I was scrolling through Facebook when something caught my eye. A mom-friend of mine who works as a nurse managed to start her own successful sewing business online. As I looked at all her beautiful work and her daughters in matching outfits with bows in their hair, I immediately criticized myself. I can barely get my girls to brush their hair, never mind about cute braids and bows! Suddenly, feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, and even jealousy crept into my heart. I looked at my kitchen floor, still littered with cereal crumbs from the morning. How does she do it? Why am I always failing when everyone else has their life together?
Then I stopped myself right there. I recognized that those feelings of inadequacy did not come from God. God brings goodness out of evil; it’s the devil who brings evil out of another’s goodness. That Father of Lies was whispering to me: “How come you’re not like her? It’s because you’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough.”
And here’s the shocking thing. His lies are so compelling because there’s an element of truth in them. He’s right that I’ll never be like her! But the real truth is that I don’t have to be. God gave me my own unique light and my own real beauty that I’m meant to share with the world. Comparison not only robs me of my joy, it distracts me from the song of my heart that God gave me to sing. It sends me into hiding with feelings of doubt and sadness. But God’s whispers are altogether liberating: “Oh my dove, why are you hiding behind the rocks? Let me see your face; let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely” (Sg 2:14).
The real truth is that the devil fears you and what you’re capable of when you are empowered by the Spirit. There’s nothing scarier for him than the beauty and joy of a soul touched by God’s love with the courage to empower others. So, now I do my best to throw out the devil’s crippling shame game, and I bravely give myself permission to be the light in the world that God wants me to be. Because when I stay true to the unique call that God has for my life, I give others permission to do the same in their own lives.
So, dearest mothers, remember, you are enough. You are more than enough. And God needs you to grace the world with the beauty he gave you, the beauty that ravishes his heart, the beauty that is yours alone. “The King desires your beauty” (Ps 45:11). So rise up, daughters of Eve! You are his masterpiece.
“When you are who you were meant to be, you will set the world ablaze.” ―St. Catherine of Siena
Amen, Irene! Thank you for this post, and for your words – “crippling shame game” – the enemy of our soul spins nuances of the lies of worthlessness and comparison. Yet, God has given us each a unique, ordained, unrepeatable, irreplaceable role to play, and oh how the world needs each of our feminine, mothering genius lights to shine with the power of saving beauty! Let us rise!
I can relate so much to this post! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Thank you, Irene! YES!
What a beautiful message! This post is so affirming and full of hope. Thank you, Irene!
“Comparison not only robs me of my joy, it distracts me from the song of my heart that God gave me to sing.” I want us all to remember these words, so that we are free to sing our songs!
SO TRUE!! These words were just what I needed to hear today. Thanks for once again using your gift to speak to all of us!