I sat down in front of my computer a week ago, with every intention of hammering out a post about “baby registry must-haves”. And every day, for the past seven days, I have carved out time to sit in front of my computer for this same topic.. ending each session with a completely blank screen. I scoured countless mommy blogs, consumer reports, and Instagram accounts, searching for the tiniest bit of inspiration. Instead, an entirely different emotion, and consequently a topic, began to surface. So, you’re going to get this instead.
I don’t usually spend much time looking at popular blog posts, or scrolling through “famous” Instagram accounts. Probably for good reason, as I have become increasingly unsettled and inexplicably absent in the day-to-day after doing just that. Why? Because social media gives you access to entirely too much information. Essentially, it shows you only the success stories of others. Allow me to repeat what I know has been said thousands of times before: social media is a trailer for the movie of your life. A compilation of only the very best parts, which can make even the worst movie look incredible. Perfectly coordinated outfits, fabulously designed houses, well-behaved model babies, and various other snapshots of what the world admires. And it looks so appealing, doesn’t it? Admiration, acceptance, luxury, popularity, and ultimately, power. I think some part of each of us, as human beings, desires power. Or at the very least, we want to be remembered and relevant. It was on this train of thought that I arrived at the station of comparison. Comparison speaks to what and who you are not. It shows you someone else’s story, and leaves you with the feeling that God is holding out on you. (It feels wrong to even type that. To imply that I sometimes feel I deserve more than the life I was given. But this wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t bring to light the controversial thoughts I know aren’t socially acceptable.)
Now let me say this: I do not believe the internet, or even social media, is evil. But I believe Satan uses it to speak lies to our identity. If you don’t know who you are, you will naturally try to find someone to mimic or something to give you identity. Then, when you inevitably fall short trying to live someone else’s life, you jump on a path of self-hate. I am all to familiar with this destructive mindset, but that doesn’t stop me from continually logging in and mindlessly scrolling. So let me call out the lies that have been whispered to my heart this week:
You have no style. You can’t design your own house, dress your own child, or coordinate your own clothes worth a damn. Even on your best days you don’t compare to these women.
You aren’t artistic, creative, or an out-of-the-box thinker. You can’t be a blogger.
You are unremarkable.
Devastating words, huh? All formed simply from looking at the successes of others. And I believe that’s why the Bible speaks on envy and comparison so often. Because Satan is tactful. What better way to ensure that you don’t rise to your God-given potential than to stifle your spirit? He knows what you are capable of, and if diverting your attention to who you are not causes you to doubt God’s goodness in your life, then he has found his foothold.
I always joke that I have two minds: Logic and OCD. But really, I have one mind with two very different path choices. I am given the choice with every thought: to take it captive (Logic), or to let it run rampant (OCD). This works the same way with comparison, with voices that speak to my identity. But what does taking a thought captive look like?
First, is it true? Does it fit with who God says I am? If you’re unsure, this is a really great place to start. And good thing for you, you have your Savior’s personal journal, chock-full of his unconditional love and infinite delight in you, at your finger tips. It’s a practice, and you won’t get there over night… but an idle mind is a dangerous thing. Even if you are able to call out and discredit destructive thoughts, if you don’t fill the void with the truths of your Father, the enemy will just come back stronger and more vicious, (See Matthew 12: 43-45). So who are you? Ask your Father, he has plenty to say about who He designed you to be, and how proud He is of His creation. He uses words like “Beloved, talented, courageous, and wonderfully made”… and I like the sound of those.
I may have run off on a tangent here (per usual), so let me bring it all back together. My selfish, human desire is to be a well-known, maybe even published blogger. But that may never happen. Just like I may never learn to braid my own hair, put together trendy outfits for Gatlin, or decorate my house in “modern farmhouse.” What I do know is that I feel called to write, even if to only reach one person. I know that I am treasured, talented, and compassionate. I know that I was not a mistake, and the plans God has for me are incredible. Do I always believe that? Nope. In fact, Connor recently had to take away my credit card before I spent all of our money “revamping” my wardrobe and turning Gatlin into a J. Crew model. Like I said.. its a process. But if you don’t know who you are, our world is all too eager to tell you. Don’t leave your soul open for suggestions.