I'm so pleased to have Sandra Heska King here today as my guest in the "Comparing Ourselves to Others...and what it does to us" series. I had the pleasure of meeting Sandra last year at the Jumping Tandem Retreat...and, I'll admit, I was shocked she knew who I was before an introduction was made (and tickled pink.) Please take some time to visit her blog and welcome her here by leaving a comment. ~ Laura
Please, God, let my parents come and beat her up.
We’d had a sword fight with pencils, Patsi and I. And Mrs. Smith rapped my 8-year-old knuckles.
But not Patsi’s.
So I turned around and scribbled on Patsi’s picture.
And now I stood in the corner, lump in throat, cheeks aflame.
It didn’t occur to me that if my parents did come, I might be the one in trouble and not Mrs. Smith.
And certainly not Patsi.
She was practically perfect in every way, and I was always just about one step behind her.
If I got an A, she got an A+.
When I brought home a B, my mom asked, “What did Patsi get?”
The teacher divided our class into reading groups, and Patsi and I were a group of two. I still remember how she giggled when I pronounced the word, “the” as “thee.”
Patsi was valedictorian of our senior class. Well, co-valdictorian. I could have been (a) salutatorian—except there were four of us very close, and the school let us choose whether we wanted to share or let the one with the very highest grade take all the honors. We chose that route—which means I lost by about 200ths of a point.
Patsi became a nurse. But she had a four-year degree from a top school. I got a diploma from a hospital. (Until I was in my mid-40’s and got my own bachelor’s from a rival university.)
It’s hard to keep up with perfect. Exhausting, actually. And sometimes I wonder if I might have even tried a path other than nursing if I hadn’t been trotting so close to her.
Even now that I’ve found my own road, it’s hard to not compare my life with what might have been or what could be that can’t, my kids with other kids, my house with someone else’s, my depth of faith with Susie’s, my store of wisdom with Joanna’s, my makeup talent and sense of style with Mavis, my writing “success” with…well, you get the picture.
I want to be practically perfect in every way.
But here’s the thing.
Because I AM sees me that way.
Because He made me this way.
And He’s had His hand on each step of my journey, weaving every weed and broken stick and bee sting and crushed leaf along the way into a colorful wildflower life filled with fragrance and song. Even if my senses haven’t quite yet comprehended it all.
I’m pretty sure that by the time I reach the river, I’ll find I’ve been following His footsteps all along, even if sometimes they’ve seemed somewhat buried under life’s litter.
So today I’ll embrace the me He made me to be. I’ll kick comparison to the curb, and celebrate the you He created you to be. Because we’ve each been fashioned by the Father, handcrafted to honor Him and reflect His image in our own unique ways.
Oh, one more thing. I asked Jesus into my heart in grade school behind the gym when Patsi prayed with me. I guess you could say she’s the one who set me on the path to follow the only perfect One.
Sandra Heska King lives in Michigan and writes from a 150-plus-year-old family farmhouse set on 60-something acres surrounded by corn or soybeans or sometimes wheat. She’s a recovering doer who’s learning to be and be still. She spends too much money on books and eats too many M&M’s, and she tries to live Mary Oliver’s words: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
Sandra blogs at sandraheskaking.com and sometimes spills words in other places across the internet like The High Calling. She’s currently working on a memoir and a novel, and you can catch up with her on Facebook and Twitter.