I know very well every corner and square inch of the prison of comparison. I have spent most of my life very intently watching everyone else for how they do the things that I want to do. Or I think I want to do. Or I think I’m supposed to do. In an effort to never be wrong, I have tried to live my life like other people. Because I assumed the way they were doing it was right.
This has led to a perfectly fine life with things I actually enjoy. But there is a growing suspicion that many of the choices I’ve made have been because of what others do and not because I was listening to the still small voice inside of ME.
Parts of life feel a bit flat because while it looks “successful,” I wonder if I’m following other people’s steps and patterns and dreams instead of the ones God’s given me.
I’ve seen pictures online of other pastors and mentally added their activity to my to do list. I saw the events they spoke at, the causes they supported, the ways they traveled, and it went on my list. Because naturally if they were doing it, then there’s some secret pastor expectation list somewhere that everyone got and I didn’t.
Not because any of those things were my passion, but because those must be the “right” things to do. What an exhausting way to live.
I’ve spent so much time looking around me for the right path to follow. I watch others, trying to make my ministry look like theirs because I needed a model.
At Together Live last month, I heard someone say, “you will wake up one day and no one will be ahead of you to follow.”
My heart shouted, “Yes, that. I want that!”
The idea that I could wake up one day and there would be no one in front of me to follow sounds incredible. Not that I would be the first one to be a female pastor or a mom or a wife but that I am the first one to live MY life.
So here’s to noticing all the ways we follow others that are actually healthy and wonderful. We learn by watching others.
And here’s to noticing when this becomes a barricade to hearing the still small voice inside of us that’s guiding us through our own life. That voice knows the real us. The work we’re here to do. Don’t do somebody else’s work. That’s their still small voice. You have your own!
May you be free to step in a new direction that you haven’t traveled before, simply because you want to. Not because anyone else approved or suggested or modeled it first.
You and your still small voice are more powerful than you know.