As I was growing up, even into adulthood, I compared myself, my life, my accomplishments to those of others around me. Did I play my solo better? Were my pants too short? (all you tall people out there will identify with that!) How come I wasn’t as smart, pretty, skinny, talented, short, etc. etc. as everyone else? When I started writing, I wanted to be as good as so-and-so, even as I started winning contests.
Yes, comparison could have been my middle name. (luckily it’s Marie) But all that comparing wasn’t because I had to be the best; it was because I didn’t want to be the worst. Middle of the pack was okay with me, yet I never seemed to measure up to even mediocre. Was that really true? Of course not. But that was my perspective.
What I needed to understand as a teen, and what we all need to know now – beyond a shadow of a doubt – is that we are perfect just the way God made us. He created us to be a unique being, completely unlike anyone else. (Maybe you’ve heard that saying – “you’re unique, just like everyone else.” It’s true!) Why is that so hard to accept, to internalize, to even believe?
Media and marketing have never been the friend of teens and young adults, or us older adults, for that matter. If we just had a nicer car, bigger house, more money, a skinnier body, longer/shinier/bouncier hair, whiter teeth, or the perfect _________, we’d be happy. (insert buzzer noise here) None of that matters to the God who made us.
What matters is what the Bible tells us. In Philippians 1:6, Paul says: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God began a good work in each of us, and He will be faithful to see it through – regardless of our dress size, IQ, the color of our hair (or if we even have any), our bank account, or our job title. Regardless of how often we sin (which is a relief because I mess up big time!), or the condition of our heart at any given moment. He created us just so to be the Beloved. Isn’t that amazing??
I believe it’s true for every romance writer on this blog that we write because we believe God called us to write. We write unique stories, create interesting (we hope) plot lines and memorable characters. But there is one truth that threads its way through each book. God loves us. Unconditionally. Just the way He made us.
And if we believe that, truly believe it in our bones, we’ll find there’s no need to compare, to come up short because someone else’s is newer/better/more expensive/prettier. There will always be someone faster or smarter, who has more money or a bigger house, or who sells more books. But in the scheme of eternity, we know it really doesn’t matter. At all.
That’s the theme of my book, One of Me, releasing June 1. (insert happy dance here) It’s not who we are on the outside (tall, short, thin, plump, dimples or no) – it’s who we are on the inside that counts. With unique talents and thoughts and dreams, and with a specific call from God to be who the world needs us to be. In upcoming posts, I’ll share a bit more about the story and how I believe that what the main characters wrestle with is the same issue we all wrestle with.
For now, just know that mine doesn’t look like yours. And that’s something to celebrate! (Remember, if two people are exactly the same, one of them is unnecessary!)
Who does the world need you to be?
Blessings on your journey as you discover the answer!
P.S. In my post last month, about waiting, I mentioned we were awaiting our first grandbaby. Kaira Mae Crist arrived Valentine’s Day evening after just 3 hours of labor – a healthy 9lbs! Her parents are thrilled, her grandparents even moreso. :)
I can already tell I’m going to LOVE being a grandma! And while I know Kaira will be THE prettiest and smartest grandchild ever, I promise not to compare her to anyone else. ;)