These five are vastly different from each other and they are my most favorite young people in the entire world. That I could possibly love one more than the other is unthinkable and I would do anything in my power to help them succeed in life. While the earthly gains of possessions and prestige are nice, what I wish most for them is the ultimate defense against the hurts and evils of this world: the ones that eat away at your self worth and leave you feeling lost and small. I believe the greatest protection consists of many elements interwoven within our character to build integrity and strength. The most important of these is a knowledge that we are loved by God.
And this can all start to unravel when we decide to compare ourselves to others.
We are all too familiar with our own personal weaknesses. We try not to parade them around for all to see while we work diligently to overcome them. We’re not trying to be fake or phony, most of us are just consciously attempting to maintain some semblance of dignity as we try not to fall and scrape our emotional selves. And therein lies the crucial truth we must all understand: everyone else is doing the same thing! When we compare our self to someone else, we are pitting our known weaknesses against our perception of their known strengths. Doing this will always put us on the losing side of any equation. When we do this often enough, we begin to believe that we lack the fortitude and excellence found in others and our self esteem plummets.
Even when we have a deep abiding belief that God loves us, when we get into the habit of comparing, we just might start to think of the possibly that He loves (insert any name here) more because they are somehow better than us. The moment we head down that path, the enemy pounces and whispers that this indeed must be so…and we suddenly find ourselves on the proverbial slippery slope.
But the truth is an anchor keeping us from sliding away. We ARE different and that is as it should be. God gave us the privilege to be separate and distinct beings with the right to choose. This naturally leads to good and bad choices as we learn how to master our humanity. He loves each and every one of us as only a perfect loving Father in Heaven can and has endowed us with unique personal gifts and talents that may, or most likely will not be, the same as our neighbor’s.
I managed to capture a fun moment during shooting and this photo really shows the difference in their personalities. I hope they never compare themselves against each other, for none of them are anywhere near the same. In the realization of their differences, I pray they will always trust me enough to know that I love each of them with every fiber of my being.