Some might say that my family is "non-traditional". I am the mother of two young children and wife to a wonderful husband. I also happen to be the sole breadwinner of our family, while my husband is an amazing, stay-at-home dad.
On any given weekday, you can find me in downtown San Francisco at the office having my first cup of coffee by 6am, long before anyone else in my house has rustled out of bed. I have what most would consider a high-pressure job working at a Wall Street firm managing billions worth of assets in the stock market.
I like to say that my husband's job is much more important, though, because he is responsible for overseeing assets which are priceless, namely our two beautiful young children. And while it may not fit the cultural norm, having my husband at home is a tremendous blessing to us all, and it is what makes our family work!
It has been a journey to get to a place where I now appreciate how God has called me to have an impact in the marketplace. I've learned that God is in the business of creating unique individuals, not cookie-cutter people who all look or act alike. When He made you, He broke the mold! In fact, the truth is, there has never been a mold!
One of my favorite verses is found in Hebrews 12:1-2. It says, "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus..."
This scripture holds a key to fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. When a professional athlete runs a race, every ounce of weight matters. They even wear special clothing designed to be aerodynamic, allowing them to run completely unhindered. The same is true in our walk with God. God desires us to run completely free and at our full potential! Clearly, sin is one area that can ensnare us, but there can also be other things that become weights, and while perhaps more subtle, these weights slow us down. One common weight, for women in particular, is the weight of comparison.
In the age of Instagram and social media, comparison is all around us. From the number of Facebook "likes" a post gets to the perfect photos of a friend’s party, everything seems to be measured and judged by social networks. We probably have a sense that comparison isn't a good thing, but have you ever thought of comparison as something that weighs you down, something that slows you down in your race?
God never intended for us to compare ourselves to others, yet it is an easy trap to fall into. Consider a classic example as a working mom. Rushing from work, I pick-up store-bought cupcakes on the way to my daughter's class, while another mom bakes something from scratch. Instead of enjoying the time with my daughter, I could spend hours thinking that I’m not as “good” of a mom because my cupcakes weren’t homemade. Comparison causes us to waste emotional and mental energy, and ultimately weighs us down!
The good news is that the antidote to comparison is actually found in that same scripture in Hebrews 12, "looking unto Jesus...". When we take our eyes off each other and place them on Jesus, He speaks peace, purpose, and affirmation back to us.
1 Corinthians 12 uses a beautiful analogy of how a body works together to show us the importance of each individual. Each part plays a vital role. It says,“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?...But God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be." We often read this scripture from the perspective of receiving others, and we need to, but it's also something that we actively need to voice in our own heads about our own selves.
God is calling women to stand up and be confident in who God has made THEM to be - mothers, students, professionals, doctors, preachers, grandmothers, teachers, daughters, and the list goes on. Let's not try to be someone who God hasn't created us to be. We must not only receive others but also receive ourselves as well.
Next time you feel yourself being pulled toward comparison, try taking a moment, and turn your eyes to Jesus. Watch how the urge to compare will be swept away by His great love for you. Lay down the weight, and run free!
Rachel is a senior investor at a top Wall Street firm, where she oversees Institutional Equity assets. As a marketplace leader, Rachel has a passion to see women reach their full potential and fulfill their God given purpose. Rachel is also a worship leader and songwriter who has a desire to see people encounter the life transforming power of Jesus. Rachel and her husband Pablo live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their two young children Gabriella and Benjamin.