The cows were laying in a field of small, yellow wildflowers. I thought they would make a beautiful picture. It reminded me of shots my friend Meredith Bernard takes for her blog and website. She lives on a farm and takes idyllic pictures of cows in fields with tractors harvesting. I wanted that for my blog.
It was a peaceful setting, with the cows calmly chewing grass while insects buzzed their heads. They had not a care in the world. Rolling down the window, I took a shot of what I thought would be a “cows-in-field-picture” to rival that of my friend.
Why, you may ask, would I want a picture like hers? Because I love her photography and wanted my pictures to be as just like hers. Never mind that she lives on a farm, is married to a farmer, and has a photography business! I live in a small neighborhood and rarely have anything to do with cows. Compared to her pastoral settings with cows, my photography seems, well, less than.
When I downloaded the picture later, it was not at all what I envisioned or expected. It was totally different. I was hoping the picture would be reminiscent of Meredith’s farm settings. But the camera didn’t focus on the cows at all, it focused on the fence, with the cows blurred in the background.
Here’s the surprise: It was beautiful. It was better than any picture I could have planned.
It was as if Jesus was tapping me on the shoulder saying:
Why are you comparing yourself to your friend and her talents? You are fearfully and wonderfully made! I gave you gifts and talents. Focus on them, focus on Me!
Where did that need to compare my talents to my friend’s come from?
In her book Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, my friend Kristine explains that comparison is an age old problem dating back to Biblical times. Wow, who knew? Kristine tells the stories of three women of the Bible (Hagar, Leah and Hannah), and how their struggles rival ours today. She walks us through the steps each of these women took to find freedom from comparison.
“God doesn’t create clones. He creates unique masterpieces.” Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan
Kristine states that “Taking our focus away from God and placing it on other women, diverts our course.” When Hagar, Leah and Hannah learned to find contentment in their God-given uniqueness, they began to walk in freedom from the comparison trap. When they focused on Him, they no longer saw glaring differences that with other women.
Ladies, we can too! When we realize God’s plan for each of us is more than we could ever ask or imagine, we will realize we don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone.
My camera didn’t focus on the cows at all, but on the fence around them. Isn’t that what Jesus does? He takes our plans and visions and blurs out our mess, and brings Himself into striking focus. He took a picture that I wanted to look just like hers and made it a unique masterpiece of His.
Grace be with you,
In Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, Kristine Brown takes us on a quest to learn the truth about comparison, and what we can do to quiet that pesky voice once and for all. Through relatable personal stories and practical biblical teaching, this book uncovers the solution to a battle all women face. Has the voice of comparison caused you to question whether you measure up next to her? Are you ready to erase comparison and embrace all God has planned for you? Then come along on the quest, friend. This book is for you.
Kristine is a writer, dramatist, and teacher. She helps women and teen girls navigate the ups and downs of real-life. Kristine devotes her time to family, freelance writing, and her non-profit ministry, More Than Yourself, Inc. You can read more from her at www.morethanyourself.com. Connect with Kristine on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.