The Comparison Trap–And How to Escape It

While I am away taking care of my mom, I have invited one of my dear friends, Emily T. Wierenga, to share her heart with you. I read her wonderful book, Atlas Girl, this summer while on vacation. As I read about Emily’s struggles and joys of taking care of her mother who was suffering from brain cancer, I had no idea that in a few weeks I would be taking care of mine. I am so thankful for how God was preparing my heart for the days ahead. I am so grateful at how God sends Christian sisters to offer a word of encouragement at just the right time.

Your heavenly Father knows just what you need before you even know to ask.

So grab a cup of coffee and join Emily as she shares her heart with you today.

The Comparison Trap–And How to Escape It

By Emily T. Wierenga

It’s night.

I can hear flowers growing in the quiet hush outside our bedroom window. My husband’s feet are by my head under the feather tick, because I can’t sleep with my head right next to his.

He breathes too loud and I’m the kind that fights insomnia.

Tonight I’m thinking of all the women I am not, and I’m comparing myself to them, and falling short.

It hurts, this comparing, yet I can’t stop, and I’m pulling up my knees to my chest like a child. Finally I pray a raspy prayer, the desperate kind, “God help me,” and fall into sleep.

I don’t normally dream things that matter, but this night I do. Within my dream, I find my husband sobbing beside me, because doctors had apparently prescribed me too much medication, and “you should have died—but you didn’t,” he says, weeping, and my husband never cries.

And then I find my sons, ages two and four, wading in a lake, all by themselves and I don’t know how they got there, they should have fallen in, they shouldn’t be alive, but they are.
I wake up from that dream to find God, all around me.

Because here’s the thing: I should have died, twice. Once when I was thirteen and sixty pounds and hypothermic, my braces showing through the skin of my cheeks. Nurses shaking their heads wondering why I was still alive, this anorexic preacher’s kid in a green hospital gown.

And again when I was 26 and married for three years, starving myself again and drinking 12 cups of coffee a day and addicted to sleeping pills. Jealousy eating me whole for doctors saying I wouldn’t be able to have kids, and my biggest fear being gaining weight and losing my husband to a skinner woman.

Comparison was literally killing me.

And my husband and I were driving home one day and we were fighting, as we always did. I tried to drive the car into oncoming traffic, and Trent took the wheel and pulled us over the side of the road and that’s when we started over. That’s when we quit our jobs and moved to Korea and started over.

Because sometimes it takes moving to another country to see what is right in front of you.

And then a pastor prayed over us, that we would be able to conceive a son within the year—we’d been trying for a year and a half—and, following a miscarriage, we conceived our eldest son, Aiden, within the year. And two years later, his brother Kasher.

Two boys who shouldn’t have been, save for the grace of God, and I wake from that dream, the morning like a flash of yellow wings outside our curtains.

I walk to the bathroom, and this verse on the calendar on the bathroom wall.

Matthew 6:28, “Why do you worry (about clothes)? See how the lilies of the field grow? They neither labor nor spin, yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”

My wrist is tattooed with lilies. I got it tattooed when Mum was dying of brain cancer, because I wanted to remember that I didn’t need to worry, even as I changed her and fed her and read to her.

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And now Mum is gloriously alive, after eight years of dying, and the tumor, gone.

It’s a morning of miracles.

“Look at you,” I whisper into the mirror. “The Maker of the Universe is taking care of you.”
And sister? He’s taking care of you too. You, whose heart has been wounded, whose soul has been scarred. You, who wonders if anyone sees you—if you’re just another mention in a tweet, just another pin, just another status. You, who compares herself to all the women around you.

Remember Hagar, and how Sarai used her and then banished her from her sight? Hagar ran away and found herself alone in the desert. But God searched for her and found her. He found her, and he called this female slave by name, and he promised to bless her.

And Hagar called him “The God Who Sees Me.”

He sees you too friend.

He knows your name.

He knows how many hairs are on your head.

There’s no one like you, sister. You’re one of a kind.

And He wants to bring you home.

Leave a comment about what it means to know that YOU ARE ONE OF A KIND. I’ll randomly choose 3 names for a FREE copy of Emily’s book, Atlas Girl

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Click HERE for a free excerpt.

Click HERE to order.

ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.

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Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

133 Responses to The Comparison Trap–And How to Escape It

  1. laura August 18, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    This is soo awesome. Comparison is so deadly. This is exactly what God has been really pounding transformation in MY identity. He made me different specifically for Him just the way I am. I have struggled with my weight and feeling good enough. God loves me right here , right know at the weight I am and he sees me and cares for me- even when I don’t do such a good job!

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Dear Laura, I love the confidence in your voice and how God is showing you how he delights in YOU. Bless you sister! e. (www.emilywierenga.com)

  2. Kelly August 18, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    Beautiful!!! I can so relate to this post on so many levels! I’ve spent most of my life stuck in this comparison trap, accepting the lies of Sagan that I am (and will never be) good enough. I’ve desperately wanted to break free from this lie but it’s not as easy as it sounds! This post was such an encouragement to me! Thank you!

