Let me tell you about my friend, Courtney.
Courtney is not only my friend, but my colleague of 5+ years: we’ve been on the same special ed team since 2010. When you work with people over several years, you get to know them in a close and authentic way. You learn what makes them tick, and what ticks them off. You see them every day, and share personal victories and struggles. (Side note: Courtney is a part of a very special team of ladies I’ve been blessed to work with. See the photo of some of our teammates below.)
I’ll never forget when Courtney told us (our team) that she and her husband (Joe) were going to start trying to grow their family. She was vulnerable and brave, letting us in on this new–and uncertain–season of her life.
Getting pregnant took longer than Courtney and Joe expected–month after month after month. During this time, it seemed like a new pregnancy announcement was celebrated every month at our staff meetings. I would look over at Courtney, and see pain in her eyes–masked by a smile to celebrate the news of another woman’s pregnancy.
Courtney is a true celebrator of others, and it comes so naturally to her. Still, I’m sure it was difficult for her to separate the pain she carried from the genuine joy she felt for her colleagues. She made it through that season with strength and grace.
I asked Courtney how she overcame the comparison trap, specifically during the seasons they struggled to conceive. She so bravely and vulnerably shared her wisdom.
Deal with the worry first. Over the years, I’ve learned the best way I deal with falling into the comparison trap is by dealing with the worry first. When I really pay attention, I notice that the things I compare myself to in others has changed throughout different seasons of my life. It always seems to line up with what I’m worried about, and not fully trusting God with. During the time when I worried about infertility, I struggled most with comparing myself to women announcing pregnancies all around me.
I’ve learned that I most often compare myself to others in the areas where I fear I’m coming up short–the areas I fear God won’t answer my prayers the way I hope and plan. When I pay attention to the times I’m comparing, it usually puts up a red flag for me in the areas where I need to trust God more.
Do you struggle to trust God with your story–your timeline, your plan, your hopes, and your dreams? Whatever season of life you find yourself in, do you notice that comparison lines up with your worries? I love Courtney’s reminder to deal with the worry first, so that we can trust God fully.
(This is part of a series from write31days.com. To see all posts in this series, click here.)
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.