|My attire is a bit askew, but I love the sweet encouragement and pride that The Mister has on his face.|
Some of my most uncomfortable conversations are those that I have with people who have either previously experienced something I am sharing, or know someone who did. Anyone see "Hitch"?
Watch this clip. Disgusting. Girls tend to get caught up in it superficially - like in Mean Girls, when they are looking in the mirror... I tried to find a clip, but here is the scene, transcribed:
Karen: God. My hips are huge!
Gretchen: Oh please. I hate my calves.
Regina: At least you guys can wear halters. I've got man shoulders.
Cady: [voiceover] I used to think there was just fat and skinny. But apparently there's lots of things that can be wrong on your body.
Gretchen: My hairline is so weird.
Regina: My pores are huge.
Karen: My nail beds suck.
[pause. All look at Cady]
Cady: I have really bad breath in the morning.
So, I have seen more of the later - girls trying to boodst eachother up by tearing themselves down. But, I have also heard when people try to out do eachother in a more positive way - like who eats the healthiest meal... or cooked the most complicated meal... or saved the most money... or has the best marriage... sweetest husband... most servant heart (not by literally saying "I have a servant heart" but by talking about the things they do... and it tends to be a lot).
And these things started to weight on my heart... I started to compare my self, my actions, and my marriage to all of these things that I was hearing. Isn't that what our culture tends to push us to do? Compare yourself and your experiences and try to outdo eachother. But this just reminds me of something beautiful and true -
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12: 9-12
At first, I justified my comparing myself to those around me by saying they were pushing and challenging me to be a better person. When in all actuality, it just made me feel like I had to DO something or ACT a certain way so that I could come across as a "better" woman and wife, and have the "perfect" marriage so I could contribute to these conversations.
With all of that said, the Lord has slapped me with some good, sweet truth (mostly anchored in Romans 12). My goal shouldn't be to outdo those around me (whom I love, by the way) with forced actions and behaviors and whatnot. I have to let God come in, cause a change in my heart so that I desire to be the woman he has made me to be. And maybe that means I'm not the super domestic wife, or the perfectly put together woman, or the woman who has a quiet grace and sweet disposition. Maybe I'm supposed to be a little rougher. Maybe my marriage is supposed to be more silly and quirky and goofy - because that is who we are.
So I will stop stealing my own joy by comparing myself to those around me. I will aim to outdo those around me in honor. I will love Jesus and my husband and my friends in the way He has made me. And I will try to be more aware of those around me, try not to make them feel like they have to compare themselves with me. (Which is SO crazy - I am such a messed up, broken sinner only justified by the cross of Christ and the love of God!)
If you're reading this, please remember your worth. Because you are worth more than you can wrap your mind around. You weren't made to be that person or that couple that you compare yourself to. You were made to be you. Be confident in that.