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

      I’m so grateful it encouraged you Kelly! Blessings sister, e.

  3. Mertice Hall August 18, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    There is no one like me. I am fearfully and wonderfully by Christ. Oh am special to Him.

    Mertice

  4. marilyn August 18, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    To know that I am one of a Kind, is simply telling me that just like a paint brush in the hands of Picasso if you find a duplicate it is worthless, only the authentic painting has significant value.

    It cost you more to be what God has not told you to be, simply just be you and love the package.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Love this Marilyn–and Picasso is one of my favorite artists! Bless you, e.

  5. trish August 18, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    To be one of a kind–to know we are created in HIS image exactly as he wanted us to be. If we can instill that each person we meets heart what a life change they might have. Would love to win the book. Enjoyed the devotion today.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      oh Trish I LOVE this… yes! What a different world we’d live in!

  6. Sharon DeGristina August 18, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Thank you for this important message. I am guilty of comparing myself to others. We must remember that God created us uniquely for a reason and learn to CELEBRATE that. Bountiful blessings to you.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      oh sister, I am guilty too. You are not alone. We’re walking this journey together! Bless you, e.

  7. Amanda August 18, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    It means believing that I am a beautiful princess of the most high King no matter what the world tries to tell me!

  8. Tammy Dyer August 18, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    I know what it means to be one of a kind. I’m that within my own family. I often feel like odd woman out and get left out of family events completely or seem to be an after thought to most of them. I really needed this post this morning. It reminded me of what I already knew but had forgotten this last couple weeks. That I am God’s child and he loves me no matter what and is there for me. I have always thought family was great and come from what I thought was a large close one. But life happens and my son goes to jail..I get divorced and my 2 step children that I practically raised leave me along with my husband. I try to take my own life because of this loss and my family ignores it all together or says stupid I am to do such a thing. My son is out of jail a building a life for himself hut has nothing to do with family because they’ve basically shunned him. They never even ask me how he’s doing. I came back from my depression and found the Lord who I my number one family now. But I get caught up in not really being recognized by my worldly family and let depression and loss creep in now and then. Things aren’t exactly perfect in my life right now and I’ve experiencing more losses in a way….but thank you for the reminder that sometimes I need to go elsewhere to see what I need to know and find my answers in the Lord. God’s got a plan…be patient.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      my dear Tammy. Oh sister. The world can be SO painful sometimes. As Joyce Meyers says, Hurt people hurt people. I’m so sorry for all the wounds you’ve been given by people who are meant to love you. I pray you find the healing and the strength to forgive them so that you might rise victorious over their negativity. I’m rooting for you sister. This world is not our home. His kingdom come. Love to you and your son, e.

  9. Pearl August 18, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    It is really hard when we as women and I think even men compare ourselves to each other. It is a trap designed by Satan to counteract the security we find in Christ. No one has it all and really we don’t know what challenges the other person is facing. I think the author is right. We miss the blessings right in front of us because we tend to compare ourselves to the wrong person or thing. The real deal and right thinking is found in God’s word which states in Psalm 139 we ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE! Our designer looked at us and with all of our short-comings and failures He died for us . That’s pretty valuable I’d say. God bless.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

      YES Pearl! You summed it up so well here! “Our designer looked at us and with all of our short-comings and failures He died for us.” Beautiful!

  10. Angela Mendenhall August 18, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    I have always felt ugly fat not educated enough not financial enough and sometimes I use this as an excuse to stay home and have become socially awkward. I desire to have friends and although I had two failed marriages I would like to be married but I feel like a failure. I try to Trust God but the hurt I’ve experienced makes it hard. Please pray that I stop feeling less than.. because I know the scriptures say I’m blessed and highly favored but I struggle to get it in my Heart.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      My dear Angela, I get this, I really do… the negative voices, they bombard us, and it takes so much strength to get on our knees and beg Abba to show us the TRUTH about who we are. But I encourage you to do so, friend. Go right to the source. Ask HIM to show you who you are, and don’t stop until He does. You are so loved. e.

  11. Yvonne August 18, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    God the maker and ruler of all things has designed us and from the beginning He loved us so much that He gave His life for us! The most meaningful life we as Christians can live is to constantly tell ourselves that our worth is not based on what we do in comparison to others but who God says we are in His sight. The author realized that it was who she compared herself and circumstances with that made her feel content or discontent. Godliness with contentment is great gain and we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the sight of God.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I love how you helped me understand this verse tonight Yvonne. Thank you friend! e.

