No more

It has often been said that comparison is the thief of joy.

Never is this more evident to me than at the gym. The gym can be a tough place to hang out because there are a lot of really fit, trim, buff people running around that place. There is always someone who can lift more, run faster, do more burpees, pedal longer, jump higher, lunge lower.

Can I get an "AMEN!" y'all?

One of the "gifts" from the mass quantities of hormone injections during fertility treatments is weight gain. Weight isn't something I needed more of, but I got it anyway. Had things worked out the way we had hoped, the weight gain and every other side effect would have been more than worth it to have our child in our arms. Since that's not how our story went, the thicker thighs, extra belly jelly and tighter clothes have been tough to accept. They've been an unflattering reminder of grief. Insult to injury.

I can't tell you how many times I've walked into the gym, seen the people I see every day, looked at their progress and felt so much shame for being the one who has gone backwards.

Rather than being thankful to my body for standing in the aftermath, I've felt ashamed of it. I've let comparison steal my joy.

No more.

My value and my worth are not how many donkey kicks and tuck jumps I can knock out in a minute or how much my mid-section jiggles while doing those things. God gave me this body and it is strong. It has been abused by procedures, medications, needles and trauma and, by His grace, it is still pedaling, lifting, running, squatting and jumping. Starting now, the comparisons stop and giving thanks begins.

Will you join me in that?

When the guy who parks next to you gets a new Porsche, will you be thankful for and content with your GMC?

When your neighbor lives in a giant house, will you be thankful for and content with your three-bedroom ranch?

When that parent in your kids' playgroup seems to have it all together while you're barely clinging to sanity, will you choose to see that you're a great parent?

When your college classmate gets your dream job, will you choose to give thanks for the phenomenal job you have?

When anyone anywhere has something you want (material or otherwise), will you choose to remember and give thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ and that all who believe in him are saved by grace (see John 3:16)?

"But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these." -1 Timothy 6:6-8

I pray that together we can learn to stop feeling shame for what others have that we don't. I pray that together we can find joy in all circumstances. I pray that together we can see our worth.

I pray that together we will realize that each and every one of us has been uniquely and beautifully created by our Father God in Heaven who doesn't make mistakes.

"For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well." -Psalms 139:13-14

Before the sun sets on this day, will you join me in saying, "No more?" Can we decide right now to stop living our lives under the weight of comparison? There is so much joy to be found in breaking free.

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