I’ve spent much of my life comparing myself to other people. Outgoing people. Popular people. People that others want to be around. Because the truth is, I’m not that person.
As you can probably guess, imitating others instead of being myself didn’t work out so well. I was doomed to failure from the start, never able to do what they did, all of my imitations falling flat or coming out wrong, never yielding the results I so desired. But over a decade ago, the Lord went to work on that area of my thinking. I came to truly believe that He loved me, not who I thought I should be. It was a life-changing moment. Many struggles to walk in that truth daily, of course, but eventually, being me became my habit instead of my hiding place.
Fast forward many years. I’m secure in my relationship with the Lord, secure in how He crafted me. Then I get a publishing contract, a dream turned reality. But life after publication didn’t set me on a mountaintop high. At least not very often. And now, three book releases later, I finally recognize that in that place of insecurity, instead of clinging to the Lord I allowed my old self, my old thinking to creep back in. You see, I’ve been trying to be the author I thought I should be. The author I thought my publisher expected me to be. An author like the ones I admire. Like the ones readers flock to talk to or be with.
The truth is the same now as it was back in my younger days when I yearned to be like other women in one regard or another–to be more outgoing, to have a musical gift, to be naturally hospitable, to have an easy way with my children. The truth is that I am me and I am unique. One of a kind. I can glean ideas and characteristics from what I see and admire in others, but I cannot make those things look the same in my life as in theirs. I have to reshape and reform them–even discard some altogether. For I’m learning yet again that God’s expectations of me are so much more attainable than my expectations of myself. He only wants me to be who He created and to do what He asks. Authenticity and obedience. Why do I want to believe it’s harder than that?
Wendy Paine Miller
I love you, Anne (& I love this post).
I love you, too, sweet Wendy, dear! 🙂
You, my dear girl, are exactly the way you should be. God created you to be you. You are one of a kind with your love and your sincerity,and your talent, qualities that any one person would want. People look to you wanting to be like you. You are a precious person and you are thought of and loved by many. Please stay just the way you are.
Bless you for the affirmation, Melanie. It’s my constant battle, to be me. But knowing that is such a huge advantage! I’m learning not to stand in pride that I’ve overcome that particular hurdle but to keep watching and praying that I might be content in who God made me.
V. V. Denman
“God’s expectations of me are so much more attainable than my expectations of myself.” That is so true! Why do we make things harder for ourselves? Thank you for this reminder to be me and to like myself.
I need it, too, VV! (But I’m always glad to have company.) 🙂
Man, I love this post so much. It’s actually the second one I’ve read on comparison this morning…and on that other blog, I mentioned that of all the things I tend to struggle with (and you know, I’m normal so that’s kind of a good-sized list), comparison is at the top. And it’s like, no matter how many times I tell myself not to do it…I still do it.
But you’re so right, authenticity and obedience, those are the keys to defeating it, aren’t they? And if I could just get better about CHOOSING to put my focus, my thoughts, my efforts on just being me and just listening to God instead of all the other voices out there, I wouldn’t have time or mental capacity to do so much comparing.
Thanks for your transparency…and for the awesome reminder!
I think the sin of comparison goes back to the very beginning–Eve compared herself to God, saw herself lacking, and did was willing to risk disobedience to try to be like Him. We all need to keep reminding each other to be ourselves. 🙂
My heart reverberated with this post!
Glad to hear that, Tina!