  12. Denise Durham August 18, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    I have always felt like the odd girl due to being slightly overweight and I did not consider myself pretty or beautiful. That attitude carried over into my adult life. I was constantly comparing myself to other women. “I wish I could be like _____”, she’s so (pretty, thin, popular, etc).I discovered this self-hatred was a result of an incident that happened when I was five. It was not until God poured his revelation into me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made that I changed my way of thinking. I do find myself still comparing myself to others occasionally. Recently I have begun what I call a “Journey to Health”. Part of my journey is to evaluate not what is in the outside but what is on the inside. The next step in my journey is Bariatric surgery. Not for cosmetic reasons but for health reasons (bulging discs in my back and Osteo Arthritis).
    After taking careful inspection of my self I have come to know that I am loved, I am beautiful and I have a lot to offer others. Out of this knowledge is a desire to empower other women with the same knowledge that I have received. Your blog today confirms much of what God and my loved ones have been telling me.Praise God for you Emily, your writing will help so many of our Sisters in Christ! Thank you for being transparent and for sharing your heart.
    P.S. I never thought to sleep at my husband’s feet. He also snores like a buzzsaw. 🙂
    Peace and blessings be unto you,
    Denise Durham

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

      oh Denise, what a beautiful journey the Lord has had you on! Isn’t it amazing HOW much He loves us? He will work on our hearts until they’re fully surrendered and fully knowing how extravagantly loved we are. He cares THAT much. May He continue to protect you and guide you in all your ways, sister. And yes, I encourage you to sleep at your husband’s feet! 🙂 e.

    • Jeanette Wood October 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Denise,
      Your story is very moving. I am also on my health journey. Praying for you!

  13. Temi August 18, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    To me, I’m one of a kind means I’m uniquely different from every other person and God made me special. Thanks for writing this. I’m so glad to know that God sees me. I used to hate my body, thought I was too skinny& short. But today, I’m so grateful to God, I now understand& appreciate my uniqueness. And God gave me a wonderful husband that sees me as a special gift. There’s a verse that always reminds me that I’m very special to my Heavenly Father-Isaiah 43v4 “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.”

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      Oh I LOVE that verse Temi! My favorite is Zephaniah 3: 17, where it talks about God being a Father who delights in us, who sings over us, and who quiets us with his love. Bless you sister! e.

  14. Beth Hughes August 18, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Wow! Just the right word at the right time. Thank you Lord!

  15. Kimberly Ball August 18, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    A beautiful post that reminds me that there is no comparison to God’s love, God’s presence, God’s peace, and God’s grace… for all of us!

  16. Kimberly Ball August 18, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    Comparison is always a trap… when we realize we are beautifully and wonderfully created, all of those thoughts seem to disappear!

  17. Kimberly Ball August 18, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Comparison lives in our minds when we forget that we are beautifully and wonderfully made by the creator of the universe.

  18. Beckey August 18, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    So much time spent feeling insignificant. Comparing myself and always coming up lacking. To finally after 40+ years to realize God sees. That love, that acceptance, is life altering!

    Beckey
    http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      oh Beckey, I love that God never stops pursuing us. Bless you sister! Zephaniah 3:17

  19. JoAnn August 18, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    This woman’s words touched my heart at a time, when I feel so desperately lonely and dying inside. I hope I get selected for this book, as it seems it was meant for me at this very trying time. (Please do not post my name.)

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

      oh sister, I hope you get selected for this book too. Please know I am praying for you. Zephaniah 3:17… all my heart, e.

  20. Emma Ware August 18, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    It makes me feel special….. and those times when I am chasing those things that I think I need to be accepted and approved by people, it reminds me that I am wonderfully and fearfully made. And that God approves of me just like I am.

  21. Pam Schulz August 18, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    I AM unique!

  22. Kim Abernathy August 18, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    I am “One of a Kind” because of the mother, daughter, wife and friend to all my loved ones. The daily struggles I see them going through inspires me to make their day before and that helps me feel the joy within my heart. JOY is my one word of the year.

  23. Vanessa August 18, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    I believe, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am one of a kind because my Bible tells me that even when I was in my mother’s womb, He formed me. He knit me together in there. He placed everything in me that is there today so He could use me for His glory. I was not just another baby when I was born, I was designed to be one of a kind. God has something very special for my life which He is accomplishing day by day, step by step till the roll is called up yonder and I shall behold Him face to face.

  24. Mary Anne August 18, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    To be one of a kind is to be unique. Not better, not worse. God created just one of each if us and He loves each and every one of us. Knowing I am loved and loveable by God takes me from invisible to shining. From feeling unattractive to beautiful. From feeling worthless to feeling precious. Knowing I am one of a kind and of great worth to God makes me hold my head up and embrace life rather than hide from it. It makes all the difference. And I am so grateful.

  25. Gerri Johnson August 18, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    To know that I am one of kind….it means that I am special, even when I don’t feel like it…which is most days. I am worthy, even when I allow life/people to make me feel like I am not. That God will pull me out of “this”…this hole, this spot, this slump, when I am ready and only He knows when I am ready and why I am even here. He has a plan for me…

  26. Jenny Rutan August 18, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    I have compared myself for as long as I can remember. I know God made me perfect and I want to see myself through His eyes, some days it’s hard but I am working on it with His help. I love your devotion. Thanks and may God continue to use you.

  27. Karla August 18, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I still struggle daily with comparison…my looks, my size, my clothes, my stuff! I am learning to lean on prayer and trust God to show me my uniqueness and my purpose! I want to love me as me but I not there yet!

