“At some point in the core of every woman’s soul, an ache begins to form.  It starts with a glance or a glare, a conversation or a comment.  It digs deep into the wonder of our worth.  But it ultimately takes the shape of the question:

In her new book, WhyHer? 6 Truths We need to Hear When Measuring Up Leaves Us Falling Behind, Nicki bears her own struggles and encourages the reader to be brutally honest and wrestle with the comparison trap.  Here’s an excerpt from her book:

“I spent the first few years of my childhood in the small town of Coolidge, Arizona, about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. My family was by no means well-off. We always seemed to have just enough to get by. Rarely was there room in our budget for extras, like the pair of black-and-white saddle shoes I desperately wanted. Do you remember those? They were calling my name in 1985.
My dad was the high school football coach, so I spent a lot of Friday nights with my mom and brother in the bleachers. The game itself was anything but thrilling to me, but I didn’t mind going because it meant I’d be able to watch the cheerleaders. That was exciting.

I dreamed of the day when I, too, might hopefully be out there in a pleated skirt with pom-poms, making the crowd roar with enthusiasm for our team. The cheerleaders must have known how much I looked up to them because in the middle of one football season, they invited my best friend and me to come cheer with them at an upcoming game.

Our elementary schoolgirl excitement was out of control. High school cheerleaders?! YES! We practiced in the backyard every chance we could get leading up to the game. One afternoon, we even put on our homemade uniforms. But my zeal for this opportunity quickly faded that day as I looked down at my friend’s feet. She was wearing a pair of brand new, shiny, black-and-white saddle shoes. The same kind the high school cheerleaders wore. My thoughts screamed silently with envy: What? Where did she get those? I need a pair too!

I went to my mom later that night and pleaded for saddle shoes, knowing full well our bank account didn’t match my begging. No matter what I said, it didn’t matter. We didn’t have the money. Must be nice, though, being a girl in a family who did. But this event in my life, especially as I look back on it, helped me discover something about comparison that stuck with me. Honesty teaches us to stop fearing what we don’t have so we can see what we do.

Honesty teaches us to stop fearing what we don’t have so we can see what we do.

Right before that big football game, my mom actually did find a pair of black-and-white saddle shoes I could borrow from someone else. No, they weren’t shiny and new like my friend’s were. In fact, they were pretty scuffed up and a little tight on my feet. But even though they were obviously not as nice——I was thrilled with them. I took pride in them. I loved them.
I mean, sure, every time I looked at my BFF in her saddle shoes, I felt a little stab of jealousy and discontent. But there were no new saddle shoes coming to me. I knew that. And by accepting the shoes I had, I was able to get honest with myself about it. To be okay with it. I decided I didn’t want my envy to ruin the excitement of this opportunity.

Honesty about the source of our comparison issues can lead us toward being hopeful again. Admitting the situations we face each day that try to make us feel less-than is an important first step—recognizing them as soon as possible, calling them out before they take root and spiral into a lifestyle. Being honest enough to call out comparison the moment it happens will help us regain our control of it. Maybe you don’t desire to be the number-one person in your company.

Maybe you don’t care if your house looks anything like a Pinterest picture. Maybe things like college educations don’t really faze you. But something does. Some sour reality that makes you feel like you’re not measuring up. And until you get honest about it, you won’t be able to conquer it…

For you, it’s yours. For me, it’s mine. And when I think about these struggles in my own life, and what it means to be honest about them, God often takes me back to this verse: “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to somebody else,” (Galatians 6:4, NIV).

Comparison can sneak into my heart no matter how strong my level of gratefulness and awareness. But by taking the time to recognize and thank God for the blessings He puts into my life each day—by taking a good, holy, healthy kind of pride in my current situation—I’m much more able to stay honest and content with who I am and who I’m not.  Staring too long at the success of someone else can make us miss our own satisfaction with life.  And there’s simply too much that’s beautiful about you and me to lose it all on her.”*

Let’s be honest for a minute here: are there any areas in your life where you find yourself slipping into the “must be nice” syndrome? 

Why Her? Really forced me to look at these areas and more.  Nicki walks the reader through the six important truths which, for me, gave me the freedom to come face to face with my “must be nice” and “why her” questions.  You can grab a copy of Why Her? from Amazon, Lifeway, or your favorite book retailer.  You can also sign up for the FREE online bible study for this book with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

*Excerpted with permission from Why Her? by Nicki Koziarz. Copyright 2018, B&H Publishing Group.

Nicki Koziarz is a wife and mom to three girls plus a handful of barnyard babies.  They live just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  She is an inspirational author, Bible teacher, and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Nicki leads from her own brokenness that somehow God is making meaningful.  You can connect with Nicki in her website, Facebook, or Instagram.

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