These three words wrecked my life three weeks ago. In fact, most of this was written three weeks ago as it hit me, tore me apart, and mended me new – and it isn’t till now that I’m getting around to posting it because the story wasn’t complete. And while it still isn’t, the Lord is giving me more and more of an urge to write and release. So, in hopes of doing so, we’ll start back at the beginning…
Megan and I, for the last 6 years of friendships, have had one of the most unique friendships – and I’m pretty sure if you know us, you might just say the same. Some may think it’s ‘too much’ or too dependent, but its not dependency that grounds our friendship or keeps it together. This friendship is one so unique because its built on celebrations not comparisons, rooted in the Lord instead of ourselves or our own lives or what we can get out of it. We root for each other instead of against.
So when Megan first talked about doing some posts on celebration over comparison, I immediately agreed. We both knew our areas of struggle, knowing the times of overlap, and the root of differences between them for each of us. But what I didn’t realize is that through learning, celebrating, and calling out lies of comparison is that the Lord was about to uproot where I was planted and show me that all along, it was meant to be Him, reminding me over and over that:
“You follow Me”
These three words were a hurricane to where my shallow roots were growing – sending me into a spiral of grasping for what I was looking for and needing all along. In the midst of a world where quicker is better, beautiful can have a definition or image, and the need to be better all the time lies heavy, I find myself often needing to be hit in the head – and heart – with this realization:
I follow Jesus.
That is my goal, that is my foundation, where I’m meant to be rooted in a world that tells me to place no roots. That’s my passion, my calling – not to do more, but to simply be. Yet it’s amazing to me how incredibly fast this can be put aside. How quick I am to compare and measure – to look to myself before looking to the cross.
Learning celebration over comparison is no easy task, and maybe you’ve been learning this along us, but it’s by far one of the greatest things in life you can do. Take away the comparison and get to the root of it all. Because, after all, we’re all rooted in something – what or who is it for you?
For me, it led me down a road that was filled with more questions than answers, questions that shed light to my motive and the why behind every thought that starts first with a comparison.
It’s hard and can definitely be painful at times, but as I began to recognize the comparisons that creep in and lean into asking myself why they’re there in the first place, I started to see what I had been really chasing all along. I was chasing the world. I was chasing perfecting, pleasing others even at the cost of myself, I was chasing fitting in and measuring up – when really all this time, Jesus has just been calling me to Him. I was so caught up in chasing the ‘other’ that I forgot to look to the One.
And as I started too, I started to see the celebration that surrounds drawing near to Him and leaving the other stuff behind. I started to see a good, good Father who says that I am loved by Him. Who, in the most simple statement of who He is, is love.
By no means have I all this figured out. And not every choice I make leads to celebration over comparison, but I’m fighting for it. I’m fighting with every creeping comparison thought to realize that life is not a measuring stick – that I’m actually the one who is making it that way. And once I stop trying to fit into the life of someone else or their ideas for my life, I’m learning to live fully in the life set out for me. God makes us each unique, He made us each with our own ways in which we tick – maybe, through this all, we can stop trying to take away from each other the ways we were meant to be celebrated and learn to stand in who we are, as we are, knowing that is more than enough.
This weekend, I get baptized. And Megan does as well, and several others in our church – all standing together to make this public declaration, to get washed outwardly in the grace we’ve received inwardly. A public declaration as to whose we are, a public declaration that my good, good Father will be the root of my life. So my deepest hope is that the pressures of this world will not get my best & your best anymore. My friend Larena likes to remind our young adult group often of the scripture calling us to pray for our enemies, pray for the ones who annoy, who disappoint, who seem to get all the blessings while we sit back in the ordinary – and in light of that, what I’m calling for today is prayer towards those you compare with, to those you compete with. I can promise you, the Lord will break those chains. He will shower you with the celebration of a life lived through His lenses rather than our own.
Give it a try – and tell me what you learn. I’ll keep fighting with you.