This is the blog post that I kept waiting to write itself. There's so much to say, but it seems I never had just the right words. You know that feeling?
Flashback to last November as I stood in the foyer of our church waiting on Coach. As I stood there, a gal I knew from my teaching days approached me. She asked such a simple question, but little did I know how my God was using her to grow me. She asked, "Do you like to decorate?" I might've gotten a little over-excited and replied, "Yes! I just wish I had the time to decorate more." She went on to tell me that for the Women's Christmas dinner, the church was needing volunteers to decorate a table. The details were sketchy, but I was excited. I mean, come on, decorating for Jesus! Heck yes!
All I knew was that I was able to pick my table's theme and that no table was to look remotely alike. Sounded good to me. Then the welcome letter and directions landed in my inbox. In sponsoring a table to decorate, I was also to be a host for the table for one night of the Women's Dinner. Now, I had been looking for ways to meet other women at church and get involved in the women's ministries, but this....this idea of me hosting a table full of women I don't know. It just about sent me panicking over the edge.
Not many people realize how painstakingly awkward it is for me to meet new people. Deep down, I'm an introvert and I like the small, close-knit circle of friends I have. (I tell ya, my Day Job folks won't believe this one bit.) I shared the news with Coach and he laughed a hearty laugh and said he was thankful God put me in this position. He said I needed it.
I put the panic aside and started my Pinterest search for the perfect tablescape. I spent hours in Hobby Lobby and Michael's and everywhere else in between. I just had to make the perfect table. You know, cause, everyone else's table was going to be perfect too.
Enter the worry of comparison.
What if nobody liked my table theme? What if it was too gaudy? What if mine was ugly because I'm not a decorator? What if...what if...what if...
The day finally came to set up my creation. As Coach unloaded the car and watched me as I worked, I couldn't help but look at the other tables. How did they attach such extravagances from the ceiling? Oh gosh, why didn't I think to use a mason jar? Who's that over there...oh nobody just a team.of.decorators. Real ones! Ugh...ya'll already know this, but comparison is the thief of joy. I learned this the hard way. At a moment when I should be joyfully serving the Lord, I was comparing. I felt foolish for even committing to this event. But, there was no turning back now.
Later that night, with the candles lit and the mirrors glinting, the table glowed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I learned a lesson - Jesus is the beholder. He called me to volunteer my decorative efforts and to provide a warm, welcoming table for my fellow women.
That night was one of my favorites. Truly. Our table was full of sweet ladies and the worry of comparison was long gone.
When God calls you to serve Him, remember that HE is the one who beholds your beauty, not the world.