I used to feel like I would never measure up. I knew I loved to sing, but I could not sing as well as that other girl. Little did I know that she was also thinking she could not sing as well as another girl, or another guy and without knowing it, everyone was comparing themselves to each other and no one was being joyful. None of us thought we were good enough. That is where all dreams go to die, the “valley of comparison”.
It is true, comparison is the thief of joy (Theodore Roosevelt). The Bible puts it this way, in 2 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 12, Paul pens “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”
Oftentimes we compare ourselves to others and Paul lets us know that those who do this lack understanding. God made each of us unique, we all have our own part to play in the Kingdom. As part of the body of believers, we understand how the body works, the eyes cannot do what the mouth can. Neither can the nose do what the fingers can, but they all serve their own purpose. The head is not enough to make a whole human being, but the head is enough for its own function and purpose. This is explicitly explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 12.
In the same way, as individuals we may not be able to do it all or figure it all out. This is part of the reason why God gave us community. God, in His infinite wisdom also thought through how each of us may deal with feeling like we “have it all figured out” or “we got this” making no room for Him in our plans and no accommodation for those He may want to use as part of our journey.
As a new graduate from University, I remember struggling to find full time employment. Everywhere I applied said I lacked experience. I began to feel very frustrated as the days grew into weeks that quickly became months with no permanent fulltime job. How did it make sense to ask for 5 years’ experience when my resume clearly showed that I went to University right after high school? I was only 21 years old, when was I supposed to start working, 16? Was that a way of them saying, I was supposed to work and go to school simultaneously? This high falutin idea that employers had drove me bunkers.
Then one day, I received a call to come in for an interview. The person on the other end of the phoneline explained that he was looking for someone with at least 10 years’ experience, but the careers center at the University I attended sent him my resume and he thought he’d also consider for an interview.
At the beginning of the interview, I was spiraling into a deep dark pit of despair. I butchered my responses so much so that the interviewer asked “when did you finish school anyway? How can you not know these things?” Suddenly he received a phone call and the unction of drizzle parading as a presentation became a conversation, upon his return.
What he did not know was that him taking the call and leaving the office was an opportunity for me to invite Jesus into the room. Something I had failed to do at the beginning. The atmosphere changed and we talked and laughed as if we were old friends playing catch up. When I got home that afternoon, I sent him an email thanking him for the opportunity and expressed my anticipation to hear back from him soon. I worked with him for almost 3 years before moving on to other endeavors.
Sometimes we feel like God is leading us to start something. A business venture, a new training, some sort of relationship. We too often defeat ourselves before we even start it. Whether it be because of lack of confidence, or lack of faith in God’s ability to bring it to completion because we cannot see how.
Paul, in His letter to the Philippians reminds us in chapter 1 verse 6 that “... He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). God is faithful, He will never start some and not finish it.
You may feel like you do not have all the resources and too often, the lack of vision is coupled with our other inadequacies and then before you know it, we are caught up thinking more about what we lack instead of what we have.
Start anyway. When God sent Moses to go rescue the children of Israel, all he had was a rod and his shaking voice. Go anyway, trust the one who leads. When the widow made the meal for Elijah, she thought that was he handful of flour and jar of oil. Do it anyway.
You do not need to match up or add up or be enough. You just have to go anyway, write anyway, sing anyway, because though you are not nearly enough, God is.
Tamieka Pennant Dussard is a poet and writer, who has served in youth ministries mentoring young people both in Canada (current home) and Jamaica. She is the Director of “Young Wives Uncensored” a social organization which seeks to provide support and accountability to young, married women. She hopes to continue to use her gifts and experiences to motivate young people and share God with the world. She also enjoys cooking and sharing flexi-vegan recipes (IG: ltdkitchen)