Celebrating Us - A Verbal Processing Moment About Comparison in Marriage
I am a photographer by trade. As I write this, I am currently waiting for over 2,800 photos to upload so that I can begin working on editing. I was hired to photograph a wedding this past weekend. My normal second shooters were unavailable and I had few options, so I asked my husband to help out. Now I know that sounds like I'm saying that my husband is sloppy seconds or a desperate last resort, but the truth is that he has never really enjoyed coming with me on any family photo sessions or the like. But much to my surprise, he happily agreed to tagging along and helping with this big wedding. Normally my husband and I work quite well together. We tag team minister together all the time. We are great at counseling people together and after nearly 12 years of marriage we finally worked out how to work well together in the kitchen (FINALLY). But this is different. This is my business. This is my baby. This is the thing that I built from the ground up over the past few years, the thing that I poured money and time and energy and sweat and tears into. The thing that I always wanted to do but up until 4 years ago never thought I was good enough to do. He has certainly been my biggest support and my biggest fan during this journey, but I never thought he'd be doing it WITH me. I'm not a control freak by any means - I actually thrive when I can release others into what they're good at or what they dream about doing. I love watching people come alive in their gifting! And hopefully they will learn to be BETTER than I ever was at whatever it is that they are doing. But....can I be real vulnerable for a second......this is my husband.....and he's amazing at EVERYTHING. This is the man that wanted to build a floating book shelf in one of the bedrooms so he watched a few YouTube videos and made a perfect shelf. This is the guy who took two weeks to pick up old guitar and start playing songs that I couldn't learn after my years of being in band and knowing how to read music. He saves us hundreds of dollars on labor by changing his own oil, brake pads, etc. on our vehicles. He's great at EVERYTHING. And because he's never had the desire to do photography, he's never had the opportunity to be "better" than me at it. It's been MY thing. Until now.
I'm looking through the photos that he took, and he's pretty darn good for a beginner. In fact, he's got some amazing shots....shots that I wouldn't have even thought of getting. Where I was artistic and sentimental with my shots, he was thorough and calculated. It's almost as if we COMPLIMENT each other or something.
We do work wonderfully well together, and we did a fabulous job at the wedding. I suppose being married almost 12 years allowed us to kind of "read each other's minds," and I feel like he did a phenomenal job of just KNOWING what I wanted and being able to execute it well. And to top it off, we had FUN. He honored me so well, and was my biggest fan on the day, which completely calmed my nerves and made everything I was anxious about melt away. I kinda wish we'd have explored doing this together before now...
The biggest question remains then: Why do I compare myself to him? Yes, he's AMAZING and he's amazingly good at EVERYTHING he puts his hand to. But I'm pretty awesome, myself. And what a gift to have a husband who not only allows me to be MYSELF, but celebrates who I am. He always points me to Jesus and to my REAL identity in Him. He's definitely wired different from me, but he makes me better (a better woman, a better friend, a better photographer, a better ME), and he says I make him better, too.
Comparison (especially with a spouse) is such a bait of the enemy. Bait, NOT TAKEN this time, devil!!!!!
So why do I ever compare myself? He's a wonderful him....I'm a beautiful me....and together, we are a powerhouse in everything we do. Even photography.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)