I think we all have that person in our lives.
You know, that one person you’ve always admired. That one person to whom you’ve probably always (maybe even just a little) compared yourself.
For me, that person was my older cousin, Angie. There was no girl on earth who was as beautiful. Her long brown hair had just a bit of natural curl but she always knew exactly how to fix it. Though I cried (out of fear of being stabbed in the eye) Angie taught me how to put on eyeliner and mascara. Perfectly. Her fashion sense also amazed me. She would throw a few items from her closet together and make an outfit straight off the cover of YM. She spent a few months in modeling school (although at 5’2” her modeling career was bound to be short-lived) and she generously showed me everything she learned there. Like how to casually put my fingers in my pocket but leave my thumbs out. I still do this.
Though we lived in different states, we’d see each other for two solid weeks every summer. Those were the best fourteen days of my life. I didn’t have any friend I’d rather spend time with. Angie was my idol.
I followed her to college. Even skipped my senior year of high school to do it. Just like she did. I really wanted people to know we were related. If they mistook us for sisters that was fine by me. “Hey, you two kind of look alike!” was the best compliment. Ever.
I loved my cousin very much, yes. But, maybe even more so, I longed to be just like her. To me she was perfect in every way.
I’m not sure how old I was when I realized that Angie’s life had struggles just the same as mine. But, somewhere along the path to adulthood I let my Angie idolatry go. Soon I found other females to worship. There were plenty of other women who seemed to have it all together. Women whose lives I could envy and whose body types I could work hard to replicate.
Comparison is a trap that I fell into very young. It became such a comfortable dwelling place that I hung out there for decades. Whether it was my GPA or my job title or my dress size, I always wanted to know how I ranked in the crowd. I aggressively worked to meet my goals in a vain attempt to try to “keep up.”
What wasn’t I concerned with during those decades? Looking more like Jesus. Yes, I was a Christian but comparing myself to Christ’s standards didn’t really seem important. I was moral. I was quite certain that was good enough.
You may have noticed something a little different here and on my social media pages. Some of you may be confused and wonder where “Working Out Love?” went. Well, here’s the answer.
My new theme, brand, name…whatever you prefer to call it… is “Compared to Who?” And, I’m really excited about the possibilities. (For all the Grammar Police out there: I do know that it should be “Compared to Whom?” but that sounded pretentious. For the sake of being relatable I went with the slang. Please forgive me!)
My heart is still to help women find freedom from their body image struggles. If you’ve had the opportunity to hear me speak or if you regularly follow my blog, then you probably know that my approach is a bit unconventional. I don’t want to give women the same stale (and largely ineffective) answers they’ve heard over and over again.
My prayer is that “Compared to Who?” will ask us to take a look at our hearts in the midst of our struggles. When we get bogged down with trying to lose the weight, change our shape, or “keep up” in the beauty rat race–that we’ll be able to ask the question:
To whom are we comparing ourselves? The model on the cover of Glamour or Jesus?
“Compared to Who?” broaches many of the other ways we women struggle in our daily lives too. We wonder if we are measuring up at work, at motherhood, at marriage. We get fixated on whether or not we are good enough. This comparison game can paralyze us. The fear of not being enough dampens our ability to pursuit our God-given dreams and live out the great purposes he has for our lives.
I don’t believe God wants women to stay in the comparison trap. He wants more for us than the constant pursuit of who we are not.
I hope this blog will continue to bring to you a sense of encouragement that your value is already settled. God settled it over 2,000 years ago on the cross when he sent his son to die for you. You were worth it.
No matter what size your jeans are.
No matter whether or not you had a “bad mommy” day.
No matter what kind of fight you had with your husband this morning.
No matter if your abs look more like an overflowing laundry basket than a washboard.
He loves you. Beyond compare.
Thanks for staying with me through this transition. I hope you’ll enjoy the “new” blog as much as the old one. If you think it’d encourage a friend, I hope you’ll share it with them too!