I’ve always thought myself a “fringe” person. In middle school, it was the cusp of sitting at the cool kids table; college, the cusp between being a trusted friend or just another acquaintance; and now as a parent, the cusp between having it “put together” and any number of steps away from that ideal.
I’m guilty of basing my worth on the acceptance of those who I perceive to be on the “cool” side. My parents stressed the importance of acceptance, and I try to include everyone in my circle. My own neuroticisms convince me that I’m not worthy of sitting at the cool kid’s table. God has recently convicted me on this idea.
After my daughter was born, I suffered from postpartum depression; and as common as this affliction is, I was hesitant to admit this to others. How would others treat me? Would this confession permanently banish me to the “uncool” table? What I came to realize is that I had built up others during the snapshots I’d had into their lives.
During my brief observations, I’d made decisions on their “coolness,” their “put-together-ness,” and in the process defeated my own accomplishments. Example: during the National Prayer Breakfast, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff poured coffee for Mrs. Bush, but forgot President Bush.
Does his unfortunate mistake, forgetting his boss’s needs, negate all his decorations, his achievements, and banish him to the “uncool” table? Absolutely not! He is an ordinary person, like I am an ordinary person. So the next time I feel the urge to compare myself to the “Supermom” or “Superwife” down the street, I’ll remember General Pace and that cup of coffee. She is an ordinary person, too.
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others. We each must carry our own load.”
– Galatians 6: 4-5 (NIV)
“Father, please remind me of who I am in You. Help me not to compare myself to anyone else because You designed us each for Your will. We are all ordinary, but You make us extraordinary by Your grace. Father, forgive me for comparing myself to…”