My sister-in-law and I have the exact same name.
Seriously, with one little letter difference, we are both Nic(h)ole Ann Roberts.
We married brothers (she and Travis actually set Brady and I up), we are planting a church together, and we both live on Fern Street. Our mail has gotten switched multiple times, people usually can’t tell which one of us they’re emailing, and one time our flight tickets got mixed up. We used to do health coaching together and now we are pastor’s wives together. Basically, we kind of have the same life, besides our occupations and the fact that she has three kids.
Nichole is one of my favorite people on the planet and I often thank God that I get to be her sister. It’s seriously a dream come true because she is one of the best listeners and advice givers EVER and I know I will laugh a ton whenever I’m around her. She’s an incredible wife and mother and the fact that I’ll always have her example to look up to is wonderful!
Our husbands have a great relationship and they both dreamed of getting to do ministry together someday. When Travis and Nichole asked us to help them plant a church, we were so excited to be able to do life with them and live close to our nieces and future nephew. We went through a lot of assessment and training, and we always heard the same thing. “We think you guys can do this, but it could be tricky working with your family.” We prayed about this and dug deep, and in the end we decided that with a few precautions set in place, this is what God was asking our two families to do.
So lets fast forward a few months. In August of 2017 I went on staff with our church as the administrator. Around this time Nichole was able to step away from her job to be a stay-at-home mama. The church then launched in October and we’ve truly loved this journey! Our church family is growing, we are learning how to serve our community, and we are seeing people come to know the Lord better. It’s an honor to be doing this work! But with all good things from God, Satan is right there trying to discourage us and take us off course.
I had been feeling this attack especially in my relationship with Nichole. There have been a couple of weeks where I can’t seem to help but compare myself to her. Every good thing I saw in her turned into comparison and thoughts of not being good enough. These thoughts stemmed from various things, like the great wife she is, or the ways God uses her in other people’s lives, and even from her deep wisdom. Instead of seeing God work through Nichole, I chose to focus on jealousy and comparison.
There was one Sunday morning when it got especially bad. Our church service was about to start and I noticed Nichole talking to a new visitor, and my thoughts instantly went to a place of comparison. Was I not fun to talk to? Does she like Nichole more than me? Nichole is so much better at relating to people! These thoughts consumed me as the service started. Instead of rejoicing in God using Nichole to love this new person, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much better she was than me. During one of the worship songs, I had to stop, close my eyes, and just ask God to take these thoughts away. I felt sick to my stomach and hated that Satan was invading our Sunday service in this way.
A few days later, Nichole, myself, and a few of our friends met at a coffee shop. We ended up going around and shared how life was going and what we were struggling with. When it was my turn, I ended up admitting to my struggle with comparison. The words kind of just fell out of my mouth and Nichole looked at me with a shocked expression.
While all of this was going on in my heart, Satan was attacking Nichole in the exact same way. She was also struggling with comparison and it became very evident to us that the enemy was trying to discourage us and put a strain on our relationship.
A couple of days later we were able to meet up again and talk through it all in more detail. It got to the point where we were laughing about all of the crazy things we were believing! It was a gift to our friendship and to our families that this conversation happened. We were able to call out the lies we had been believing and we saw how sneaky satan can be. I came away from that conversation being incredibly grateful for Nichole… for her role in my life and in our community. A few months have gone by now, and I’m still so thankful for that transparent conversation we got to have!
Ladies, I know we aren’t the only two who deal with comparison. It’s a trap satan loves to use against us as women! My challenge for us is to face the lies we come to believe and replace them with Truth.
Here is what has helped me:
- Take Your Thoughts Captive. Do my thoughts align with Scripture? Are my thoughts about myself true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and worthy of praise? (Philippians 4:8) If not, pray against the enemy and ask our Heavenly Father to help your thoughts transform.
- Confide and Confess. I believe the enemy loves it when we keep our struggles inside for no one to see. Instead, bring your struggle out into the light. Who could you confess your comparison struggle to? Who do you trust to call out the lies in your life and encourage you to walk in Truth? If you can talk to the person you’ve been comparing yourself to, all the better! It may be hard, but it’s so worth it.
- Grow in Thankfulness. This one is from Nichole! She told me that every time she started to compare herself to me, she would start praying and thanking God for me instead. I thought this was such a beautiful picture of love and grace, and she said it helped her get past the thoughts of comparison.
If you have any tips you’d like to share please put them in the comments below! You are wonderful just as you are, and God is using YOU in big ways. Let’s work on believing it.
Much Love ❤