You know that seemingly perfect girl who is one or two stages ahead of you in life?
Maybe she’s already…
I can think of multiple girls like that in my life… that fit in multiple categories. No matter what stage of life I’m in, and what next steps I accomplish, there’s always a girl just a couple steps ahead, who I think is a couple notches closer to perfection. Sometimes these girls are my friends, and sometimes I barely know them. Can you think of anyone like this in your own life?
Let me fill you in on a secret I’ve learned over time: Those girls aren’t perfect. And you know what? Chances are they could pinpoint even more girls who are steps ahead of them, and closer to their ideas of perfection.
You see, comparison isn’t a fair game to play for anyone. What God has prepared for these girls is different than what he has for you. Just like a pre-med major can’t compare their homework to an education major’s (hello, wildly different material and goals), you can’t compare your struggles and triumphs to anyone else’s. Any struggle you face is given to you by God to strengthen and prepare you for his plan’s in your future. And don’t you go on any longer believing there are any perfect girls who do not face struggles. If you can’t see them, they’re either desperately trying to hide them, or you don’t know them well enough. Refusing to recognize that other girls face struggles—in areas you may excel in!—will get in the way of countless friendships.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galations 1:10, ESV
Think of those “perfect” girls that you barely know, but just see around school, on instagram, or anywhere else. Sometimes these girls have the potential to become my friends, but I let comparison continue to stand as a daunting roadblock to ensure that never happens. Comparison can cost you friendships when you refuse to acknowledge and fight it!
Not only can comparison cost you nonexistent, though potential, friendships. Comparison can silently but aggressively build up walls to separate even the closest of friends. When comparison stays around for too long, you lose your ability to be vulnerable with that friend. You start to get jealous, and jealousy can lead to bitterness. Do these sound like characteristics to nurture a friendship? Absolutely not!
So what do I do?
Here are a few practical steps to eliminate comparison…
God is not done with you yet!
Written By: Emily
I miss friends and community
Have you ever been in a season of life where you feel all alone all the time? Have you ever spent countless Friday nights grabbing takeout and heading home to spend the rest of the night with Sammy the Sumsung (Aka TV or Netflix). Ladies, you are not alone. Since last June, in my new venture in California I have spent countless weekends alone, the Hallmark channel is my standing Saturday night date. I get it! Often, I have felt like I am always going to be in this season feeling like I have no close friends around me.
Community is so important and sometimes it is not easy to find it. So, what are we as women to do when we crave community but it’s not currently around us? Here are a few things I have been doing to help me in this time.
1. Pray that God will bring the right people in my life
Romans 12: 12 says “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” We need to be faithfully praying for community. We need to ask God to guide us to the right community. We need to be actively seeking his will for us in this time. We need to have patience as well, knowing that He knows just what we need at the right time.
2. Put myself out there
1. John 4:11 says “Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Girls, we are called to show love to others. We are called to put ourselves out there and seek out community. God made community for us and he wants us to radiate His love to others. We cannot do what we are called to do if we don’t seek out opportunities to build relationships. We must take risk and look for ways to build community and friendship. I know it can be difficult if you go to a group and they are not inclusive. It can be discouraging and that’s where my third point comes in.
3. Don’t give up!
The enemy is waiting for you to give up. One of the biggest tools the enemy uses to get people down is loneliness. The enemy wants you to feel lonely and think that God is not going to provide friends or a good community of people for you. Believe me I have bought into this lie several times and for a month I gave up on community. That month I was completely lonely and felt absolutely defeated. In 2 Chronicles 15:7 it says “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Did you read that? It says we will be rewarded! It doesn’t say when but it says our work will be rewarded. So that means that if you don’t give up on community, God will reward you in time!
Girls, I know it is so easy to want to believe that this season of loneliness and lack of community will last forever, but it won’t. There is a reason for this season. I want you to know I am going through this as I write this. I long for the day when I have a close friend again who is in the same state as me. I long for a text on a Friday asking me to hang out. I get it! Girls! I challenge you to keep praying, keeping putting yourself in new situations and don’t give up!
Written By: Rebeccah
I used to think that vulnerability was a weakness, but now I see that it breeds true friendship and growth.
Recently, God truly blessed me with some deep and godly friendships, and in this season of my life, they are probably the thing that I thank God for the most. I was talking with some of these friends, and one of them pointed out the beauty of knowing a person’s testimony. When one knows a person’s story, such a deep appreciation and understanding is birthed. A deeper sensitivity is developed toward a friend’s weaknesses and soft spots because both parties know what has led to a person’s current state.
Similarly, there is a healing that goes beyond words when a person is vulnerable and admits to one’s weaknesses. I have been dealing with spiritual warfare lately, and I tried to deal with it on my own. I kept telling myself that it would hurt me to admit to my friends that I needed help. I believed the lie that I would be looked down upon because my innate humanity leads to imperfection and struggles. Yet, when I finally admitted to my brokenness, the healing process that I had been craving began to take flight.
