I have this friend – a dear, trusted friend – who is sweet and gentle and kind and everything I wish I could be. She just really likes people, even the ones she doesn’t know. She’s soft and feminine. She’s ridiculously adorable. And at times, I’m really freakin jealous of her. I’m jealous that she doesn’t get angry, and I’m jealous that she’s always seems to be floating on clouds.
At some point, I started trying to be more like her until I realized…I’m not SUPPOSED TO be more like her. Honestly, I’m not even sure why my admiration jumped to assimilation. Am I jealous? Do I wish I was her? Not really. My life is good, and I like myself. Buttt…I wish I had all the best things in her life. Which, of course, is not the same as saying “I wish I was her.”
That’s the problem with social media & all kinds of other social norms – you observe only the very best of people while you yourself are highly aware of your own demons. I mean, sure, I have a lot of amazing things in my life: Jesus, my husband, Kongy, my home. But I also have my demons, my bad habits, my easily addictive personality, and of course…my hot temper. That ugly beast that flares at a moment’s notice. Ugh…that friend of mine certainly doesn’t have to deal with a temper like mine. She’s so lucky! If only I saw this quote earlier:
We always want the best in other people’s lives while being totally unaware of the sacrifices they’ve made and the demons they battle. We’re jealous for a romanticized, unrealistic, fantastical, only partially-true life. People say to me, “Oh, I wish I had faith like yours,” not knowing what it cost me to get here. I cling to God because I HAD NOTHING ELSE, and not in a cutesie, Romeo & Juliet, “you complete me” way. No, all I had to eat for a week was a jar of peanut butter and half a loaf of bread. THAT is how I ended up with faith.
And yet, I look at other people and covet the highlights of their lives: their closets, their romantic getaways, their thriving, interesting careers. Someone please tell me I’m not alone. Have you ever thought this before:
“It seems like all these other people are so much more accomplished than me.”
“I just want someone to go on grossly romantic gram-worthy dates with.”
“I wish my job were more more like so-and-so.”
And the last little lie that sits like a cherry on the cake: “EVERYONE ELSE has it all together!” The money, the doting spouse, the dream job…
We all want only the best attributes of someone else’s life. Me? Well, I want to be graceful and elegant, but I’m spunky and clumsy. My giftings are leadership and wisdom, but I wish I could sing…pleasantly. If I took a microphone and tried to perform like Celine Dion, I would look more like a circus act. But, if I accept my gifts and my calling, well…I can write this blog. I can change the world with my words. Today, I might not be changing the world, but one day I will. And today, I can change my world. If I keep trying to be a singer, I never will. So being who I am has got to be good enough…for me. Good enough for me to love myself, accept myself, and embrace this life God called me to lead.
As a good friend of mine once said:
You have to realize: God very specifically created YOU to fulfill a very specific purpose. He hand-picked *scratch that* hand-designed you. That’s why you don’t look like someone else, you weren’t born into someone else’s family, and you haven’t had the same opportunities that someone else had. Not because you’re less fortunate, but because God designed you to be YOU.
So here’s the assignment: Everytime you hear a voice in your head squashing your dreams or telling you that you aren’t good enough, fight back with these verses:
“Before I (God) formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord! Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29
“But for this purpose I have raised you up, that I might show you My power, so that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” – Exodus 9
Read these verses. Soak in them. Let these words be the truth you keep in your thoughts. Whenever you hear a voice saying otherwise, I want you to shout:
“God created me to be ME!”
Don’t let lies and comparison steal your future. Don’t spend your life watching other people live theirs. Start embracing the gift of life God gave to you.
Remember my friend I told you about earlier? She is an amazing her. And you know what? I am an amazing me, and you are an amazing you.