There’s an old adage that says it’s the thief of joy. We all know that it can be the root of jealousy and envy.
But, comparison will always exist.
I’m no exception and I’ll certainly never be exempt from it, either.
Most women at my church are married with children and as a child I assumed I’d be married with children at my age, too. But, since I’m single, child-free, and Christian, people often compare me to my married peers.
I’ve often thought of donning some scarlet letters à la Hester Prynne so everyone would stop asking me at events how many children I have and how long I’ve been married.
Seeing the camaraderie between the moms in my church doesn’t help, either. At the church gala the single people are all banished to their own table, disallowed from mixing with their married counterparts.
Yes, it’s true that people flock together because of similar interests but the church fails to see that we all have Jesus Christ in common.
Mother’s Day is no better. The childless women of the church all stand to bless the mothers of the parish. The single women are the afterthoughts.
Every year I even contemplate not going since the church doesn’t see me as special.
But I stopped myself one day when something hit me like a bolt of lightning: He thinks I’m special. He sees me!
While the church might reduce me down to a prop I know that He hasn’t.
Of course He has given me this cross to bear, but we bear it together.
He placed me here, single, childless, flat feet, and all and He loves me all the same.
He created me for a special reason and everyday He reminds me of that.
Scripture reminds me of Hagar in the Old Testament.
In Genesis, Hagar was Sarah’s maid and became Abraham’s mistress in order for Abraham and Sarah to have a child. Once Hagar conceived, Sarah looked at her with disdain and treated her cruelly.
Hagar ended up leaving twice because of Sarah’s abuse. And, every time Hagar leaves, God sees her and sends an angel.
So, no matter what pain you’re in or whatever the season, God sees you.
Truthfully, I was letting my church rob me of my wonderful single season.
I compared myself unfairly to my married peers and it stung.
My church’s behaviour hasn’t helped, but I just have to remember we are all created in His image and likeness.
Maybe I’ll get married or maybe I’ll be single my entire life.
But, as long as He knows me and my heart, I won’t be alone.
When you let go of comparing yourself to others you gain freedom.
You gain the freedom to be who He created you to be: His and His alone.