Comparison is the theif of joy

wow, it’s not like we haven’t all heard that one before!!!!! i know, i know, the infamous saying that is ironically the title of this blog post is something everyone has heard a time or two. i get it, i think i hear it weekly from the heart of my mother or sister. it may be cliché, but boy is it TRUE. the more i go about my life, learning through the failures and triumphs that come along with it, i have found an even deeper meaning behind this overused, typical christian blog post title, so please, hear me out on this one.

as humans, i believe we are creatures of comfort. we would rather sit comfortably and allow things to magically fall into place without getting dirty and hurting a little, right? right. paradoxically, we are also humans who thrive on the idea of what we COULD have, what we COULD be doing, what COUlD have been, and so on. we win at the game of comparison. we are always thinking about our next step. how will we grow to get more followers? what will our relationship status look like at the end of this month, and if anything, what can I be doing to help change the path of my love life?!?! how does THAT girl look like that and i look like this? what can i be doing differently? now, if you want to sit here all pretty and tell me that those thoughts haven’t crossed your mind a time or two, be my guest, but i’m about to get real vulnerable and acknowledge the fact that ALL of those thoughts have crept in my mind more than twice. and i’ve had enough. i am tired of it. the inward fight we have within ourselves is difficult: one half of us tells us we aren’t good enough and that the other people we see on social media are doing WAY more than we are vs. the other half that fights back with the urge to stay where we are, because ya know, getting out of your comfort zone would realllyyyyy cause some exhaustion. to explain it even better, let me give you this example: let’s say you want to get healthy and start the WHOLE30 diet or even dare i say it, the keto diet. but then, when you go to your friends for advice or just to tell them your plan of advancement in your health, they all sit and rag on you telling you exactly what the comfortable part of you wants to hear, that your’e fine the way you are and those diets are simply a waste of time!! so then, you return the WHOLE30 for beginners book you bought at the bookstore that day and continue to eat all your chips and queso; yet you still feel as if you could be doing something more to better your health. you stay in your same cycle.

this inward battle we all face creates insecurities to stir up in our hearts, and inevitably they begin to control our emotions and actions. yes, we can be quick to realize this pattern and blame it on our human nature, and then we just keep on keeping on. nothing changes. we get tired. we have weeks of happiness, mixed in with weeks of serious sadness. yet, the beauty that’s missing is called joy. and why is it missing? i’m sure you are all ready for me to say it, the game of comparison that we so often play is robbing us of our joy. IT IS AS IF WE ARE SIGNING OURSELVES UP TO PLAY POWDER-PUFF FOOTBALL AGAINST PRO FOOTBALL PLAYERS. we are asking for defeat. and defeat hurts, especially when we feel it so often. when we open up social media, we feel it. when we talk to others, we feel it. when we even sit by ourselves, we feel it. and as we feel it, more and more, deeper and deeper, we begin to become that defeat. we get COMFORTABLE with defeat. yet, we are angry with it at the same time. our anger creates hardships within our relationships. we begin to allow our insecurities to take control, sometimes even placing the blame on innocent friends in our lives. THAT IS MAJOR. i have seen so many girls, and even myself in a way, blame someone else for their insecurities. we are left with walls as high as the Eiffel tower that most literally no one can beat down. we are left with fleeting happiness that comes and goes along with the compliments we are given by others.

so, what do we do about it? we can sit here and diagnose ourselves, checking off the boxes, evaluating our hearts, nodding yes or shaking our heads no; however, nothing will change unless we do.

are ya’ll ready for the vulnerable part? here we go.

