My day started out innocently enough. I puttered around the kitchen hovering in front of my espresso machine. The winter sun was just rising over our backyard. There was no flight to catch. No early morning meeting to shower for. There was perfect stillness.
Which is the very reason I should have paused to bask in God’s goodness to me. I should have known better than to turn on my phone. Believe me … I know now.
As I scanned my Twitter feed, I began to recognize my stream of friends acknowledging a list. This wasn’t just any list. This was the list—one I very much wanted to be part of.
Scanning the names, it wasn’t long before I realized I had not made the list. Just about everyone else I knew was on it. People I had mentored made the list. Someone who translates my books into Spanish had made the list.
You may be wondering…what was this list and why was it so important?
Ridiculous questions and comparisons flew through my mind. Why hadn’t more than a million books sold and over two decades of traveling and ministering to countless women earned me a place on the list?
Realizing I was teetering ridiculously close to the brink of junior high insanity, I went looking for my husband. A fluffy whirlwind of pajamas, I stormed into his office bewailing, “John, I’m not on the list!”
When my rant was done, he calmly suggested a few Bible passages for me to review. This was not the response I was looking for!
No sympathy was going to be found in the company of my husband. I stormed out of his office yelling, “I don’t need to read those Bible verses to know I am wrong! I know I am wrong! But knowing I am wrong doesn’t make this feel right!”
Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel as though you are on the outside of yourself watching a crazy woman? That’s the moment I was having.
I put down my phone, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and let it go. As I exhaled, I heard the Holy Spirit gently ask, “Lisa, would you be this upset about the list if you were on it?”
Truth time. I would not have. I would have used my social media platform to re-tweet as a way of pointing others to the list.
I am the wife of one, the mother of four, and a grandmother, but when I disconnect from my true identity I can still struggle with the cruelty of comparison. In that way, the list was a gift because it located me.
Comparison has a pull to it. If allowed to, it will always move you away from your truest center. We see this in 2 Corinthians, where Paul tells us:
When we look to others for our affirmation, we will always feel as though we are on the outside looking in. There is but one true measure, the immeasurable Christ. God alone understands what causes the quaking of a woman’s heart. He alone knows how to calm the frenzy of women in pajamas who forget to still their souls before comparison comes to steal their peace.
The opportunity to know Jesus is our highest privilege. When I reached for my phone rather than choosing to know Him more, I chose the lesser thing.
I hope that you can laugh at my ridiculous morning and arrest any of your own tendencies toward comparison. There is no lifetime achievement, list, or award that can ever write with assurance the words God alone can scribe on your heart.
I encourage you to get alone with God today, quiet the other voices vying for your attention, open a blank page in your journal, and ask Him what He says about you. Then wait for the only voice that matters to break through the stillness.