Real Talk: Comparison sucks.

The more years I’m alive the more I am learning that I am not alone. I am not terminally unique in my thoughts, desires, or needs. Meaning, if a crazy thought passes my mind, I’m sure it has crossed others as well. There’s comfort in that. I want to talk about comparison. Everything in me is dying to make this “Catchy” and “interesting” so you’ll want to read it and then be impressed and then i don’t know what, but that’s a lot of pressure. So i’m just going to type and if you keep reading great, if you skim it awesome, if you stop after this sentence then go for it. So, here we go: comparison.

I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t compare myself to someone. Growing up, I compared myself to my brother. He’s funnier than I am, he’s stronger, he’s good at music.  In 5th-12th grade, I compared myself to the “popular girls.” They are prettier than me, they are smarter, the boys like them more than me. In college, I compared myself to my Christian friends: they read more of the Bible than I do, they love God more than me, they serve more than me. BUT this also goes both ways. When I was a kid, I felt better than my brother cause I did better in school and didn’t get in any trouble. In 5th-12th grade, I felt better than the popular girls because I was more “mature” than they were and was a nicer person. In college, I had a fair share of people to compare my actions with (not drinking, smoking or failing classes)  and give myself a nice pat on the back for being “holier” than them.

For all of my life, I have compared myself to others. I try to figure out where I fit in a group of people. Then by the time I “know” them, I’ve got us all ranked up base on my own opinions of people. This sends me in dangerous seasons of feeling way less than some people (popular girls, super spiritual people, leaders/authority figures) and desperately wanting their approval versus other seasons of my life where I feel way better than others which leads to pride and a crummy attitude. Several problems with this mentality: If I base my self worth on others, the people around me are always coming/going. How do I know where I stand? I might feel super confident and awesome around one group and then terribly shy and undeserving of attention in a different group. Then you have this distorted view of yourself like you get when you walk through a fun house with all those mirrors that make you look super fat or skinny.

I read this book on Self-Worth and one part really stuck out to me.

Wrong Belief: My Self worth is based on how I see myself in comparison to others and how others view me.
Right Belief: My self-worth is not based on how I see myself or how others see me, but on how God sees me, for I was created by Him in His image. Not only did Jesus pay the highest price for me by dying on the cross for my sins, but He also lives in me to fulfill His plan and purpose for me.”

Do you live your life comparing yourself to others? Does someone getting a job, a raise, engaged, a new house, or a baby, bother you? If it irks you a bit, you might be comparing yourself to them. I really struggle with this and singleness. It’s so easy to go down that road in my head when someone close to me gets a boyfriend.  “No ones asking you out Marlie. No guy has given you his number. No guy has seemed interested in you. and (this friend) has experienced all that. Therefore, you must not be as pretty, funny, awesome as (this friend.)”

The people in your life should not be used as measuring sticks to make you feel better or worse about yourself. That’s giving someone else the power to define your worth. A friend of mine said once “If someone offered $5 for the Mona Lisa, that doesn’t mean the Mona Lisa is worth $5. It means that person is an idiot.” You’re worth a lot more than the Mona Lisa, friend. And don’t let anyone try and tell you that you that you’re worth a few bucks.  Christ already decided how much you are worth. Nothing and no one can change that.

I wrote something a few months ago in my diary a few months ago and I want to share it with you to close up this here blog.

God made the Earth and everything in it, from beautiful daisies to cascading mountains, from a herd of wild mustangs to colony of ants. The earth is His and everything in it. Look at His creation and you’ll find design, purpose and beauty. I am part of His creation, therefore design, purpose and beauty all exist in me. He did not make any mistakes when He made me. I am intricately designed by my Father’s hand. He knows my past, present and future. I am still breathing therefore I have purpose here. Purpose in the mundane, purpose in the pain, purpose in the joy. None of it is wasted. But, beauty? Years of lies tell me I am the exception. There’s not beauty in Marlie, the enemy sneers. Sunsets are pretty, oceans are pretty and so are forests. But Marlie? She got the short end of the stick. For so long I believed that lie, and to an extend I still do. But today, i am taking small steps to believe that God didn’t screw up when He made me. I was not an afterthought, unwanted or just merely tolerated. Jesus died for me, and if I was still the one sheep who didn’t get her crap together, Jesus still would have come. Lord I believe, Help my unbelief.

 

 

 

Lord we believe, help our unbelief.

 

-Marlie

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Pulled Hair

Remember how much it hurts to get your hair pulled (whether by accident or on purpose?) If not, go ahead give a piece of your hair a good tug. After that, try gripping the hair closest to your scalp and pulling from the end of that piece your holding. Does it hurt as much? Or at all? It doesn’t.

When I let the world make an opinion of me, when I let people around me decide who I am, it only leads to pain and insecurity. They tug you this way and that leading you to believe the labels they have placed on you. “Ugly.” “Fat.” “Too emotional.” “Nerd.” Those words and accusations sting. And they can tear us apart if we give them that power.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I was in 5th grade. There was a new student in class and I offered to help be the person she could ask questions to if she was lost or anything. We became friends and trust was built the only way trust can be built between two 11 year old girls: “Tell me who you like. I promise I won’t tell anyone.” She asked me and I told her.

“Sam.”

A pinky promise later and I was feeling pretty good. The next day or so the new girl comes up to me and is holding a letter in her hand. she hands it to me and says “this is from Sam*”

Sam? THE SAM! He had written me a letter. A confession of undying love, no doubt. My heart pounded as I opened it right away. My eyes frantically skimmed the words. It was a hate letter. Well, a hate poem. He insulted me using rhymes. I’m 23 now and I can still remember a few phrases. “Your voice sounds like an alien” and “Your hair looks like hay.” He cleverly ended the note with “Hating you, Sam.” I didn’t cry or even feel like crying. I reported the letter to the principal and he had to sit out of recess for a day (Yay, justice system.) I can’t help but think that God was whispering to me as I read that letter. “That’s not true. That’s not true. I think you are beautiful, and funny and smart. Because I made You. I made You and I love you.” That letter didn’t destroy me or my self-esteem because my esteem is in Christ.

When I  believe that the only opinion that matters of me in the universe is God; when I grip the roots of love, the roots of truth, when people say mean stuff and do mean things. It might hurt, yeah, and that is okay. But it does not hurt near as bad as if we accept what others think about us to be true. Grip the roots today and see what a difference it makes.