This is so humbling to write down; all the more reason I should be talking about it, right? The feeling caught me by surprise. It came on suddenly and with a FURY! I had read in our adoption agency’s newsletter that there were going to be several new families joining the pool of parents waiting to adopt. As I read that, a slightly competitive feeling came over me. 19 additional prospective adoptive families were joining the program.
How would their profile compare to ours?
Yesterday, as I was scrolling through my Facebook home page, I saw that our agency was featuring one of the new families on their page. I clicked on this precious family’s profile. Honestly, I did not do it out of curiosity, but out of sheer comparison. I wanted to look objectively. I wanted to see through a prospective birth mother’s eyes, and ask myself, “Who would I be more drawn to?” Them or us. I wanted to COMPARE!
Had the comparison turned out in our favor I probably would have clicked out of their profile with a smug satisfaction in my heart and moved on. But God had a learning lesson in store for me. The voice of comparison is ugly. It will NEVER give good advice. My comparison with the other families went something like this:
Whose pictures looked more appealing, theirs or ours?
Who has the better education?
Who’s profile pictures seem to exude “having it all together?”
Who wrote a better letter to the birth parents?
The list could go on, and on, and on.
It was exhausting. When I was done reading about this new family, all I could think was, “Steph, a birth mother will NEVER choose your family. You should just quit now!” As soon as I had that feeling I started praying that God would fill me with HIS truth, HIS wisdom, and His acceptance.
This is what He laid on my heart:
• I needed to go back to the page that housed ALL of the families waiting to adopt through our agency and pray for them. Each and every one of them. I needed to pray for them by name and pray blessings over their adoption process. They were in the same boat as Matt and I; the waiting process. We are on this journey together–not competing against each other but striving for the same common goal…Adoption!
As soon as God laid this first thought on my heart, I opened up my computer and went back to the page I had visited. I prayed over each couple by name. I will continue to do this each time the comparison or competitive feelings start to get a hold on me. And as I see couples’ profiles being removed because they have adopted, I will pray for them. Not necessarily because I FEEL like praying for any one of them, but because that is what God is asking of me.
• I needed to talk to God about my feelings. God knows my feelings before I even speak them; those deep down feelings that are not easy to talk about. I needed to be completely honest and open with what I was feeling; not gloss it over and pretend like the feelings were less than what they were. I also needed to ask God for wisdom to know how to deal with the strong emotions I was dealing with and then follow the wisdom He whispers to my heart.
• One of the biggest things God reminded me of is that I am wonderfully made. And not only am I wonderfully made, but every single person is wonderfully made. I do not need to compare myself to others because God made us all unique, all special, all worthy of the callings He has called us to! Our adoption process rests not on how well we present ourselves, or how pretty and smart we are, but on God’s Sovereign Calling on our life. We do not have to compare or compete!