Today’s team journal was written by our Administrative Director, Kate Haas.
I did not know, until recently, that comparison didn’t solely steal the joy of those around me.
For many years, I was looking for someone to see me outside of my circumstances. I began to believe that, though I desired to be unique, different, and one of a kind, it just wasn’t something I could achieve while also being known. The only option I saw was conforming to the measures I thought were being used against me, the one which would allow me to connect with others the way I wanted to. I wanted to be deeply known and understood, while also being a little different. Maybe a lot different, but I like to skip, and sing silly songs, and make friends, and not share my food, and I think that’s generally okay.
I am unique because my Father is one-of-a-kind.
I could tell you fairly easily that I did not want to be compared to others. I didn’t want to match anyone, because then I would be even more like someone else. I wanted to be known for my best (self-diagnosed) traits, and I didn’t want anyone else to have these traits. If I was being compared to another by those traits, I had to win out, I had to be the best person people knew with that trait. If you’ve read that sentence, I know how it sounds. I would never admit that to anyone out loud, which is why I’ve written it down here, for honesty sake.
The worst part for me? I knew that I could be known by God, so completely and fully that I wouldn’t need to worry about matching, or having similar qualities to anyone else. Could I trust this completely? No. That would send me out of control. I’ve also learned that I don’t like that much either. Maybe He wouldn’t really be able to know me? Maybe I’m too different? Sister, let me tell you that I am dead wrong. I am unique because my Father is one-of-a-kind.
How do I know that? Moses reminded the people of God as they entered the Promised Land, and somebody wrote it down. Deuteronomy is a speech delivered by Moses before those with the ability would enter the Promised Land. He speaks on the law that was given to them for their sake, and they would perform it so that they could remain in the Land. He starts by reminding the people where they have been, and who their God is. Take a look:
Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other beside him. (Deut. 4:33-35)
Did you hear that sister? There is none besides Him! There are no others like Him, and I was made in His image. And so were you! I was meant to be different, and I was designed to be fully loved and fully known by this God. It was completely undeserved, but He offered me forgiveness, He gave me the record of His son, Jesus. Then He did more! He took me into His family to be counted as an heir. Have you heard of a God like this, sister? What an extraordinary God.
I have experienced comparison as the thief of my joy for far too long. I have hidden behind walls when I could have been hidden beneath the wings of the Lord. I will hide no longer, knowing God loved me first and designed me to skip, and sing silly songs, and make friends, and share my food a little more often (but I’m still working on that one! Give me time).
Kate Haas wants to live in a world with free coffee, hugs, and deep conversations. When she isn’t in class, you can find her she’s at home with her husband and four-legged toddler reading a book or watching a detective show. Her favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. [Amen? Amen!]