“…significant figures in the life of faith were fashioned from the same clay as the rest of us…fan clubs encourage second hand living…scripture, however, doesn’t play that game. Something very different takes place in the life of faith: each person discovers all the elements of a unique and original adventure…each life is a fresh canvas…” Eugene Peterson, Run with the Horses

I used to morph into other people.

I hid myself behind a series of manufactured lives.

Being someone else, living out all the good and beautiful things I saw in them seemed better than the vision I had of myself. I was immature, never good enough, awkward, and sad. There was this cloud over me that showered me with lies. This “morphing” began when I met her.

I wanted to be vibrant and wise and mature, all of the things I figured I wasn’t; all of the things she was.

She was smart and alive and I had never met anyone like her. I hated her, but wanted to be her. For years I fought comparing myself to her.

Years.

I constantly compared myself to her. She was living out every thing I wanted, and seemingly doing it so well. I especially envied her relationship with Jesus. She always seemed so…spiritual. She just loved God and life, and she oozed vibrance. She could share the gospel in fresh ways and her face lit up when she spoke. It hurt, feeling absolutely small in her presence. Insignificant. A waste.

I was second-hand living, which really isn’t living at all.

Then there was the change.

I don’t remember when or how, but it happened. I chose to be me. Always. Sometimes quieter, sometimes louder, but always, always me. And I never want to live second-hand again.

How To Live a First-Hand Kind of Life

Remember Your Roots

Piece by piece you were put together by the artist of galaxies. You were His idea. And if you know Him, then you are perfect, complete, righteous because of Him. You are in process, and a serious messer-upper (because hey, you have a sin-infested blood line), but He’s got you covered. Be all of you, intertwined with Him.

The combo is beautiful.

Purpose to Live the Story of You

I know that woman says the right things. She’s funny and smart and man does she seem to have life figured out. She’s pretty too. Why can’t you just be more like her?

Because, you’re you, so forget her story and live your own (tweetable). You’ve got one and it loves the unfolding. If you struggle with comparison or morphing to be like someone else, purpose today to live out of your story. Purpose to enjoy who you are; give the world, give me, YOU.

Don’t Idolize

You, me, her, us, we are made from the same clay. We all have dirt on our heart; we all need Jesus. You don’t see behind the screen, the door, or the smile. You see a piece of a grand human puzzle that only God knows intimately. Don’t idolize anyone. It hurts them and it hurts you. Remember the clay.

Keep Your Eyes on the Artist

It’s easy to look up to someone else, I know. But friend, if you keep your eye on the artist, if you look up to Him and keep your gaze focused, His other works will just be beautiful to you because they are His. You won’t need to be the same, you won’t need to compare, you can just enjoy the glory of His grand scale of color and texture and DNA and personality.

You can be in awe of the human puzzle He paints.

“You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.”

Psalm 139: 14-16

By Sarah Mae, the one and only

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  1. 1

    Hurting hearts…I think tend to hide behind the seemingly perfect. I chose that same path all too often and for too long. A friend and I recently talked….it was identified to me, this need to be like, to fit in, so…morphing into someone else, could be pride. I’m still pondering this… hurting hearts survive, I’m not sure they understand pride… but, I’m learning to be me – keeping my eyes on my Father and his Son – truly grasping that I (and all created) are beautifully created in his image. To sit in shame-to hide…is to deny that. Thank you, Sarah Mae for this beautiful post.

  2. 2

    Sarah Mae, this is what you need to write. More of this. Beautiful, encouraging truth. Loved this. Keep making much of Him.

  3. 3
    Christie says:

    Very inspiring! What a great way to start the day!

  4. 4

    AWESOME!!! Thank you for this, Sarah Mae!! Great, great truth. The glory of God is man (or woman) fully alive….

  5. 5

    the moment when ALL becomes beautiful … Thank YOU

  6. 6

    Oh, Sarah Mae…I agree with Dana…this is AWESOME!! Recently I looked inward and realized that I was constantly comparing myself to those I perceived to be part of the “in” crowd of bloggers. It took me a bit to realize that HE created me to be ME, to blog for HIM and to tell MY story…and not to compare myself to others.

    Thank you for such an inspiring post.

    Hugs~
    Mary
    http://www.marybonner.net/

  7. 7

    Thank you for those encouraging words. I can apply them to my life today.

  8. 8

    Thank you. Just the reminder I needed this morning.

  9. 9

    Such. Beautiful. Truth.
    Thank you, Sarah Mae.

  10. 10

    this here IS A BOOK! really. refreshing. clear. powerful. seeing HIM as the perfect artist takes our eyes off of our imperfections and ONTO his power and grace.
    tahnk you. thank you. thank you.

  11. 11

    “The artist of galaxies”. Yes! So I had changed clothes and shoes twice for my shopping trip today. When I realized what I was doing I said out loud, “Who cares?”. Trying to dress for others is boring whether if is for shopping, career, ministry, motherhood, or keeping up with the Joneses. Before heading out the door I found this in my inbox. :) . It’s time for a Me revolution.

