Tuesday, May 22, 2012

dear younger sister

it's been coming up in conversation a lot lately. or maybe not explicitly in all conversations, but it arises in my mind. seeps in through my subconscious as we chatter about days at work, upcoming plans and new happenings in our lives. comparison.

if it is possible to struggle with this idea from the womb, I think I have. if not, I sadly do not remember the first time I thought to myself "her hair is pretty...I wish MY hair looked like that". my  1 year-old self was probably comparing my onesies to all the other onesies from my stroller.

but it's a toxic game to play, the game of comparing. it's a game where you always lose, which is certainly disheartening. as the cliche' goes, there is always someone who is better, faster, stronger...or in my case - prettier, smarter, funnier. but really...it's all apples to oranges, right? because who says long blonde straight hair is better than short, curly brown hair? and who says a size 0 is better than a size 14?

I'll tell you who doesn't....our creator. as a friend of mine once said in so many words...how do you think it makes God feel to hear you say His creation (YOU) is crap? not good enough? doesn't measure up? sorry Lord, but I really think you could've done better. sorry CREATOR OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, those mountains and stars and rainbows and heavens you created are stellar, but you screwed up on the thing I see in the mirror.

silly convo, huh?

a wonderful friend was requesting notes on our value for a camp she is a counselor at for 3rd and 4th grade girls. after having this on my heart and receiving her message, this is my letter to those girls. (to myself, too)



Dear sister,

Do you know how valuable you are? How precious? God created YOU in His image. He knows the amount of hairs on YOUR head. There is no one like YOU in the entire world. In the entire history of existence. Nor will there be in all the years to come.

Which reminds me, in math, they teach you not to compare apples to oranges. This is a valuable life lesson, sister. It is an easy pit to fall into – comparing yourself to your other sisters. I have fallen into this same trap and will tell you where it leads: nowhere. Actually, quite worse. It leads to heartache. To disappointment and discontentment. To a horrible sense of self-deprecation, self-doubt, even self-loathing.

The creator of the universe, the Lord of all, the God who is bigger than we can even comprehend has created YOU just the way YOU are. No one else can take that role. So just remember when you wish you looked more like Miley Cyrus or your hair resembled Jennifer Anniston’s  or you could dance like Beyonce’ –remember sweet sister, that this God created you to be exactly YOU. That you – the only you –can play a part in this world only YOU can play. Only you can tell the jokes you tell, have the same interests and talents as you, have your hair, your freckles, your eyes.

There’s no use comparing apples to oranges. It is a math equation that doesn’t add up to anything or make any sense. Oranges are completely different than apples, but yet both are unique and wonderful in their own ways. Don’t forget that your value doesn’t hinge on anyone else’s accomplishments or words or opinions. God created you. He loves you. And THAT gives you incomprehensible value.

Love,
Your still-learning sister

2 comments:

Marci said...

I love this! These are good thoughts, and I want to remember that comparing apples to oranges is ridiculous because they are both AWESOME! :)

jenna said...

You really are such a good writer, Ashley. Man, I need to remember this too...