throughout high school, i dated three guys. i wasn’t someone who CONSTANTLY needed a boy to validate me and most of the time i was considered the ultimate third wheel, and i was okay with it. throughout these three relationships, i was cheated on a total of five times. yeah, the math hurts my brain too, but i’m not gonna go into details or tally it up for you. all of the circumstances were different and held their own story, and the funny thing is, i am friends with every single one of those boys to this day. (we will get to that in a minute) anyways, after i graduated, i had this paralyzing fear of letting a boy near my heart. i would friend zone anyone. i wouldn’t even go out to get ice cream with my best guy friend because i had this fear of getting hurt that i had hid so long and it just came to surface once i wasn’t custom to seeing everyone i went to school with on a daily basis. i got to see the fear that was inside my heart and i was appalled, for lack of a better word. my mom began to take notice and would ask me the same questions over and over again for the beginning of the summer. she would ask if i was doing okay or if there was a reason why i was declining offers to hangout with anyone. after three weeks of pulling the “i’m fine” card, i decided to let her know i wasn’t “fine” and instead, i was terrified. once that simple sentence came out, every emotion i had been hiding came with it. she let me have the mic. after thirty minutes of just complete honesty, i ended the conversation with asking if i could talk to someone about my fears before i went to college, because the last thing i wanted was to be controlled by this fear inside of me that was not of Jesus. she promised to get me all the help i needed and was so glad i finally came face to face with the lies that were holding me captive to living my life. so, i bet you can guess it. i went to therapy that summer and it was the best decision i have ever made. well, it was the best gift God has ever lead me towards. after two months of counseling, i moved on into college and vowed to myself to fervently work on my heart with the one who knows my heart, The Lord. i would consider i spent about eight solid months of growth, of understanding, of fighting the lies that covered the truth i knew so well. i spent eight months in the Word, intentionally. i spent eight months being vulnerable with Jesus. i have three journals filled with pages titled “heart issue #” and so on. around march of this year, i was driving home from a quiet time i had at Starbucks and had called my mom like i always do. we were having simple conversation and i heard myself clearly say “hey mom, just so you know, i think if God has a guy in my future no matter how near or far, i would be ready. my truth has overcome my fear.” and then i kept on with my conversation. i didn’t realize really until a couple hours later, asking my mom if i REALLY said that. i couldn’t believe how calmly i said that, without even thinking twice about it. i felt the contentment i had been yearning for so long. i felt the joy i had been searching for so long.

throughout my long eight months of growth, i wasn’t a completely sad a moppy girl. i lived life to the fullest extent, but i knew my heart pieces and i knew them well. heck, i would come face to face with some of the ugliest parts of my heart and spend weeks talking them out with Jesus. it was my healing process. yet, with these fears inside my heart, i would find myself defeated as i would compare my singleness to the girls i knew with AMAZING guys. do not even get me started on the Instagram hip young christian couples. every time i would read a story about how he loved her as the Lord did, i would feel a sting in my heart, wishing that was me. however, the Lord would remind me to stay on the path of healing my own heart. my time would come. it is the same with whatever comparison game you struggle with. i am sure many of us struggle with more than one, honestly. it is the same as the comparison of body image we fight so hard. been there, done that. it is not until we spend time ACKNOWLEDGING our insecurities and fears that we will be able to grow out of them.

so, sweet friends, i did not write this just so you could hear another cliche story of how comparison is the thief of joy and we must CHOOSE JOY! xoxo!!!! nope, not my intent. instead, i wrote this for every hurting heart that feels defeated by the game of comparison. i wrote this to let you know you are WAY MORE than alone. you most likely have an army of others behind you battling the same thing. i wrote this to encourage you to come face to face with your fears. don’t just mask them. trust me, once you start unfolding your heart, you are going to find things you may not have even known were there, and they might scare you A LOT. but let us not mask our fear. let’s take the fear and all of it’s ugliness to the lord. take it to a counselor. take it to a mentor you trust. take it to a journal. take it to a place where you know you will find truth, and not just worldly truth, but that GOOODDD GOOOOD GOSPEL TRUTH. and let yourself have time. be patient with your fear rather than annoyed. be strong with your fear rather than weak. be graceful rather than resentful. maybe you will have your heart pieces cleaned and tidied up in a month, or two years, but no matter what, i can promise you that the peace that comes from the victory against fear and comparison is worth it. fight for your own contentment. fight for your own heart, because Jesus Christ already died for it. fight for joy, even when you cannot even come close to choosing it. the fight can be ugly and hard and full of tears, but the confidence on the other side is so full of beauty and joy, every single tear becomes so small. we will ALL be victorious over this silly and over powerful game of comparison. our fears will bow to the name of Jesus, just open up and let your heart in.



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