  28. Rhonda August 18, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    treasured and loved

  29. Julie Priest August 18, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    i know that God sent me this e-mail today for a reason…….i am comparing myself to all those age 50ish women who are glorying in their grandchildren. i will never have grandchildren and it seems to be another “club” to which i will not belong. and i belong to many that i wish i did not. need to find a Bible study on jealousy/self pity……….

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      oh Julie… I ache with you sister. It’s so hard when it seems there are “clubs” we will never be part of. May God fulfill the desires of your heart, friend. In Him, e.

  30. Donna August 18, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Oh how I needed to see this today….Thank You!

  31. Ansie van den Berg August 18, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Dear Sharon,
    While I was reading your block, I could not help to get tears in my eyes. I am in the same situation, with my Mom, at the moment.
    She is 87 years old. She does have cancer but is too old and weak for chemo. So all we try to do as children is just to love her so much and give our everything.

    I enjoy your block very much and can not wait for the next.
    God Bless you.
    Ansie
    South Africa

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Ansie–I know you wrote this to Sharon, but as someone who’s been a caregiver for a mother with cancer I just want to say I’m so sorry–and to say I love how you are loving on your mom. May God give you hope and encouragement during this difficult time. Bless you, e.

  32. Deborah August 18, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Sadly, it took my husband of 35 years leaving me for me to discover that I am “one of a kind”. He obviously had desires for me to be like someone else. Someone younger, more well endowed???
    The first four years of my “aloneness” was brutal. Forgiveness was fleeting, thereby constant. Jesus carried me every single step of the way. Jesus showed me there is no one like me and that HE made me that way for His purpose. He (Jesus) chose me. He loves me “just as I am”.
    –deborah

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      Deborah, this touched me so deeply. I love the verses in Isaiah where it talks about God being our husband. “4”Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5″For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” (Isaiah 54)

  33. Jane August 18, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Wow! I loved this message for today and would love to read this book. I love stories of God meeting us where we are and “seeing us” and our needs and meeting them – far more than we could ask or imagine.

  34. Rusty Westmoreland August 18, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Good Morning Sharon, may GO grant You HIS grace, strength, mercy, joy, peace & hope as You lovingly care for Your Mother & may HIS peace that passes all understanding surround You at all times in this journey as it did when I took care of my Mother. As I was reading this by Emily this morning tears of joy welled up inside of me because GOD has done this very thing for me, HE has shown me that I am fearfully & wonderfully made and that HE is truly in control in our lives. I looked up from reading this email as I finished with praise to our Father for who HE is for for not oner beautiful Yellow finch sitting upon the fence of my yard but 3, yes three beautifully made Yellow finches..Truly I do praise GOD for showing me that I need not compare myself to others because it is in HIM that I live & move & have my being, it is in HIM that I have found my worth. It is in GOD through CHRIST that each & every need I have whether physical, metal, emotional, financial or spiritual is and will be met. May GOD’s richest blessings be poured out upon You Sharon & Emily & may HIS grace always be sufficient for each of us, & may we alway abound in HIS love & joy, In Christ’s love Sister Rusty

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      oh Rusty, I can HEAR the joy in your voice! He is so good, bringing this new birth to each of his daughters! Bless you sister. e.

  35. Karryle August 18, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Comparing yourself is no fun! It gets you into a lot of bad sitituations. I praise God for His love, mercy and forgiveness. We ourselves are the only one we need to compare ourselves to. Are we living as God would want us to, according to HIs will for our lives. Someone elses cross is not ours to carry.

  36. Kiji August 18, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    As always, this was right on time, right what I needed “for such a time as this”

    THANK YOU

  37. Sharon August 18, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    One of a Kind – means I am special! God is powerful to even have the ability to make each of us “one of a kind” and if He can do that, then by all means He can see my heart and knows my individual needs (spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally). Because He created me, ONE OF A KIND, He will provide what I need. It is up to me to see (recognize) and follow what He sends.

  38. Michele Herbert August 18, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    I often feel alone and overlooked, yet I know that my Lord is watching over me. I’ve been divorced for 8 years from a man who physically and emotionally abused me. I am overweight. I don’t date, and no one asks me out. That is fine because I only want to be with someone who loves God as much as I do. Yet, I compare myself to other women, and I wonder if someone could ever love an overweight woman. I fix myself up and do the best with what I’ve got, but I still feel lacking most of the time. I can so relate to Emily’s blog! Even though I know that I’m one of a kind, and that God loves me just the way I am, I still get down on myself. I would love to have a copy of Emily’s book. Maybe that will help! 🙂

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

      oh Michele, I hope you win a copy of the book, sister! I so understand how easy it is to get down … may you hear the Spirit whispering LOVE to you. All my heart, e.

  39. Betsy Mincey August 18, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Wow, what powerful words to read, first thing in the morning. I was sexually abused, as a child, raised by a physically abusive Mother, survived breast cancer, twice, and had brain surgery January 2011.
    I know, for certain, GOD loves me. Thank you Emily.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

      My goodness, Betsy–to be able to know God loves you in spite of your past–yes. Truly, a gift. You have touched me deeply today sister. Your faith inspires me. All my heart, e.

