As I sit next to the fire tonight by myself cause the guys decided to go fishing again, I decided to pull out one of my new books I’ve been dying to read by Lisa Bevere. For whatever reason I chose “Without Rival”.
The first chapter starts off by explaining that, as Christians, we don’t need to compete with others in God’s eyes. There are no rivals. However, that we’re not the same either. God doesn’t love us the same and he doesn’t see us as equal. Bevere defends these statements by simply saying “equal” implies love can be measured and “same” would mean we as Christians are replaceable.
She goes on to suggest instead of “equal” or “same” we are unique in God. Unique means prototype or only sample of….we are without rival. There has not and will not ever be another person like you.
“God uniquely created your DNA and knit your frame in secret so he could surprise the world. He authored how your heart expresses itself; he was the architect of your smile and melody of your voice; he made all of your features with the fondest thoughts of only you in mind. He celebrated along with your parents your first smile and watched with affection your first steps,” -Lisa Bevere
I’ve been extremely fortunate as I haven’t gotten caught up in the comparison game much in my life. Obviously, it happens and is inevitable, but for me personally, constantly trying to change myself to fit the mold everybody thought I should fit into hasn’t been a big issue..
Nonetheless, everyone faces it. In their own way and at different times in life. I find that I compare myself now more to others than I have at any point in my life. I’m at the point in life where kids my age are in the make it or break it stage in life. The time where everytime we turn around we have to ask if we’re doing it right or not. We’re getting married, having kids, buying houses, starting businesses, working up the corporate ladder, powering through college, whatever the case may be. The next handful of years are what set the stage for the rest of OUR lives and yet we are constantly looking to others for approval.
My comparison lately has been school. There are only a handful of women in my construction management program and I’m not gonna lie the guys are judge mental of us. We stick together and try to take the same classes and do homework together and stuff, but the guys still keep their distance.
Anyway, most of society (even in our own program) still sees us as incompetent in the trades or not good enough to work among to the guys, there’s added pressure. And for me pressure to prove myself to the world that I can make it in a mans world and pressure to not fall through the cracks and get the “woman aren’t made for construction” label proven right.
I put myself into comparison constantly. To both the guys and girls and it all comes down to proving that I’m good enough. That I belong there just as much as anyone else.
But let me tell you in the last two weeks my natural self has taken over. I keep telling myself I’ve got this. I’m gonna pass the class. I’m gonna get the job. I’m gonna succeed. That this is all so minuscule in the grand scheme of things.
Shooting a once in a lifetime bear, with hounds, boosted my confidence immensely. It’s the time of year I get to shine, where I get to show off a bit, and do the things that make me, well, me. The things that set me apart from everyone else, and not everyone else can do.
I spend my weekends hunting and fishing with Eric from the 1st of September to the 1st of January, and I love it. We create irreplaceable memories, and share the best times. And more times than not, it’s not just me and Eric. I get to create these timeless memories with all of my family in the fall, they turn out to be my favorite memories too.
After reading only one chapter of this book I’ve realized that in the end the memories are all that matter. We do what we love together and create memories that get passed down for generations. It doesn’t matter if most girls would rather shop or get their nails done and I spend my weekend shooting at birds. Or if one of the guys in class spent the weekend studying and I spent it on the river.
Everything that we compare ourselves to is earthly. The “things”. Jobs can be lost, things stolen, skills can deteriorate, and relationships can be ripped away, but you’ll never lose who you are.
So, for me. I’ll keep pounding those nails, laying that tile, studying for those tests, shooting those guns, killing those waterfowl/deer/bear, casting that line, wearing that camo, reading my bible, praying to my God. Because it’s who I am. It’s who I’ve always been and it’s who I’ll always be because God made me unique and in his image. Everything will fall into place just as it’s supposed to.
My life isn’t for everyone. And nobody else’s is for me. So do you. Do what is yours and make it your own. Don’t worry about the person next to you or even the person on TV. You’ll never be the same or at an equal spot with them. You’re two very different people created for two very different purposes. We’re all unique in God. There’s no playing field or bigger spot in heaven. We’ve all got our quarks that make us who we are.
“You are a daughter without rival carrying a light without equal equipped to fight a battle without rival—uniquely.”-Lisa Bevere