A little over a year ago now, I found myself sitting in a room with surfboards attached to the ceiling, taking notes in a polka-dot notebook, surrounded by some of my closest friends, getting taught about our identity in Christ by Carla Bauer. Fast forward to July 26th, 2017, and I find myself reading through those notes again. Something caught my attention that was so perfect for this next entry.
In an orange gel pen I wrote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Wowie did that get me right where it hurt. It is super true that I find myself comparing my body to others’, and I hate that I do it, because I know better..and knowing that I know better makes it all the more frustrating that I still do it!
If I look back I can tell you that I remember comparing myself to other ladies since middle school, down to silly things that don’t even make sense. I used to think that being “skinny enough” meant that the tendons on the back of your ankles showed. LOL, WHAT!!! Now of course, that was middle school and I get that everyone goes through the awkward middle school stage where e v e r y t h i n g matters so so much. I think when it started becoming a little obsessive for me was when I moved to Hawaii for college. I think I can attest or speak for many that when I moved to Hawaii I did not foresee the burdens/nuisances of comparison and the pressure to be thin becoming things I thought about daily. However, think about it: Swimsuit season is year round, and even if you’re not on the beach you’re still in summer clothes which are obviously more revealing than winter clothes. Sprinkle some sexy swimsuit shots of women (whether it be supermodel, classmate, or random stranger) onto your Instagram feed or explore page, put it in the oven and a couple weeks into the Fall semester you find yourself trying to eat seven whole tomatoes (don’t ask me why,) in a day to lose weight quickly. True story. It sounds so silly to me writing it now, because it comes back to the fact that I know better than that!
Hope: what do you mean when you say you know better?
This! Take Song of Solomon 4:7 “You are altogether beautiful my darling, there is no flaw in you” cross reference that with Genesis 1:27 “So God created man/woman in his own image..” and then add to the equation Psalm 139:13 “For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” and you can probably start to see why I have the head knowledge that God created me uniquely, without flaw, and in his image. However, obviously this has yet to become heart knowledge.
*Cue Head to the Heart by United Pursuit*
All jokes aside, I regrettably admit that if I truly did believe the verses above, I don’t think comparison would be as big of a problem for me. This is a problem, because when we begin to doubt ourselves it gives the enemy a foothold to create more and more lies that will cause us to doubt more. Knowing that, I’m challenging myself, and encouraging you if any of this is resonating with you, to begin to set some time aside to ask God what it looks like to begin to truly believe that he made you and me without flaw, in his image, yet still made every one of us so unique. To begin to dive into what you’re comparing and why. To have him reveal what needs to change in order for us to take a firm grip on our identity as women and men of the Lord. Comparison cuts deep, so it is no wonder why it steals joy. Thankfully, through Christ we have the power to reclaim that joy. I thank God in advance for all of the revelations to come, and for the chains to be broken.
P.S. This is not a battle we have to face alone, part of the reason why I share these pieces is to encourage other people to come forward and share as well. That being said I would love to hear your experiences and see how you are dealing with things! Feel free to connect with me, it would be so appreciated.