  40. Debra Pacitti August 18, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    HI Sharon: As always your blogs are wonderful and inspiring. The story about Emily Wierenga is wonderful. I have been through quite a bit in my own life with the passing of my Dad with pancreatic cancer and also a co-worker and friend passing with the same cancer. When you are there taking care of these individuals it is so draining but God gives you the strength to carry on and do the best that you can. I always say watch what you say to someone because you may not know what they have been through either and God may be working on them also. You can not know how they feel unless you have walked in their shoes so to say. The experience makes you stronger in the long run for other things that may happen in life. Health is wealth in many ways. You do not need possessions but God to take care of you. I am on a Dragon Boat Team for Rays of Hope (for breast cancer survivors) and it has been wonderful to be around them. Since my Dad passing and having had breast cancer myself I have created a Water Fitness Program for Breast Cancer Survivors and families funded through Rays of Hope grants. It has been a blessing to do this class and many participants have been blessed to hear me say trust in God. Give your problems and concerns to God. I always try to pray for the participants and hope I can be a blessing to them through this experience. God puts you where you need to be most assurably. We may not understand but God does. May God Bless ! Deb Pacitti

  41. Dawn Parrish August 18, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Wow! Powerful, raw and honest ~ I loved reading this and even more, love how vunerable you allowed yourself to be to share this. Wow again. Can’t wait to read the book!

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

      Thank you Dawn 🙂 I’m so grateful it blessed you. e.

  42. Annell Jones August 18, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    When I read this excerpt, I felt the tears pool in my eyes. It is hard to think of myself as “one of a kind.” But I know I am. The problem is that when life starts tearing at my soul, I forget how God see me and get mired in depression. When I finally realize what is happening to me, I start talking to my best friend, God. It is amazing how quickly He starts pouring positive feelings into negative spaces. Things may still be messed up, but when He finishes with me, I see myself in a new perspective. This is one of the quotes that came to me the last time this happened:

    Philippians 4:7New International Version (NIV)
    7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      Annell, friend, you have such a beautiful spirit. I love how God is your best friend. Your surrendered heart brings Him so much joy sister. Bless you. e.

  43. Colette August 18, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    It is so good to be reminded that I am cherished by my Heavenly Father! I am loved by my Creator NO MATTER WHAT !

  44. Mary Riker August 18, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    I know in my heart that I am a child of God, however sometimes I feel so alone. My husband does not know the Lord and I try to put on the full armor of God, sometimes I feel that God is not present even though I know he is. My husband struggles with alcoholism which is very hard on our marriage. Please pray for him.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

      Mary, this is so, so difficult. I will pray, sister—is he open at all to receiving help? I will pray for the Spirit to soften his heart. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help for YOU, friend. Bless you, e.

  45. Amber B. August 18, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    To know I’m one of a kind is amazing!! There is no one else in the world exactly like me. I’m not perfect, but I’m unique and totally different from everyone. I have my own personality, talents, thoughts, etc and I’m special because God made me that way.

  46. Sonya Mortenson August 18, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Thank you for sharing! So easy to be caught in the comparison trap. God has used some mighty events to get my attention and bring me back to His Word of Grace and Love.

  47. Caroline Bell August 18, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Knowing who I am is clinging to the promise that I am a child of the King and what we see when we view other people is not the entirety of who they are and what they can become. Let us encourage each other to love one another and love who God is molding us to be.

  48. Donna Marsh August 18, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Wow. The Lord knew that this is exactly what I needed this morning. I struggle with the spirit of comparison often even though I know that His word says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and marvelous are His works. But the enemy is constantly whispering in my ear saying look at her, you will never be as good as her, as pretty as her, as gifted as her and the list goes on and on but NO MORE!!!! I am a child of the MOST HIGH GOD and I am covered in His blood and I KNOW that He has begun a good work in me and will not stop until it is completed. He has given me power to overcome the lies of the enemy!! He is my biggest cheerleader and He is the banner that watches over me as messed up as I am. HE LOVES ME!!!!!

  49. Christina Shiel August 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    It is such a joyous relief to know that God sees me and that I am beautifully made. Its so easy to let myself get caught up in the world and wonder where I fit in. I dwell on the past and blame myself for the pain I have been through, thinking “I’m not worthy of love”. With God’s help I know that I am loved, always, and I am able to get through the hard days when it feels like there is no hope. I am one of a kind, made in His image and I am beautiful. Thank you Emily for sharing your amazing story! I look forward to reading your book. God Bless!

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Oh Christina, grateful for YOU sister and for your heart that longs to know God more. May He bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. In Him, e.

  50. Deborah August 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Thank you for Emily’s blog this morning. I am so thankful God had turned her struggle into something beautiful and how she was able to help her Mom while she battled cancer. Praise God she is still alive and God healed her. Thank you Sharon for your inspirational messages, they are a blessing in my life as I struggle day to day as well. God bless you both.

  51. Sharon August 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Something touched a core part of my heart when I read this. My Mom died of a brain tumor, in 1982. I was 20, she was 41. I felt so young and helpless. Graduation from college and losing my Mom was surreal. The two did not go together. With God’s love and mercy I have been able to carry on and laugh and love the world, because my Mom would have wanted it that way. I still have my moments … always will …when I miss her so much my heart feels like it’s breaking all over again…but then I remember all the things she taught me, to love people, to love life, to help others in their sorrow and so…
    and GOD saw me…every step of the way!

