Hey y’all!! I am so excited to have Jenny Stoecker from www.jennystoecker.com posting for me today while I get back into the swing of things from my amazing service trip to Belize. She is a remarkable woman that I have had the privilege of getting to know throughout my blogging journey. She lives in Colorado, loves Jesus, pancakes, traveling, photography, sarcasm, making lists and people. I have loved following Jenny’s passion for the work she does, serving people in poverty with VisionTrust International. Make sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram @JennyStoecker and check out her blog!! And Jenny, take it away….
Everyone has that one moment, or group of moments that define future insecurities. Mine was probably all of middle school…I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, “When in doubt, blame middle school.”
I was too tall, too skinny, and a heck of a lot too awkward to be in the popular crowd. I could never find jeans that fit, was never up on the latest trends, and was always ready for a flood. The stores I frequented were the same as women in their thirties and forties. (Let’s just say I’m thankful I didn’t peak in middle school.)
By the time I reached the end of high school I landed at my current height of 6’2” in a country where the average height for women is 5’4”. (To answer your question, no, I do not play basketball.) In high school, two of my closest friends were the prom queen and a girl that would later go on to do a brief stint in modeling. The boys were flocking, but not to me.
It was in middle school that I started telling myself, “Don’t try to hard. If you try too hard to look pretty, people will think that you don’t know you’re unattractive and they’ll just pity you.”
While I’ve come to a point of appreciating who I am and who God has made me to be, typing those words makes my stomach twist because there’s a part of me 12 years later that still struggles with this lie.
And the thing is, I know I’m not the only one. The more I share my insecurities, the more I’ve found that each woman I talk to has a little voice that pops up in the cruelest of moments, spinning lies about her worth.
In these moments, here are truths I remind myself:
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Plain and simple. Whether I think I’m prettier or less attractive than someone else, comparison is snatching up my joy. Whether I think my life is more or less adventurous than someone else’s, comparison is stealing my contentment. Whether I think I deserve more or less than someone else, comparison is robbing me of thankfulness. You get the picture…
“Be who I called you to be.”
A year ago I was venting/wallowing and felt the Lord say, “Be who I called you to be.” I rarely feel God speak to me, but this sentence was so clear.
“Be who I called you to be. Don’t try to be anyone else because then you won’t grow into the fullest potential of who I created you to be.”
There was so much freedom in that sentence. God designed me to be in community, to learn from and love the people He puts in my path. But, the minute I compare myself to another person, I turn away from God and tell Him that His plans, His purposes for my life aren’t enough—the person he designed me to be is not enough. (If you want more of this story, click here.)
You are not as awkward as you think you are.
Sometimes I just need a healthy dose of confidence to move forward. This sentence is a simple reminder that I am often my own worst critic.
In the midst of our insecurities, big or small, I’m praying God would speak truth over us today. I’m praying that our comparisons would be dashed, our soul would whisper, “Be who I called you to be,” and our own worst critic would remain silent.