“If I looked around at what everyone else can do, I’d never quilt again!” she casually commented to a friend sitting near me.
I couldn’t believe it when I heard those words come out of her mouth. Her quilts are beautiful. Beautiful! On more than one occasion I have been impressed by what she has created and what she has given. She has this way of weaving together colors and patterns and tying it all together with love.
But she knows what I don’t know. She sees where she falls short and the areas in which she could improve. She understands that there is more to quilting than picking out patterns and piecing together a story.
She knows that she is learning — but she doesn’t let that stop her.
I kind of thought it was just me who struggled with the “not good enough” mentality and the insecurity that can sneak in and paralyze, but I was reminded in that moment that it can be true of any calling, any desire, any art. When we spend our time focusing on what everyone else is doing, we quiet the beauty that God wants to speak through us.
Sometimes we think we don’t have much to work with. We look at the pieces of our lives and wonder how God is weaving it all together and how He can use us when we’ve struggled with this or experienced that. We envy those who are where we want to be, forgetting that God is still stitching us together, writing the story, creating a masterpiece.
He has uniquely gifted and called each of us: our passions, our abilities, our personalities — even our current circumstances. Can we stop looking at what others are doing or have done and embrace what God is calling us to do?
I think of runners, or even swimmers for that matter. During a race, if they concentrated on the competition, assessing the opponent’s form and envying his endurance, if that runner was constantly looking around instead of focusing on his own form, his own endurance, and his own goals, he would stumble. He would fall behind and lose the race.
My friend learned that. She learned to embrace where she is in the learning process and celebrate where others are, too. She learns from those further along on their journey and leads those who are walking behind, all the while enjoying the process and creating beauty.
I want to do that, too, don’t you?
I want to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and what everyone else is thinking, and focus on what God is calling me to do.
Sure I’ll make mistakes, and beginnings can be hard, but I have to start somewhere, and I’ll keep following by faith, lifting my eyes to the One who called. In my mothering, in my relationships, in developing the gifts and callings God has put on my heart — in every area — I will, by faith, stop looking around and start looking up.
Will you join me?
Question for You:
Is there any area in your life that you haven’t pursued or you’ve become discouraged because you’re not “as good as” so-and-so? Where do you need to stop comparing yourself with someone else and be the woman God has called you to be?