This is my battle: Comparison

“She’s so pretty. I wish I had hair like hers so all the boys will like me too.”

“Gah, she’s so skinny. I better get to the gym.”

“How am I ever going to get a promotion? I am not as talented as those other candidates.”

“Why does he always text her? Will I even be good enough for that?”

This is a look into my mind. I try to beat these thoughts down with a bat every time they surface, yet I still daily struggle with comparison. I am never good enough. I am never smart enough. I am never pretty enough. I am never enough.
I realized early on in my life that this was an issue, but the outward appearance of the effects of comparison came out as anger, jealousy, and self-deprivation. I was an athlete. I played softball and honestly, I was pretty good. I was on traveling teams, competing for titles, regional championships, and I thought I was unstoppable. Until I got benched for the first time in…ever. I sat there, not saying a word, only comparing myself with the pitcher that got to start before me.

“Was my fast ball not as fast as hers?”

“Did coach like her better than me?”

“How can I be like her?”

This started the downward spiral of how comparison has daily affected my life.
When it wasn’t softball anymore, it was other things. I would compare myself to my friends who were dating, engaged, or married. I would compare myself to people in my classes and my grades to theirs. I would compare myself to women in the church and the ministry we were involved in. The list goes on. Many times these comparisons would turn into jealousy and I do not handle jealousy well. It was a lot of me closing off to people. It was a lot of stuffing my feelings down further and further inside me. It was a lot of not choosing to believe Truth. It was me choosing to not believe God is who He says He is and not believing that God created me perfectly in His sight.

Coming to the realization that comparison was being the thief to all joy set before me was (and is) a long road. This road is one with lots of tears. It’s one of lots of heartache. It’s one of a lot of yelling at me and Satan. I’ve lost close friends of mine because of it, and I’ve had to attempt to repair many other relationships because of the weightiness of my sin.

A close friend of mine recently sent me a passage out of Galatians 6:4-5 in The Message version of the Bible. It said “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others…Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

This was the first time I had read this Galatians passage in The Message, but it really spoke to me. God is telling us that we were created for a purpose, we get to live in the image of the Lord and He’s allowing us to come into our own without comparing ourselves to others.

These words mean freedom to me. It means that I live under the Truth that God is the almighty Creator and I am His beautiful, wonderful creation. I don’t have to compare myself to others to figure out how to feel better about myself. I get to look in scripture and in Gospel community and toward God to show me my beauty and worth.

Seeking out this Truth is a daily task that needs to be done. It’s hard and frankly, I fail a lot at turning to God instead of turning to comparison. But I’m finding the more the Lord is sanctifying me, it does get easier (like lifting a 100 pound weight to lifting a 90 pound weight-still hard, but easier). Each time I choose to seek out Truth, I feel that much freer to live as God created me in Christ. This is a freedom worth fighting for.

most days are today

i could smell the sunshine and taste the rain last time we ran into each other on the streets. you were leaving and i was staying. memories of yesterday filled the clouds. i looked up and saw that one time in the park. i looked up and saw that one time in your room. i looked up and they all vanished. you said you were leaving and i said i was staying. i couldn’t bear the thought of good-bye, then you said ‘good-bye’. the morning glory came and the evening sun fell all to nothing. they said it would get easier. they said i would get stronger. i said i was sick of feeling this way. i drowned myself in school, in work, in anything except you. i drowned myself is lies, in lust, in anything except thoughts of you. some days are better than others, most days aren’t. most days i miss you, your smile, your movement, you everything. bruised and batter from the fall of vulnerability. terrifying to step out on the limb with thoughts that i’d fall again. they tell me it will get easier. they tell me i would get stronger. most days will get better, but most days are today.

Love Knows No Size

One thing that I’ve always struggled with is the way that I look and sometimes feel about myself. Deep down, I know that I am beautiful both inside and out, but some days I just don’t believe it because there are so many other things in our society telling me otherwise. Since I was a little girl, I have seen advertisements either in print or on television, featuring a blond hair, blue-eyed, skinny-minny size 2 model. Now, I’m not a size 2, nor will I ever even be a size 10, but when I was growing up, that was “beautiful” to me. I have been feeding off of these false images of what a woman should look like for years and now that I am finally at the age where I can say and TRULY BELIEVE those images are wrong, I feel free. This is not saying that I still don’t struggle with my body image, or that I still don’t struggle with my self-confidence, this is acknowledging what is being portrayed in the media and not accepting it as the truth.

Today is Love Your Body Day. It is a day when attention is brought to woman and how they feel about themselves. It’s a day that accepts every woman, no matter what size. It is a day that asks woman to accept themselves and love what they see in the mirror.

Women deserve this day to be everyday and that’s why we’re fighting.