How often do you compare yourself – your life – to those around you? Maybe not in a way that screams “I’m coveting what you have,” but in a more subtle way. In today’s digital age we are inundated more and more with images of the perfect family, the perfect house, the perfect outfit, the perfect vacation, the perfect party, the perfect meal and on, and on, and on…
I’ll use myself as an example.
If you are an outsider looking into my life, what do you see? Who do you think I am? Do you know the real me?
On the surface from the pretty pictures, blog posts, and even my work bio, you may think I have the perfect life.. But let’s lay it out in more detail, shall we?
Taking a look at my personal Facebook page first:
Cissie Graham Lynch grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and graduated from a good four-year university. She is married, has one daughter and works for an international relief organization.
Now, let’s check out Instagram:
Beautiful home. World travels. Adorable daughter. Lots of friends. Adventure… Clothes… Boating on the ocean… Time with family…
And then hop over to my blog profile:
Cissie Graham Lynch is the fourth child of Franklin and Jane Graham, and the granddaughter of Billy and Ruth Graham. She is married to NFL football player Corey Lynch (who also happens to be very dreamy).
I am not here to deny it; I am blessed beyond my imagination. God is good and has been faithful to me. I stand humbly before the Lord, truly grateful for all the blessings He has bestowed upon my life.
But things are not always as they seem, right? Though, I have been blessed, I am far from perfect. I write this as a woman who has failed in her marriage too many times to count. I have failed in relationships; I have had a heart that has stored anger, hate, and jealousy way too long and has a hard time controlling her tongue.
But I don’t dare display those publicly. None of us put those kind of details out for the world to see.
Back to the blog:
Cissie has traveled the world with her dad, seeing things that people only dream of seeing in a lifetime and helping people in the process. She was married right out of college to her football-hero beau, and they went and lived the “glamorous” NFL life. Now they live by the ocean, fishing and cruising the blue waters with their adorable little girl. And the sickest their daughter has ever been is a double ear infection.
You would think I have the perfect life.
Just the other day, I was helping a friend take her Christmas decorations down, and she said, “I can’t imagine you and Corey fighting.” I laughed so hard (she is new friend, so she hasn’t been around us a whole lot). If she only knew the fight we had the night before, yelling and screaming, and in the past I’ve been known to throw stuff at my husband. Yes, even throw things.
There are many times that I would be ashamed if you saw me behind closed doors; beyond the social media portrayal of my life.
Here is my challenge to you – STOP comparing. Stop comparing your life to others you have seen on social media. Stop thinking you know someone’s life just through the pictures they post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest. The truth is, we all know we are posting the pictures that display our smiling children, clean house, or a picture of our “good side” with our hair fluffed, elbow popped, chin down, and leg bent. Good thing you don’t see me when I wake up in the morning.
Comparing our lives to others is a dangerous weapon that Satan uses to destroy. He will use it to destroy your spirit, destroy your marriage, destroy relationships, and destroy the beautiful heart God created in you.
This year, you are going to hear me talk about a lot of comparing our lives to women’s lives across the globe. It’s not to condemn or convict us about the lives we live. I want to grasp a true sense of thankfulness for what I have in my life, and hope to encourage you to see the blessings that you have in your life.
When you go to compare, compare your life to a lady in the Sudan who is running from bombs dropping from the sky and hides in the clefts of rocks to protect her children. She would do anything for a roof over her head and a soft bed to lay her child. Or the woman in Liberia who is hiking all day in the scorching heat to pick berries and find grass hoppers for dinner. She would love to sit at your chaotic dinner table. Perhaps you want to complain about our healthcare system; compare it to the women who would have to travel more than three days to get to an open-air clinic – no more than what we would use a picnic shelter in the U.S. – to deliver their baby.
I want my heart, and your heart, to sing praises of gratitude to the Lord.
I will Praise you, O Lord with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name. O Most High.
I hope that you will come back and join me in the discussion. And I look forward to hearing about how you are making a change to be seen rather than looked at, and how you are searching for your authentic-self rather than comparing to the virtual-self of others this year.