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

      oh Sharon. Tears sprung to my eyes as I read this. I can feel your love for your mom–it’s so palpable. I ache for the day when we will be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven. What a glorious day that will be! Bless you sister, e.

  52. Rosalyn August 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi Sharon,
    Sorry to hear about your Mom, now I can understand why you have not posted an uodate about the bible study you had considered starting a while back. You have been busy providing excellent care to your Mom! Have a blessed day in the Lord.
    Rosalyn

  53. Barbara White August 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    It is so nice to be reminded that God knows everything about us and how unique we are in his eyes. It’s reassuring to know that I don’t need to worry because he has it all worked out. It means the world to me that I am one of a kind in God’s eyes. Thank you for the reminder. I am so grateful for God’s word and his promises.

  54. Tammy Tkach August 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    In this world where it’s easy to feel like just a number, knowing God sees each of us as individuals makes all the difference. He’s the God who sees me – me – and I can rest in him and be at peace.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      YES Tammy. I love how you worded this friend. We are more than a number to Him. e.

  55. Irma August 18, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    It feels wonderful to be one of a kind, and to know he knows that I exist, I have been going through so much lately that I have questioned myself has he forgotten about me, does he know I am going through so many things? Has he forgotten me? Thanks for this email it came at a perfect time, when I am ready to give up, quit my job and just be nothing.I know he is there and knows me by name.

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

      May you be encouraged dear Irma. He knows you and loves you and will guide you, one step at a time. Bless you, e.

  56. Sharon August 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    I often find me comparing myself to other women. Wishing I could be more like them. So I have to really ask God to show me what is special about me. We have such a great God because he does.

  57. Dawn August 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Ooh How I needed to read this today!
    Thank you for the open, raw, honesty!!!

  58. Jan Lisle August 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    I knew I was one of a kind in Gods eyes when I felt his presence in the psych ward. I was there because I tried to kill myself. Praise God I’m still here!

  59. Janet August 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    This is just what I needed to read today. To be reminded that God has created me
    in his image and knows the amount of hairs on my head. That I am his and he is
    mine and I am one of a kind.

  60. Felicity August 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Thank you, Thank you for this post!! I so needed something like it so right now…. Grateful for timely word. Bless you Sharon Jaynes and Emily Wierenga.

  61. Jan August 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Oh I wonder if God sees me, and if he does, does he lower and shake his head. The struggles, very large. So glad you can say God sees you!

  62. Lisa August 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    That was beautiful! Just the affirmation that I needed of how much He loves me after a really hard Monday where afterwards at my yoga class I let Him fill my head and thanked Him for getting me through a rough day while He answered back that He is always there for me. Thank you!

    • emily wierenga August 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      oh sister–I love how He meets us on the hard days. May you be encouraged, Lisa. e.

  63. Claudia L. Mobley August 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Blessed, to have a God’s love.

  64. Gina Guerra August 18, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    What it means to me to be one of kind. I am created In His image and likeness to be his light in the earth. I have been given a God given task, to inspire minds. And encourage hearts. I am grateful and humbled through life’s twist and turns, God is faithful no matter what.

  65. Cary August 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    Not only does it make me appreciate my differences to know that God created me as one of a kind, but it also helps me to appreciate the differences in others. God does not make mistakes!!

  66. Alyssa August 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    You don’t know how much I needed this tonight. As a twenty year old missionary kid FROM Uganda, I have been crying tonight because I do not fit in this country. I miss Uganda. And these words, and the concept that Emily understands not just how I feel but my home, is too much goodness to handle.

  67. Gena Miller August 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    I am unique. He has given me gifts to use for His glory that may be similar to others’ but no one else uses his or her gift the same way. He made us all different.

  68. Lilian O August 18, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    Thanks Sharon for this piece. It really blessed my heart, reminding me that I’m like a grain of sand in my father’s palm.
    Jesus’ love & mercy found me, cleansed & presented me spotless before my King & Lord.
    Indeed I’m one of a kind for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He called me Delightson, Royal priesthood …….Aple of His eyes.
    I am blessed and highly favored!
    Shalom
    Lilian

  69. Tona August 19, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    It means that I am uniquely made in order to fulfill the special purpose that the Lord designed for me and to use the gifts and talents He gave me in order to see His will accomplished.

  70. Becky K August 19, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    What it means to be One of a Kind – my temple (my body) was created by God and it’s up to me to take care of that temple while I am here on earth. God created me to smile, love and bring life into this world. I am blessed with every breath that I take and smile that I make, because of God’s unconditional love for me, I am living and breathing a journey made by God just for me until I join God in heaven. I’m no one special, just me – One of a Kind in God’s eyes…

  71. Daphne August 19, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    And though I strongly battle and struggle with my thoughts and feelings of inadequacy and the possibility of even God minding my business with the soooooo many people He looks out for, I am reminded of His character, He is Mighty, He is the God of old, the beginning and end and He holds the universe and all that is in it in the palm of his hand. So who am I to worry, if he takes care of the sparrows how much more me, his most loved creation. I am surely one of a kind. Praise His name!

