The comparison trap.
We’ve all been warned about it. We all try to avoid it. But it happens… over and over again. So what do we do to combat it? Last week, while in the deepest bouts of comparison, I learned a very important concept.
I am a member of a great learning community called Novel.Academy. God led me there and is continually providing me with the tools to “train” and become the best writer I can be for Him.
Even as great as it is, it can cripple me too.
After three weeks of being away from writing due to family needs and a traveling husband, I finally stepped back into my story last Monday. Life continually interrupted, but I was able to confidently write a few times before our lesson on Thursday.
Then I fell in the trap.
It was an amazing lesson about writing a synopsis. The example was glorious! There was voice, conflict, and excitement. It was everything I wanted mine to be and more! And then I read my own synopsis…
It reads like a manual for installing a toilet. Boring and a bit disgusting if you think about how close your face gets to where people’s butts go… but I digress.
I just know there is no way I can write like Susie! My story sounds boring and worthless compared to hers. But she cannot write the story that God has given me… Good to know, just not all that helpful to remember when pinned in the comparison trap.
For a couple hours I struggled, and then finally, I just gave up and went to bed. Waking up Friday morning, my insecurity lingered like a crippling bout of the flu. I didn’t want to get out of bed. Depression was slipping its cold fingers around my ankles and dragging me down.
But children have to be dressed for school, and oops! I guess they will have to buy lunch there because mom took too long fighting to get out of bed herself.
It was rough, but I prayed for God to help me, to remind me, and to sustain me, and then forced myself to face the morning.
The one bright note was Fridays are my Bible Study days, and we are doing this great study on a book called A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. Knowing how God likes to show off, I asked, “So what are you going to show me today?”
The chapter title of Friday’s lesson? When Doubt Whispers “I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer.”
I hope you laughed out loud like I did. I love my God. He is beyond words, so great and amazing. The weight of my depression still had me in its grip, though. Hopping in the car to drive my son to school and then Bible study, my Skillet CD started blaring “Undefeated”.
“Hands on my neck
Foot on my back
Closing in from every side
Bleeding me dry I’m fading fast
Left for dead but I will rise up”
That is exactly how I felt.
I was in a fight, a battle, and I was being defeated. Then in that last line, “Left for dead but I will rise up” I could see Jesus in my head reaching down to pull me up from the ground. He smiled with the confidence of a warrior and pulled me up with His strength, saying, “We’ve got this.”
We. Him and me. Together we can fight against this stupid comparison trap and I can move forward in my writing journey with Him.