Do you have a story of overcoming an eating disorder, wrestling a food addiction, or battling the daily temptation to compare yourself to others? Has body image bogged you down in ways you can clearly identify? Is God doing work in your heart to help you overcome past hurts or to create healthier patterns or habits? Do you enjoy writing words that speak to and encourage others? Then consider becoming a contributor for Compared to Who!
Last year, for the first time, I (Heather) opened up the Compared to Who? page for contributors. I was blessed to have many women apply and, after difficult deliberations, settled on a team of twelve. Their stories have touched many hearts. I’m grateful for the ways each of them has generously shared their personal journeys this year. If you’ve read any of their stories, you know that our goal is to be authentic in our struggle. We aren’t looking for “perfect” women who are “all better,” rather we are searching for women who will genuinely share the process of their recovery, their progress, and (with lots of grace) encourage other women in their journey towards freedom.
This November I’ll be selecting just five new contributors to add to our team. The commitment is to submit at least one blog post (of 600-800 words) every other month. That’s a total of six blog posts per year. That’s it! You don’t have to be an experienced writer, but a knack for story-telling and a good command of blog-style writing will set your application apart from the rest.
Compared to Who? the book will be released this June! More than 12,000 women are already reading this blog every month. If you have aspirations of writing for an even larger audience of women, I can assure you that this number will continue to grow with the release of my (Heather’s) book.
Thinking about it? Let me convince you some more.
Here are five reasons to share your story:
1. No one else has the exact same experience as you! When you share stories from your journey you let someone know they are not alone. Did you know that your unique voice and your unique experiences can speak directly to the heart of a woman who was formerly convinced she was “the only one” struggling. I’ve seen this happen over and again. When I speak to women, I always have one or two come up to me and say “I’m just like you!” Our stories are what connect us and hearing each other’s stories and the ways God has worked in them, offers other women great hope.
2. Body image and eating disorder issues are often deep dark secrets. When we share our experiences, we find help, support and encouragement from those around us. A woman recently shared a comment on the blog stating that her 56 year old sister passed away from exercise bulimia and no one in the family knew. They thought she was the picture of health. By sharing your personal struggles–no matter how secretive they have been–you can encourage other women to bring their own struggles to the light and get help.
Current contributor, Esther, shared the following, “The feedback was most meaningful to me. It affirmed my story. That, ‘Wow!’ I did have something share-worthy and my story inspired others to make the same difficult decisions I had to! Knowing that I helped to strengthen them and that maybe, just maybe, I have inspired others to share THEIR stories. . . It’s been a terrific experience!”
3. Sometimes the best way to process what God is doing in us is to share it. I tell people often that I think through my fingers on a keyboard. When God shows me something in scripture, often the only way I can process it is to write about it. If you feel this way, you likely have a writing gift that can be used to encourage other women.
Contributor Erin said it like this, “It’s been SO beneficial for me to process my journey as a “chronic comparer.” So much of my self-talk relates back to how I see myself in relation to others. Being able to open up about those struggles has given me a new sense of freedom, and reading that I’m not alone in my seemingly “silly” hang ups is also liberating. It grounded me even more in the truth of God’s word and the more I share, the less power my hang ups have over me!”
4. Your friends may need help in this arena. You know what I found after I started blogging about body image and comparison? I found that some of my friends–many of whom I might have never guessed struggled in this arena–were suddenly coming to me and sharing deep, hidden struggles. Because I shared my story first, they knew I was a safe person to confide in. Who in your life needs you to go first and tell your story?
5. God honors obedience. Period. If God has called you to share your story, he won’t let you go. One of our current contributors wrote me last year during the open call and said, “I don’t know why, but God just keeps bugging me to write you.” She didn’t have any formal writing experience, but God has used her words to encourage women every time she writes. And, more so, I think she’s found new freedom in exploring her own heart through putting her thoughts into written words.
Want to contribute to Compared to Who? Fill out the online application here and then submit a writing sample by November 20! (Or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/4SGKEoMczTygN3ZM2 )