My whole life, my best friend and I dressed alike. We would walk into a room and look down at one another to notice we were both wearing the same sweater from the Gap. To this day, she teases me because we all know who wore it first. She’s right you know. She wore it first. I was the copycat. I wanted to dress just like her. Be just like her. She was my best friend and she held a very high standing in my life.
But soon enough, this would come to destroy me. For a summer, we both worked out at the same Bible Camp. That summer was difficult. I don’t think I have ever compared myself to someone as much as I did that summer. And to my best friend of all people. I wasn’t as pretty as her. I wasn’t as athletic as her. I didn’t have the guy. I wasn’t fun and spontaneous. I wasn’t as well liked. I started to believe the lie that I wasn’t good enough. And that lie buried itself into the depths of my soul.
It’s not her fault. This was on me. To this day, the lie that I wasn’t good enough is one of the deepest wounds that I have. It drives my decision-making. It drives who I become friends with. It drives who I try to avoid. Comparison to the sisters in my life robbed me. It stole my identity. I didn’t know who I was because I was always trying to be like the people that I held on a pedestal.
Jesus has revealed something to me. My identity. I am a woman of valor. A woman who can be both gentle and yet bold. A woman who can be confident and not timid. A woman that is brave in the face of danger. A woman who can unashamedly be myself without comparison to others.
Listen up people, when did we start shoving each other? When did we start giving into jealousy? When did we start saying hurtful things to one another just to get on top? When did we get so competitive that we are missing the mark? Aren’t we all on the same team? Isn’t there room for you and for me at the table? Isn’t there enough space in the Kingdom of God for our unique personalities and our different voices? If we continue to compare and criticize, perhaps there will only be one seat at the table moving forward.
As 2 Timothy 1:7 goes:
“For God does not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Let’s be women who love. Women who encourage. Women who build each other up. Let’s be women who take time to recognize deep wounds. Let’s slow down. Let’s lean into listen. Let’s seek to understand. Let’s not make assumptions based on appearance. After-all isn’t this what Jesus does? He calls out identity to the woman at the well, he gives empathy to the woman with the issue of blood, he tells the little girl to arise, he gives grace to the woman who was going to be stoned for her sins.
Here’s a few practical ideas if you’re deep wounds come from a place of comparison like me:
- Send a letter to a friend you haven’t taken time to notice lately.
- Get a mentor. Someone who gave give wisdom and hold you accountable.
- Be a mentor. Look for someone you see yourself in. Be a source of encouragement to them.
- Call your best friend. Share the moment you knew you would be best friends for life.
- Notice sadness in others around you and stop to pray with them.
- Call out gifts in people when you notice them.
Magnify the voices around you. Advocate for those who seem to have lost their identity. Contend for those who feel they have been silenced. Strengthen this thing we call the Kingdom of God. Be the sisterhood. There’s always room for one more at the table friends.