Proverbs 27:17 states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
When iron is being sharpens it has to create friction when being rubbed against another strong piece of iron. That process causes pieces to be rubbed off and smoothed down, and surely that process is not comfortable. Similarly, the processes of being vulnerable and being led to growth and healing is not one that is comfortable. But, that period of being spiritually sharpened against another strong friend creates an evolutionary process that leads to a greater awareness of Christ’s merciful love and healing. Yet, if I do not allow myself to be vulnerable with my godly friends, then the sharpening that my soul craves will never take place. Sometimes, the sharpening requires one’s sin being called out. Ladies, you want the kind of friend who loves you too much to not call out the sin that will deteriorate and hurt you.
I believe that God often times uses people to speak his truths. In my instance, my friends were most definitely one of the vessels that God used to help me walk through. In true godly, friendship, life is spoken over one another and there is freedom to be honest and vulnerable about where one truly is.
Written By: Tara
"Life throws curve balls. Be ready."
I understand now, what I didn't understand then. This is a life saying I have recently learned to come to terms with. Maybe I have just grown closer to Jesus these past few months to grasp this understanding, or perhaps I just have grown up a bit more. Both reasons have built me either way.
Childhood trauma, that's a strong hold in my life I didn't recognize was there, until last month in one of our class worship nights. I pray over it every day now. As I sat in the back of my class, crying and praying, everything clicked in my head. All of the once confused puzzle pieces were now put together.
Childhood trauma comes with flashbacks, anxiety, depression and FEAR. Finally, I realized everything that was holding me back and it all made sense now. Fear is an obstacle I have always faced. Fear of the future: I never knew what to expect or who would be with me. I didn't really have parents per say, no one ever stayed in my life. Letting people fully into my heart was a huge no, it's something I have to work at daily. Fear of my past: my past would always be there, always a reminder of who I once was. You can't erase the past.
Due to my deep-rooted fear of the unknown, my anxiety would then kick in. More often than not, I would always end up near a trash can throwing up from my anxiety—including in my dorm room here in LA. Thank God for my amazing, praying, understanding roommate (fun fact: she's from Norway!). l let myself drown in my emotions, I would have never talk about them. I hid them away and still do hide them away at times. I always thought it was better to hide my feelings (it's not, don't do it). People couldn't judge me if I kept things hidden, no one would ever have to know my traumatic childhood. It could stay a secret. However, secrets have a way of destroying a person's heart.
Some days I wonder, what's my purpose and then thoughts of do I matter, who really loves me, etc. I second guess my self-worth and whose I really am. Am I a special, unique, Jesus girl? Or just another ordinary, young, college kid- just plain and simple, living a regular life?
All of those moments, memories, and life events stayed with me and lead me to where I am now: that broken season in life. That season of finding my identity in Jesus. The point of no return. The time when I have to face myself, to make myself into who HE, Jesus, really called me to be. Instead of believing all of the death that was spoken over me growing up, it was time for life to be spoken over me. It was time for a new season and life chapter. It was time for me to believe it could happen.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21
See guys, I would like to tell you that I have this happy life 24/7, I don't. Many days I fight these inner battles and have had to learn forgiveness of myself, others and daily speaking life into myself. I don't live a perfect, happy, Christian life. Really, who does? Everyone has those off days.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13
Life is hard guys. I don't have the perfect answers for you or the perfect scripture to give you. I don't know why bad things happen to good people, I don't know why parents leave, I don't know why divorce exists, I don't know why people hurt kids, I don't know why life isn't fair, I don't know. I don't know. I do know, that in all of that questioning, Jesus is still there and though you may not see it in the moments of hurt, he is still good. He wants us to see him in our darkest hour, the hour when we most want to leave him. It's easier to leave him, than trust him. Always keep faith in him.
I don't know a lot and I question a lot of things myself, but I do know he is still there. He is still faithful, still loving, still kind, still pursuing you and me, still weeping when we weep, still brushing away the tears we think he doesn't see. He is there. Always there. A prayer away, a worship song away. It's hard to believe, I know. But, he is there with you.
“Jesus wept." John 11:35
Jesus didn't intend for bad things to happen to us, that's where sin came in. But, yes bad things do happen. Things that just can't be explained. This is where you choose if you’re going to let those moments build or break you. You choose. I choose every day. You’re not alone. Either way Jesus will just be waiting for you to come back. He sees you. He hears you. He recognizes your prayers. He's got you. Find peace in that, like I have. I may not know why things happen, but you know what? He's got me. I’ve got peace. Someone close to me once told me, “find that place you find peace and don't let it go." Find your place of peace. Remember it's not going to be perfect, but it will be worth it. I am right beside you fighting with you and for you. I am fighting for me too. I believe in you. You can do it. It's going to get tough, don't give up. Keep persevering on. I see you. I am proud of you. I love you!
Written By: Vanessa