  12. 12

    This is BEAUTIFUL, Sarah Mae! LOVE your 4 thoughts!

  13. 13

    This is something I need reminding of daily even though from the outside, my life seems pretty “put together.” But I’m always slipping back into wrong thinking about my Father’s design when He made me. I have also found it freeing to really absorb the truth that God does not have a limited number of blessings to hand out and if we don’t happen to come up with the talent or gift or skill today (while we see someone else flourishing in said blessing) then it means we have missed out on it or God doesn’t plan to deliver it to us. Once I really understood and believed that God’s goodness and favor is boundless and there isn’t one huge storehouse of blessings that He pulls from, but rather there are individual storehouses of blessings with our names on them from which He supplies us, I was able to rejoice when I saw someone else have success in losing weight, for example. Or I could freely enjoy seeing someone else be chosen to lead the Bible study class. When I got it that a blessing arriving in someone else’s life didn’t drain away the blessings I was waiting to arrive in my life, joy and freedom to be me (and trust His schedule and plan) became effortless.

  14. 15

    Applause ! I think you have hit on a kink in the heart of most women. Thank you for your wise words of women to be who they are.

  15. 16

    Thanks Sarah Mae for the perspective. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing this until another sister in Christ’s words pierce our hearts. Thanks for speaking through Him. Praying His blessing on you today!

  16. 17

    I just finished the book “She’s Got Issues” by Nicole Unice and I was reminded how she said the only person you should compare yourself to is the YOU God wants you to be. Thanks for sharing today.

  17. 18

    Thank you! This post has encouraged me to look at a very specific situation in my life in a new way. Thank you for having the courage to write from so deep in your heart and to share it with us, your readers.

  18. 19

    This was an AMAZING post! God really spoke to me. Thank you for seeing Truth and expressing it in such a way that it would really speak to others. LOVED THIS!

  19. 20

    Great post… I would love to hear more details of your struggle and how it turned around.

  20. 21
    Deb Stevens says:

    i thought of one person while reading this and it totally hit a nerve. thank u for this.

  21. 22

    You are describing my life! Thank you, I need that reminder to love the women around me that I am so easily jealous of.

  22. 23
    Rachel Joyce says:

    That was wonderful! Thank you so much. That is truth to live by!

  23. 24

    Thank you for writing this. On reading your words I have had a revelation. I’ve spent all my life trying to be someone or something other than the person God created me to be. What a waste; so much wasted time trying to play the part. My heart aches. I will think on your words very carefully and thoughtfully. On reflection, I think maybe it’s because we don’t really like the person we see ourselves to be and that is not what God wants. He asks us to love His creation. I will copy this and keep it in my Bible as a reminder for myself. These lines you have written are mighty words and perhaps even life changing.
    Blessings Gail.

  24. 25

    So hard at times to stop ourselves from comparing or feeling worthless compared to another person. The answer as you say is Jesus and seeing ourselves through Jesus eyes so we can feel valued and quietly confident in who we are, that indeed we are an okay person. I think if you have suffered trauma it is even harder to feel as of worth as you percieve others to be. Only seeing ourselves through Jesus eyes can help us with this. I still have a long way to go…Thank you for your important message.

  25. 26

    Well Said, Sarah Mae … and a message that is timeless for women. May I reference you on my blog, Echoes of Grace???

  26. 27

    Wonderful! Thank you.

  27. 28

    Wonderful post! I, too, have had to learn first-hand living! My own story is so much better than living someone else’s!

  28. 29

    Wow. I love this. I needed this so much. Thank you for writing.

  29. 30

    Oh, how my heart needed this. I am a morpher, a hider, a chameleon. How I want to take the reigns as I begin my 30th year and live into myself – the one He intended me to be. That’s all I want my baby boy to know me as, and see me being – just me.

    Thanks for the push.

  30. 31

    Lovely post my friend!! I’ve been slowly learning these things as I have “grown up” {wouldn’t you think you’d be done growing up once you’re in your 40′s?}. I know this post will be an encouragement to many women. Hugs! :)

  31. 32

    At 70 years of age, it has taken a lifetime to truly find out what first-hand living is all about. Thank my precious Lord that He loves me just the way I am.

  32. 33

    (P.S.) Thank you Sarah Mae for this wonderful post. I still need to read it every day.

  33. 34
    Beth Williams says:

    Sarah Mae,

    Wow, such eloquently beautiful writing! You certainly have a way with words!!!

    I often compare myself to others & must learn that He made us individually–& for a purpose! Love looking at All His creations–sky, trees, flowers. animals! It puts my mind in awe of HiM!

  34. 35

    Thank you for this-I’m in the midst of discerning if I’m supposed to take a new direction or continue on the one I’ve been on for awhile. I want to do what God is calling me to, not what the world expects me to do. Thank you for the reminder that I need to be be, not a fan (copier) of someone else.

  35. 36

    Oh, my! Your words resonate strong. But, it is a frightening thing, to do what you tell me to do, to live my own story.
    I appreciate this post, so much! Thank you.

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