“Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
We all know this iconic phrase from Disney’s Snow White, the story of a young princess being ruthlessly hunted by an evil queen for being the prettiest in the land (according to the enchanted mirror). As much as I wish I could say I am like the sweet, innocent Snow White, I more closely relate with the evil queen. I too spent many years comparing myself to those “fairer” than me and allowed seeds of bitterness to take root in my heart.
I despair to think of all the time I’ve wasted standing in front of the mirror, absorbing its lies:
“If only you were 10 pounds lighter you would be pretty.”
“If only you were tan.”
“If only your nose were slimmer then maybe guys would like you.”
“If only your hair was more voluminous.”
If only. If only. If only.
I would stare into the mirror until I became disillusioned; seeing only a shattered perception of who I truly was. I believed I was less because I couldn’t measure up to the perfection I saw in others. I hated who I was, or at least who I thought I was and I became completely blinded to the fact that God created me for a specific, special purpose. It wasn’t long before I became so fixated on copying others and trying to become like them that I lost sight of who I really was.
And then one day, after a lot of heartache and a lot of desperate cries to God, Jesus opened my eyes. I realized the mirror is not enchanted… it’s cursed. I realized how much time I had wasted, how bitter and unhappy I had become, trying to be “perfect” like every one else around me. I believe it’s time, as children of God, that we stop trying to be someone else and become who the confident women God always intended us to be! I’m making it my mission to help other young women to break free of the notion that they have to look a certain way to have a meaningful life and here’s how:

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparison really is the thief of all joy.
Galatians 6:4-5 (NIV) says, “Each one should test their own actions. The they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”
You will not find true happiness until you stop trying to be someone else and start doing your best to be who God created you to be. Comparing will only cause you to become bitter toward yourself, others, and God. The fact of the matter is that you will never measure up to another person because you aren’t another person! You are you and you are enough! The quicker you realize this, the quicker you will find true joy and happiness in life.

2. Praise God For Creating You To Be You

God created you. Let me say that again, God created YOU !
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV) says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
What a beautiful passage of scripture and how life changing it can be when you apply it yourself! You were not made to be like everyone else. You were created, specifically designed, for a purpose far greater than you could ever imagine and don’t you dare let anyone every tell you differently! Stop blaming God for who you aren’t and start praising God for who you are.

3. Understand That God Doesn’t Make Mistakes

You are not a mistake, Not one thing about you is an accident; not your weight, not your height, not your awkwardness, your quietness, your loudness, nor your shyness.
Numbers 23:19 (NIV) says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
God knew exactly what he was going when he created you and that’s not going to change. God created you for a specific purpose, a purpose that only you can fulfill. He created designed you exactly as you need to be to do what you are called to do. Instead of praying for God to change something about you, pray for God to help you embrace that very thing you want to change!

4. Trust That God Knows What He’s Doing

Trust God. I know it’s easier said than done, I really do understand, but trust God.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says (NIV) says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'”
I struggled with my calling to women’s ministry for a really long time. I’m no Priscilla Shirer or Beth Moore and I’m not the kind of person you would expect to lead others. I’m quiet, awkward, and an introvert. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and many would say I am  unqualified to advise other girls.
I used to sit and list off all the reasons I shouldn’t be in women’s ministry and God said, “Do you think I don’t already know all of this.” That shut me up real quick because it was true. Nothing I had said came as a surprise to God. Not only did he know all of my mistakes and misgivings before I was even born, He created me for the purpose of women’s ministry anyway!
I realized the the reasons I had been telling God “no” are the very reasons He was telling me “YES!” I felt God impressing upon me, reminding me of all the times I had prayed for a leader, a mentor, a friend and I realized He wanted me to be that person for others!
So I know it’s hard and I know things may not make sense for a long time, but TRUST GOD!

5. Fix Your Focus

Please, above all else, fix your focus on Jesus! Stop worrying about how you look and concern yourself with what God’s will is. Put down the mirror and pick up the cross!
Matthew 16:24 (NIV) says, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'”
We waste so much time thinking about how we appear to others and what they think about us. What would happen if we took that time and focused it on serving God and making a difference? Remember to put God’s opinion above the opinions of others.
Have you struggled with self-esteem and accepting yourself? What are some ways you have found to build self-esteem?
-Sierra Smith
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