Gender identifying test. I want to know if this baby was a boy or a girl. I just want to name him, to name her. I wish I had named all of them. All three. Dec 2008. May 2009. February 2012. Three babies who never breathed air here on earth. I wish they had a name, an identity I could impart to them, to refer to them with. I guess I have “had” six children, just not really. A July baby, a January baby and an October baby that were all born too early. Or not born at all, as some calloused, ignorant souls would claim.
In some backwards way I was calculating how close my children were going to be, with this last pregnancy, in comparison to other women. Calculating that I can handle just as much as they can. See I’m not a loser, my marriage doesn’t suck any worse than yours (well, actually it does sometimes/often). I’m not less of a woman that you. I CAN DO IT! Just like you. I’m not less and if God had only allowed those babies to stay I would have been able to prove it. Because proving it is what life is really all about, right?
Why do we do this? What could possibly possess us in these times of great celebration and great mourning to compare ourselves to one another? Surely, I am not the only one. This does not help anyone and it certainly does not help me. Why on earth are we so masochistic? God is not asking us to do this, in fact He’s telling us not to. Neither are our husbands doing this to us or asking us to inflict ourselves in this way. Our friends may be asking us to but usually in a self-depreciating or maligning another kind of way. And in that moment they are truly being the worse type of ‘friend.’ I can't attack their character for I have done it too.
Look how she’s dressed, why can’t she lose that weight, have you seen her house, did you see how she disciplined her children or didn’t discipline her child. I've done this to other women even at times women I love. Why do we find it necessary to figure life out in this way? As if there is some mighty scale somewhere that weighs us all out and those with the right looks, house, marriage, children, relationship with God will balance the scale and the rest of us... "you have been weighed, you have been measured and you have been found wanting"
When we turn inward and outward to compare ourselves we are devaluing our personhood and we are devaluing theirs as well. We are not whole without God, they aren’t and we aren’t either. It doesn’t matter how well we clean our houses, it doesn’t matter how we decorate, what we weigh, how we discipline or don't. It doesn’t matter how many children we have or how close together or far apart they are born from one another. It doesn’t even matter whether or not they are born. We are not whole without God and if we don’t have Him filling us up; we will live our lives in a constant state of comparing and striving to improve ourselves.
What if all your striving only mars the beauty you already have within you?
“Comparing = Death You are you, who else gets to be that?” - Stasi Eldredge