  72. Vanessa Lopez August 19, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    You are one of a kind !! The kind that I deeply love and because of that I died for, to give you eternal life so you will be with me forever . The kind of daughter that is waiting for me to hug her, to listen to ,to laugh with her ,to fill her with joy and make her feel that I love her as she is the only one to be love by Me .

  73. Susy August 19, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    I am one of a kind. I was created for specific purposes that I am to fulfill. I am the only one that could be mom to these six beautiful children God gave me. He pursued me and loves me.
    Thank you for this post.

  74. Victoria August 19, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    We all have a life story that is very similar to others and yet unique to us. Mine is no different. In the last few years God found me and brought me back to him.

    I grew up lacking confidence in how I looked and what I did. I still struggle with these issues but with God’s grace I have come to realize that God does not make “ugly”. He made me beautiful inside and out. I am unique and one of a kind and special. I am learning to place my faith and trust in God to continue on my journey in life.

  75. Kristen L R August 19, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    It means to me that there is a reason for life.

  76. Paula Pezdirtz August 19, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    This is the second posting from this amazing women. Such powerful and vivid imagery – while at the same time I can feel the Lord adding his beauty.
    Felling very blessed she is able to share her journey.
    Blessings to you all,
    Paula

  77. Paula Pezdirtz August 19, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    This is the second posting I have read from this women. So filled with power and imagery – yet I can feel the Lord’s touch in every word.
    We are so bless that she has been able to share her journey – may we all remember we are beautiful and unique in the eyes of our Lord. No life or experience should be discounted as useless or ordinary.
    Blessings to all,
    Paula

  78. Laurie August 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Thank you! I needed this so very much as I too compare myself to others and find myself lacking. However, I’m not … I am perfectly formed by my heavenly Father who loves me and will always be there for me. Each time I see a rainbow, I am reminded of how God’s loving embrace strengthened me through a dark time. Thank you and God bless.

  79. F.C. August 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Today I found out that I have to spend an extra year at university in order to finish my degree because I failed one final exam that is only offered in second semester and I need it to do a few final year courses.

    Guilt, shame, regret, frustration, sadness, disappointment just seemed to all at once stand before me and I had to ask God why me? Why did I have to fail? What are my friends going to think? What will my church think? What about people who look up to me? This is not how my life is supposed to go! What about my 5 year plan?

    My life. My plans.

    So I blocked out everything and everyone and just had a chat with God because He was the only one who can actually understand my heart in the midst of a frustrated situation. He reminded me that His ways and thoughts are above my own (Isaiah 55:8-9). He encouraged me to look back at other times I’ve felt like this and how looking at the bigger picture, I can now understand why some things happened the way they did.

    It’s easy to worry about everything instead of placing radical faith in God that He will take care of us. Now reading this devotion is even more encouragement and I’ll say thank you – both Sharon and Emily for having the courage to share your testimonies.

    To anyone facing a difficult situation: even if others don’t see it as a big problem, you know it is to you. Know that big or small, God WILL take care of you. May you rest in His loving arms today as He leads you on to the next step. Seek God and have faith (Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 6:3).

    God bless.

  80. Mary August 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    I am special. He knows the number of hairs on my head!

  81. Pat August 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    I long to be free of comparison! I do know that I am one of a kind and that I am lovingly made. Thank you for this article!

  82. Linda N August 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    For most of my life growing up, I felt like the average, ordinary, nothing special daughter in my family. Sandwiched between two VERY intelligent and high-achieving sisters, I felt like I did nothing more than take up space. One day, however, I was talking to my parents & telling them how my heart felt and that was the day they let me know I was ONE OF A KIND. They told me that I had a heart of compassion that inspired them & was the most empathetic/sympathetic child they knew. They also reminded me that I was created that way by God because that is exactly how he wanted me to be & I was the only one who could do the job God gave to me. Thank you for posing the question that brought back a cherished memory.

  83. Debbie Kasmar August 19, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Wow as I read this excerpt, amazed how this so fits. Talk about a just in time word, so fitting. Thank you for sharing. Going through much transition in my life. Seeing strong Christian women being all and doing all,falling short, in my mind.

  84. Stacy Marshall August 20, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Wow. I sat and read this and was moved to tears. It is a daily struggle to just be me and hope that being me is enough for everyone else. I have always been self conscious about how I look, what I say right or wrong,how I act and if I am good enough..So thank you for sharing you have given me a lot to pray on and think on.

  85. Joyce August 20, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    Thanks for sharing this. Reading this really made my day. Today wasn’t a really good day at work for me. i didn’t do well and was really getting super insecure about how cause i didn’t do well i would not be that super good intern which everyone would want in their company of that student that teachers would be proud of or that friend someone would want to have. This really came in time. When i read this, i really felt like God is providing. He knows what i want, what i need. He’s always there for me. Providing ways in difficult times. I know things happens for reasons and for what i’ve gone through today was for me to come home, opened this blog and read this.
    Thank you

  86. Kerry August 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    I am the only me there will ever be!!! I become frustrated when I try to be someone other than who God created me to be and try to fill a spot that is not by His design! When I seek Him and flow in the path of who He has created me to be, I am fulfilled and blessed!

