Friday, June 13, 2014

The Comparison Game

I have done the impossible.

{insert superhero music}

I have done what I never thought I could do.

{insert drum roll}

I have gone where I never thought I could go.

{insert headache}

I have spoken.

Yesterday, I had the awesome opportunity to speak to a group of women about finding security in God. I didn't think I could actually do it, to be honest. But after much prayer ( by me and for me--my most heartfelt thank you to those who were praying for me not to a) throw up or b) pass out), I actually stood on my own two feet (in wedge heels, thankfully I didn't fall over) without shaking (too much) and delivered a presentation.

YES!

SO elated was I that I think it showed.

Well, until I got home and opened up the mailbox, pulling out the Victoria's Secret catalog that was hiding it's cruel self inside.

Well. That didn't last long.

You remember in Despicable Me (the first one) when Gru pulls out a pin just so he can pop that little boy's balloon?

Incidentally, as I was googling images for Gru, I found this from Pinterest, which you are correct in assuming this picture has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post. However, I had to share the image an entire doll--Rapunzel, no less--made out of balloons and then shared on Pinterest as a suggested project that normal people could possibly undertake. I believe some of us may have too much time on our hands.

Yeah.

I only glanced at it, because I know my tenancy. Which is to pour over it, comparing what I've been blessed with to what The Perfect Ones have been blessed with, and in the end, it's no blessing at all, because all I end up with is a whole basket full of flaws and nothing else. And dang, that's depressing.

But there she was. Back cover. Flat stomach. Tan skin. Beautiful.

And here am I. No covers. Stomach is a work in progress. Pale skin. Just average.

I can come up with all kinds of excuses, like she probably hasn't had kids, and heck, it's her job to look beautiful, and of course, airbrushing, but what it all boils down to is this: I'm still playing the comparison game. All. Of. The. TIME.

I recently read in a Proverbs 31 devotion a suggestion to pray for the person you are comparing yourself to. And at the time I was all like Okay! Good idea! But it feels kinda goofy to pray for the model on the back cover of the VS catalog. (A side note: I don't often go around just spelling the word "catalog" for the heck of it, and have discovered in the writing of this blog post that I, Heather, have no idea how to spell this word. I mean honestly, I thought that there was a u and and an e somewhere in there. Thank goodness for spell check. Stay in school, kids.)

I mean, what the heck am I supposed to say? "Hey, Lord, I pray for this girl I don't know because she's pretty and I'm comparing my perceived sad and fugly self--not to mention this stomach that will not go AWAY--to her"?

That's just weird.

But that's precisely what I did.

I've heard you can't hate someone you pray for.

We'll see.

However.

A) It's silly to play the comparison game. Who has time for all that mental anguish and self-deprecation?

and

B) It's not silly to pray

and

C) It's really not silly to pray for other people

and

D) In a round-about way, I'm actually praying for God to intervene in my heart so that I don't feel the need to compare myself to other people.

There will always be beautiful-er people around us. My head says it ain't fair, but my heart is the one who suffers the most, because she is sensitive and she wants beauty to fill her up and make her happy. But there is nothing here--not even beauty--that can fill our hearts. Only God can do that. But how is He supposed to do that when I'm still turning to the things that are fleeting and temporary to fill my heart?

Obviously, He's God, and He can do what He wants, but He also gives us choices, and I've chosen to look to away from Him and toward other things for affirmation and direction, but let me tell you. It's not working out so well.

So I pray. For that model. For the thin girl at the mall that I compared myself to.

And for my own heart.

When they 
measure themselves by themselves 
and compare themselves with themselves, 
they are not wise.
{2 corinthians 10:12}

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