The Day I Lost My Baby Weight & My Friends: The Comparison Killer

Cradling an infant at 23 years old, we were new to town,  and I needed friends. BAD. While most of our college buddies were starting careers, getting married, and traveling to fun places, we were knee-deep in caring for a colicky, beautiful, little girl who never slept.

Longing for a place to belong, we settled into a new church community, and within those walls, we found everything we needed – solid preaching, great music, a good children’s program, and lots and lots of newborn babies.

At first our Sunday morning conversations felt awkward, shallow, and forced. Content to just “press through”, we kept attending and trying to reach out. Making friends with a few people, we started to feel more comfortable, but overall, there was an invisible wall between me and some women in the class.

Several months into our daughter’s life, the sleep deprivation gave way to postpartum depression. Feeling like a caged animal in our tiny apartment, I desperately needed some outings, some companionship, and some authentic community. With my husband’s urging, I stepped outside my comfort zone and attended a women’s event one evening.

Walking into the chatter-filled room, I scanned to see if any of my friends were there. Finding a familiar face, I took the seat beside another new mom, eager to share stories about life with little ones. A few sentences into the conversation, she said something I will never forget…

“Sarah, do you want to know why some of us don’t like you in this class?”

Me: (awkward, long pause)…um, yes, I guess I do. *Gulp.*

“Well, it is because you had a baby three months ago and have already lost your baby weight [Side note: I hadn’t]. Some of us in here are still struggling after 9 months, and we don’t like you for it.”

She got up and walked away.

Why do we hurt one another so much? Why do we let petty, insignificant things keep us from experiencing true community? Why do we make judgements, instead of celebrating who God made each of us to be? Why do we use the measuring stick of comparison on those we are called to love most?

Using other people to determine our worth is killing our communities, restricting our impact, stripping us of joy, and, most of all, causing us to forget who we are in Christ.

 

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We are loved (Romans 5:8), chosen (John 15:16), and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are forgiven (Hebrews 14:16), justified (Romans 3:24), righteous and redeemed (Colossians 1:22). We are the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15), and are uniquely designed (Isaiah 64:8). And we are FULLY QUALIFIED (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Our worth is not measured by the size of our clothes, the number of kids in our minivan, how much money we make, or the applause we get online. It isn’t about our ministry numbers exploding, our marital status, or the color of our skin. It isn’t about the spiritual gifts we have received or the number of people we’ve led to Christ.

Our worth lies solely in our citizenship in heaven. In Christ WE ARE ENOUGH.

So let’s make a deal. As a generation of Christians, let’s fight the temptation to compare our bodies, our families, our vocations, our ministries, and our assignments. Instead, let’s make church a safe place, a resting spot, where joys are celebrated and struggles cradled; a place where we call out the gifts and talents in one another, celebrating the obedience and Kingdom-building impact happening in our midst.

Through that edification, our communities will see an unleashing of men and women who know who they are in Christ, and behind them will be an army of believers who remind them when they forget. And the world will be changed for today, tomorrow, and for eternity to come.

And that, my friends, will be a beautiful sight to see.

What is one way your community supports and encourages each other well?

14 thoughts on “The Day I Lost My Baby Weight & My Friends: The Comparison Killer

  1. Thank you for sharing! Church should definitely be a place that we can all come together to celebrate each other and provide support. God made us all unique and we should embrace those differences and celebrate others. Sorry that you experienced that but it’s awesome that you can now use it as a teaching experience. Also, you never know what someone is going through. We have to be careful when we judge a person by one thing.

    1. Thanks for sharing your voice here, Courtney. As I started to write this post, God reminded me of something. Though I don’t think I have ever verbally said anything like this to another woman, I have definitely thought it in my head or felt it in my heart. The” wrongness” of it is all the same in God’s eyes, and it can have similar consequences with our walk with Him. What a different it would make in our communities is we did celebrate and embrace one another! It is my prayer for the church!

  2. To be honest I am floored that happened! I sorta can’t move on beyond. It makes me so mad that someone who calls herself a Christian would do that and I think maybe it’s JUST HER. But that being said…wow, now, I can’t move on. Jesus Take the Wheel!

  3. Other people can make us feel unworthy, but if we stop for a moment, we would realize that we are all in this together. We are all sisters in Christ and we all struggle with something.

  4. Wow. And what is so funny, I have been writing about comparison as well. Isn’t it amazing how God pulls us together? As another person commented, people do make us feel unworthy at times. We are sisters and should build one another up in life and in our walk. However, God is always right on time.

  5. How awful and incredibly cruel! Tearing others down in an attempt to elevate or justify our thoughts and emotions is so hurtful to all involved.

  6. Oh, I love this post so much. First of all – – I can’t believe someone said that to you!!!! Second, I totally agree with this “So let’s make a deal. As a generation of Christians, let’s fight the temptation to compare our bodies, our families, our vocations, our ministries, and our assignments.” Because, the truth is, we don’t know what other people are going through. We make so many accusations against others in our heart when we don’t know the truth. I did lose much of my baby weight (with one of mine) quickly – but many didn’t understand the anxiety and depression I was suffering with (because I was also struggling with an autoimmune disorder). We need to love like Christ loves. Thanks for being so honest.

  7. My goodness, I can’t believe she said that, let alone thought that! I’m so sorry you had to experience such hurtful words from another Christian and to be singled-out by your appearance, regardless of it being good or bad. But yes, we have to stop comparing ourselves, and more importantly, to live the way that Christ instructs us to: seasoned with salt and filled with light instead of darkness. Thank you for sharing and spreading goodness, unlike that individual in your class!

  8. Amen to this! I can’t believe this was said to you so frankly. This post is a good reminder to look at each other how God looks at us. None of us are perfect, so we should stop trying to live like we are.
    Thank you for this reminder!

  9. Wow! Sarah, I am so saddened to read this interaction! It brings to light some nasty lies we feed when we let Satan whisper in our ears. It also makes me sad that I have had thoughts like this. Where I have felt less because of the success and beauty of another woman. I would never act on such comparison, but it’s just as bad to think and dwell on. You are right, our only worth and confidence is in our Heavenly Father! One way our community tries to combat the comparison trap in Mommas is by having Mom’s groups. Our church offers a lot of community opportunities with other Moms! Moving here has really helped me see that all moms look different (inside and out) and we all do “Momming” our own way. Stay encouraged, Sarah! <3

  10. Now that I am nearly fifty I suppose my reaction would be to laugh at the frailty of the human race. How sad that you had to go through such needless rejection and how sad that that woman was caught in such a shallow comparison.

  11. I can’t imagine someone saying that! I’m so sorry you experienced it. Oh, how we all long for true community. Thanks for sharing your story so we can all examine what we think about others (even if we don’t say it out loud), and realize we are all sisters in Christ. Words are so powerful. May we build up and encourage one another.

  12. It’s amazing how hurtful people can be when their perspective is not on Christ and His kingdom. I’m sorry you had to endure that but I praise God that it built you and made you stronger rather than making you bitter and withdrawing. In our community we have a fellowship dinner at our little country church and whenever someone isn’t there it’s noticed. Thank you for this encouraging and powerful article! God Bless You dear Sister in Christ.

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