Letting Go the Grip of Comparison in Motherhood and Discovering Grace



I wrote about the epiphany I had about the bitterness my heart had been harboring toward the suffering I’d experienced when Claire was a newborn and the jealousy I had toward women who were blessed with “easy” babies who slept and didn’t cry and were happy from the get-go. I wrote about how, upon realizing this place of bitterness seeded in my heart, I knew I could only do one thing with it: I needed to confess it. And upon doing so, I wrote about how the Lord proved himself faithful in that room as we each poured out confessions about the ugly parts in our hearts.

On the drive home afterward, I thought about this tendency of ours to compare ourselves to one another. Because we do it when we feel others have it better than us. But we also do it when we feel others have it worse than us. Sometimes we can justify the latter because it is supposed to make us feel grateful—that things could be worse for us. And surely they could. But, as I rounded the bend onto the highway, I realized I don’t even want to do that.

I realized I needed to release this urge to compare completely, because when I did it, it was always in a way that always ended up looking back upon myself: I would look at others’ good and see my own hardship. I would look at others’ hardship, and see my own good. Instead of it being about others or God, it was always about me. And that’s where the bitterness crept in, that’s where things turned ugly.

As I increased speed, I thought back to the stories we have of Satan, the one who takes truths and twists them. And I realize that is what he has been doing to me. These stories of people who have easy children should be source for me to celebrate, to see God's goodness and be encouraged. Even though I did not experience that for myself does not mean it is any less good. I must untwist that lie that makes me think that their experience is an attack on me and straighten it to see the beauty in it. Because if we untwist it, we can always see the goodness that lies beneath. Because in this world, God is always doing good. We must just sometimes have to work harder to find and see that.

The truth is that when others have gone through good, I want to rejoice with them. There is freedom in rejoicing with them. I want to look at those stories and--instead of seeing my own lack, my own I-wish-that-would-have-been-mine story--I want to see the joy of it, the hope.

When I hear someone say, "My child sleeps half the day away, without any effort on my part," I want to say, "Wow, what a miracle! God is good! He can do great things!" Because since that was not my reality, that truly is a miracle in my eyes.

As I realized those things, I felt God straightening things in my heart, untwisting the lies I’d been believing, the tangled lies where bitterness and jealousy lay. Joy, real joy, began to creep into my heart. I thought of the women I know whom I'd previously harbored jealousy for in regards to the way their newborn experiences were. I thought of them and, for the first time, I felt a sense of peace. I felt freedom from comparing myself to them. I could smile for them and say, "Wow, what a miracle. God is good."

I drove the rest of the way home and my heart felt light but full. It felt free.

2 comments:

  1. I have loved your recent entries. They are full of grace and honestly which is refreshing. Thank you for being vulnerable. XO

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