Hey sis. I see you. You are checking out her Instagram for the third time today. Before you realize it, or even want to acknowledge it, you start feeling that sinking feeling in your stomach. You mutter to yourself “Seriously?” as she posts another selfie, a cute one I might add. She seems to have it together. She has 1K Instagram followers and is a Facebook star. Truth is, you’ve never spoken to her a day in your life. You’ve only seen her in person once. She was with a group of friends laughing and talking and you distinctly remember the pain you felt as she walked by. Does she even know who you are? Does she know that you constantly compare yourself to her?
Comparison. It truly is the thief of joy. It’s also the thief of peace and contentment.
It shatters confidence. It stalls dreams. It cancels plans.
It causes you to wake up an hour earlier than you have to so that you have adequate time to mask your insecurities. It abuses you to the point you start to believe that you really aren’t good enough. Your blog will never be that good. Only so many people can be successful. You aren’t as pretty as she is. You aren’t as smart, witty, curvy, funny, outgoing or poised as she is. Your teeth aren’t perfectly straight. Your hair isn’t perfectly curled. You can’t craft to save your life.
You look her up again. She really isn’t all that pretty. It makes you feel better to say it, even if deep down you don’t believe it. You close your phone but the comparison continues to sew ugly seeds into your heart and sprout bitterness. A bitterness that begins to take root, grow and intertwine itself in your mind to the point it clouds your thinking. It impairs your judgement. It robs your joy.
Before you read any further, please know my heart and know that this is not intended in any way to be a political post of any kind.
Today is International Women’s Day. Ironically on a day that is theoretically meant to celebrate women all over the world and the contributions that each woman makes, many are spending it in opposition. We take to social media and other platforms to bash each other. You are wrong if you stand for women’s rights and you are wrong if you refuse to march. You are wrong if you breastfeed and you are wrong if you don’t. You are wrong if your house doesn’t look like a page out of Magnolia Journal and you are wrong if you stay home with the kids. If you make more money than your husband you think you are above him and if you don’t, you are oppressed. The list is never ending.
I believe that the Word tells us that not only women, but every person on the planet is valuable to the Lord (Psalms 139:14). Likewise, I think one of the biggest sicknesses we as people, especially women face is crippling comparison.
We all have opinions. Everyone does. And praise God that we live in a country where we have the freedom to express those opinions. But when a society blasts images and words of what we “should” be at us continuously, I believe we stop seeing who we really are. So this is my soap box, pep talk reminding you on this International Women’s Day who YOU really are:
YOU, sister are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:14)
YOU were bought at a price. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
YOU have worth. (Luke 12:6-7)
YOU have “hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:13)
YOU are cared for by God. (1 Peter 5:7)
YOU are LOVED by God. (John 3:16)
And homegirl, YOU come from a long generation of women that were used by God to do MIGHTY things. (Esther, Ruth, Mary, the Proverbs 31 Woman just to name a few).
I recently felt led to start a Morning Devotional Group on the First5 App by Proverbs 31 Ministries. Not knowing if anyone would join, I posted the invite code to my Facebook page. I now have 13 women from all different backgrounds studying the Word together and lifting one another up. I don’t know if we have two people that are from the same denomination and definitely don’t have any two from the same background. Each woman is different. Each woman has a story. Each woman matters. And each woman has taught me a valuable lesson about how our God works.
I am saying all of this to you to say, when we stop fighting amongst ourselves on how the world should view women…and we start looking at the identity that we already have in Christ Jesus, we start seeing life as an abundant beautiful opportunity rather than an uphill battle of rights and wishes.
I don’t agree with every woman in my devotional group. But I do love every single one of them. I love them as my sister in Christ. I don’t compare myself to them but rather look to them, to remind me to look to Jesus. Can you imagine what would happen if women everywhere, all over the world, would do the same thing?
So I challenge you this International Women’s Day to remind yourself WHO you belong to and remind yourself that you are not the girl you compare yourself to. You are you. You are loved for you. You are loved unconditionally. No matter the number of Instagram followers, you are valued. Not only are you valued, but so are your sisters-all over the world. We may not be able to change the “shoulds” of society and we can’t change each other’s opinions BUT we can love each other and lift each other up. Happy International Women’s Day sisters! I pray God allows us to do mighty things for His kingdom in the coming year.