I have a nasty habit of comparing myself to others. I wish I didn’t but sometimes it can’t be helped. Okay, more like all the time. But in my defense, it’s hard to resist the lure of comparison, especially when social media is so easily accessible. For instance, Instagram is one of my favorite apps and I could spend hours on it looking through photos, getting ideas and mainly obsessing over the beauty of the PNW. Usually it’s my way of unwinding after a long day but lately, I’ve found that I’ve begun comparing myself to the seemingly endless photos I see of perfect women on Instagram. More specifically, the perfect Christian women of instagram.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones with the fashionable hipster outfits and perfect bodies. The ones who can take a selfie and caption it with a bible verse and NOT come off ironically. The ones who always seem to find those special walls with amazing murals to pose in front of (okay real talk: where are these, how do I find them, please help me out here). They’re perfect.
And looking at them kind of makes me want to scream. Not at them but at myself.
Here I am, at almost 25, living in a place that I don’t love, working at a job that while I’m grateful for, sort of makes me lie down on my floor and scream from the stress of it. I’m basically doing the exact opposite of everything I thought I would be doing in my twenties.
I don’t have a killer squad of women that I can strategically pose with against a brick wall and gush about their beautiful hearts for Christ. I don’t have that smile that’s always the perfect mix of spontaneous and posed in every photo. I don’t have what these women have. And if these are the women who are representing the image of Christianity, does that mean I’m doing everything wrong?
If I let myself, I could spend hours questioning how they do it. How are their poses always so good? How do they have all these friends? And most importantly, how are their relationships with God always so strong? They make it look effortless and I’m not sure how.
Because dear ones, I am a mess.
I mean, my hair is literally ALWAYS a mess. My eyeliner is never even. I wear leggings 5 days out 7 and I’m as awkward as they come. I’m in a constant struggle between choosing joy or letting cynicism overtake me. My relationship with God can seem like an uphill battle at points. Every day is a fight for contentment. And most days, it’s a fight I lose.
Please don’t misunderstand me. This is not at all a slight towards these women. It’s not really about them at all. This is all about me and my insecurities.
Because there is no such thing as a “perfect Christian woman”. There’s an image of it and then there’s the reality. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect. Not even the girls I’m talking about are. We’re all a mess, though some of us are better hiding our mess than others.
All I know is that if I continue to spend my life comparing it to others, I’ll never be able to remove myself from a feeling of inadequacy.
And I don’t want to waste my life on comparisons.
I’m not really sure how to let go of comparing myself to others. Do I spend less time on soctal media and instagram? Do I look deep inside myself to find my own sense of worth and confidence?
Maybe. I think those are all good starts.
But I think the only way I’ll ever truly let go of comparison is if I find contentment in the life I currently have.
And like I said above, that is not easy.
I tell myself daily to be present where I am. But in the back of mind, the longing for a different life never fully leaves. While it’s not a bad thing for me to hold onto dreams to I hope to accomplish, the hold I have on them is so tight that it gets in the way of finding joy in my everyday.
Contentment is a fight. A daily one. And if it can’t be found, at least not at the moment, in the life I have, it needs to be found in God.
My contentment needs to be found in Christ. My feelings of inaquacy need to be laid down at His feet. And once they are, I know that’s the only way I can let go of comparison and find rest in Him.