. She realized the multitude of things she brings to any table she sits at, or usually is running circles around. Her community connections, the great things she has done for local organizations and her kids’ schools. This girl has got mad skills!
Slowly the tears stopped, her eyes lifted and we made a date for coffee. Because this is what women do to love on each other. We drink coffee and we figure it all out, and go forward from there.
As Romans chapter tells us, we all have unique gifts, we are designed to bring those gifts forward and to perform them with a sense of knowing that we are one with Spirit in those gifts. It is not always about a penthouse office and sixteen initials behind our names. Oftentimes, it is about seeing our gifts and having the courage to be who Spirit has called us to be in this world. To recognize that we all have some mad skills, they’re just different from others, and we are called to bring them into the world in our unique timing to fulfill the needs of the world around us. There is still mystery in this life, and too often we forget our journey is ever unfolding. As I often say, “we’re not done, until we’re done”. I have clients in their single digits and clients in their 80’s, because it’s a journey.
Whatever your gifts are, be aware of their use in this world. Love yourself in your uniqueness of how they come forward so that the comparison bug need not bite you too hard. We are each beautiful, Divine, purpose-filled in our own way, and it will be shown. Let it show. Love your gifts, your uniqueness, and trust that as things change, you have everything you need to flow your gifts forward, which is true by design. Spirit will always find a way to put us to the best work in this world, our job is to trust that we are on purpose, there is no need to compare.
Bring your gifts, the rest will come.
Forever the Journey, Anne