as the world normalizes comparison - SPOTLIGHT
by Shannon Livezey
Recently I went on a self-discovery journey trying to find my purpose in life. I was feeling very lost and aimless stuck at a job that I wasn’t in love with, a new mom pretty much raising a child by herself, in a new body that felt foreign to me, and in a new place where I barely knew anyone and spent all my weekends by myself. In retrospect this was really my cry for help to God and boy did he answer it in a HUGE way. As I was going through this time of turmoil our church started a series called ‘Who Am I?’ which has literally transformed my life. At the same time I felt convicted to dive into God’s word daily and focus on the positives that occurred each day. I had no idea how radically this would change my mindset from confrontational perfectionist needing assurance (enneagram 8w9 anyone?) to a God-assured HUMAN who needs grace DAILY. Honestly this story is a long one and is still continuing but I want to share with you some truths that I learned and am still learning from my journey.
TRUTH #1 - You cannot find peace until you find yourself IN GOD.
This was a HUGE pill for me to swallow. I was a strong independent woman who needed no man but was in desperate need to cling to my savior. All of the unrest I was feeling was because I had not planted myself on the solid rock of Jesus but on the sifting sands of this world and I HADN’T EVEN REALIZED IT. I was too caught up in the affirmations of this world to realize how far I was drifting from God, which brings us to…
TRUTH #2 – The world normalizes comparison and the enemy uses it to separate you from God.
I never truly realized how deeply rooted and normal comparison was until I became a mom. The envy and comparison is real y’all. It creeped up on me until it was too late and I was fighting back insecurities from comparison DAILY. Why doesn’t my baby sleep through the night like hers? Why doesn’t my postpartum body look like hers? Why can’t my pictures look as cute as hers? Why can’t I have enough energy to work and cook a fabulous meal every night like her? Well maybe if I had another job/more support/was more creative/stayed at home longer/etc…the list goes on and on. And slowly but surely I was losing my joy in God and it seeped into all aspects of my life. I was becoming bitter at work, I couldn’t stand being at home and lost myself in tv shows because I was too tired to care, I got irrationally mad at my son for crying because he wanted to be held, I was not a fun person to be around I was a negative Nancy, heck even I didn’t want to be around me. However, during my journey through the ‘Who Am I?’ series, daily getting into the Bible, and focusing on positives of each day it was like my sight was suddenly restored and I could see why I had been so unhappy and how I have the freedom to choose JOY daily in Christ. I will admit I do still struggle with comparison every now and then but now instead of spiraling out of control I center my focus back on God by using these tools:
1. Dive into your bible daily
God’s word is the best place to gather tools to fight back the enemy daily. I highly recommend the She Reads Truth bible and app, they have amazing reading plans and some amazing affirming backgrounds for a daily dose of Jesus.
2. Build your team
Keep people around you who will speak TRUTH into your life, not empty little compliments like ‘of course that looks good on you’ but people who will hit you with the truth when you’re ugly crying in the shower for the umpteenth time that day because your post-partum body doesn’t look like someone else’s and instead of saying ‘you look fine,’ asking if you have post partum depression and being more concerned about your mental health.
3. Keep positive affirmations around you
Write biblically based affirmations about who you are in Christ down on sticky notes and put them wherever you will see them daily to have that positive mindset boost to your day. Personally, I love writing on any surface I can so writing on my mirror is great or if I find a cool background on the She Reads Truth app I’ll have that on my phone forever as a constant reminder every time I look at my phone.
4. Do a social media cleanse
I cannot stress this enough. This isn’t to offend anyone I promise, and I do this probably once a month, but unfollow those people who you compare yourself to or make you feel less-than throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with them anymore or will never follow them again, this is truly for your mental health and to make it harder for the enemy to bring comparison into your daily life.
5. Find out who you are in Christ
One of the biggest things that changed my life was going on a self-discovery, but doing it biblically. I highly recommend Who Am I by Jeff Little, it goes through different situations and biblical truth of finding who you are in Christ. However if you are supah broke (like I was in college/newly wed years) or if videos are just more your thing, there are free videos you can watch that my pastor, pastor Stephen, goes through in line with the book. Just search ‘Vintage Church TX’ on Facebook and the sermons will be in the videos!
As a woman and a mom I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of comparison, but whenever you feel those voices creep into your head about how you’re inadequate, unloved, not beautiful, etc. remember this:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17 NIV
God does NOT speak comparison and the insecurities that flow from it into our lives. He speaks the truth that we are made perfect in His image and were made to glorify Him in all that we do.
About the Spotlight Author
A mom who needs the grace of Jesus and needs to be reminded of that daily. Runs on coffee, donuts, and all the food as well as love and support from her husband, son, and pupper.
You can find her on the gram @shandanlive
or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org