  87. Amy August 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Knowing that I am one of a kind is believing that God made me exactly how He wanted to, and that no 2 people are alike, and that’s okay. It’s okay to be different bc we’re ALL different. It means being ok with who we are, with how God made us to be.

  88. Mary August 21, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Blessed!

  89. Sylvia August 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    I am learning that one of a kind means I am a special being created uniquely out of God’s love that makes my worth far beyond the expectations of this earth, but in heaven. God’s unconditional love is the only love worth seeking and keeping him close in my heart and soul will be the only way to ward off the battle scars of negative thoughts in my mind from my past. My weaknesses are what keeps me strong by being completely reliant on His grace.

  90. Carol Mundy August 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    This excerpt is amazing! Really makes you stop and think about how great God is and how He created me to be ME! One of a kind! Totally awesome and inspiring to think that He took that much care and thought just to create me! I have forgotten that for a long time and am just now remembering it again and praising Him with all my heart!

  91. Judy August 22, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    I’d love to read the book.

  92. cindy montgomery August 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    I want to thank you for your words that God put in your heart to share with us. We often need words of encouragement to us at time when we don’t even know we need them. Knowing that words like that to me being (one of kind) mean so much to me that God see me for me and not for my mistake. I love that He seek for me and want me and that make me know that He will alway be there for me in ever circumstances. It makes me feel hope for tomorrow.
    Thank you once again
    Cindy

  93. Caroline August 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I needed to hear this…we need to be reminded of all the miracles our Lord has performed in our lives. God will speak to us through our dreams…and give us peace, and finally…freedom.

  94. Sarah August 26, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    As I write this comment the tears are flowing incessantly. I compare myself to almost everyone I meet and then belittle myself for all my failings. i feel I never do anything right and then my 4 children are the gentle reminders that I did 3 things right and God saw fit to bless me with twins who are 12 today.

    I even find myself comparing my kids to one another, then cry about it that night. I am a hopeless case who knows someone so Special that in spite of all I feel I am, He knows better and loves me anyway. So happy to have read this article and know the power of Gods awesome love.

  95. Katrina August 30, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    One of a kind is a life journey through mountains and valleys, but trusting God is in charge through it all. This blog touched my heart in so many ways this morning.
    I lost my mother to cancer March of 2007. I was her caregiver and pregnant with my 2nd son who was born in May of that year, his brother is 2 years older and we had to be 8 1/2 hours from my husband who loving drove every weekend to see us. It has been a journey with my siblings who struggle…I battled depression following her death…comparing my life to those around me and feeling like I had no friends…but now 7 years later, I still miss her but I feel like I am trusting God more, the ache has lessened and as the depression disappears the comparisons are not as strong, and yet sometimes I struggle to see that God really does see me as beautiful when I feel so ugly (something I’ve struggled with throughout my teen years, accepting myself). God is patient with me and has given me a husband who loves me and helps me through the journey and I am so greatful for such a great God. He truly has led me through this journey of life that is one of a kind! Thank you for this heartwarming blog!

  96. Naomie September 2, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    I really needed to see this today. I feel blessed and I know that I’m one of a kind. A child of the most high God. I feel loved and favored and I’m allowing my God to work in my life on my behalf.

    Thanks Emily for the beautiful encouraging words.

  97. Lisa September 3, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. I always felt alone. I’m 46 and still struggle in accepting me. I have tried taking my life many times in the past many years ago. I accepted the lord in my life and still learning about him. Very grateful for women like you that shard you story and have recovered. It gives me hope. Thank you again

  98. oua September 25, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    I am reading this now and I feel its by divine direction. Thanks. I have struggled with this over time and still on it but I believe I can get over it if you did and by God’s grace.

  99. Robin December 1, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    This is a great message. I’ve struggled for years to become a Mom, but with no such luck! I love my husband, but finding sometimes is this enough! I almost cheated on my husband, and long for forgiveness! I never seem to have female friends! I find myself lonely, lost, and lost my spirit! I look at everyone else with families, and get so sad! I’m grateful that I have an extended family, I’m a great Aunt, but always wondering why God?? Why can I not be a Mom, be a good wife, and have what everyone else has…their own family? I just wonder what is my plan God? I pray and wonder how long do I have to wait! Any words, scriptures, or advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you! Struggling!!

  100. jodi December 11, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    I struggle with comparison and now my 10 year old daughter does and I don’t know how to help her. Thank you for being God’s light in this world.

  101. Rebecca December 15, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Thank you so much for this, you have helped me see my world in a whole new way. I am 15 and the oldest of ten kids and we don’t have a lot of money. I am always comparing my self to others and then wondering what they think of me. Now i know that i should only care what God thinks of me and not the world. I know now that the God of the universe loves me and is watching out for me . Thank you so much for changing my life.

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