“Child, I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”
-from C.S. Lewis’ novel, The Horse and His Boy.
Women are particularly prone to comparing themselves to one another. We compare our talents, education, looks, relationships, birth stories, children, and parenting methods. I find myself falling into the trap of comparing my story with the story of another woman. Sometimes I feel that my story has been unfairly difficult.
To be specific, why did it take from start to finish, around 32 hours for my daughter to be born? Why, after all that, did I have a c-section? I compare myself to a blogger I follow. She had a wonderful homebirth, 7 hours from start to finish and birthed her firstborn, a beautiful baby girl. I’ve come up with this idea that it should be fair. But what I learn later, is that this same blogger’s little girl has been diagnosed with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She worries daily for her daughter’s very survival. How is that fair?
I use this specific example to illustrate that God has given us each our own story. Each has been given her own load to bear. On the surface, other women can often seem as if they have it all together. But who knows the struggles of the heart but God? Who knows what secret pain she carries, or the way the people in her life treat her? Who knows what addictions plague her or memories pain her? I don’t say this so that we can start suspecting every woman of having a problem, but I have found this statement to be generally true. Every person has a messy drawer. Meaning, if you know someone long enough, if you listen carefully enough, most of the time you will find that their life is really not as perfect as you imagined.
The verse I found that best applies to what I’m trying to say is from Romans 12:3.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
The phrase I keep landing on is “in accordance with the measure of faith.” God has given us each a measure of faith, and a life/story in keeping with that.