15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah's eyes were weak,[a] but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Genesis 29:15-18
Have you ever felt insecure? How about that feeling that no matter what you do or how well you do it, you will never measure up to "her"?
We all have encountered "her" at some point in our lives. "Her" could be the old classmate who went off and started her own super successful business after graduation while you are still working a 9 to 5 and struggling to make ends meet. "Her" could be the supermodel who gave birth 6 weeks ago but is somehow already back in a size 6 while you have been working hard to still lose that stubborn "baby weight" from 3 years ago. Or maybe "Her" is your own sister. Life seemed to deal her nothing but winning hands while you have been dealt nothing but the proverbial "short end of the stick". She was prettier, more popular, and even ended up with the man of her dreams. If anyone can relate to this last situation, it would be Leah. Described only as having "weak eyes", her sister Rachel by contrast was described as beautiful in "form and appearance". Then add on the fact that Jacob fell in love with her seemingly perfect sister and was even willing to work 7 years for her and I'm willing to bet you that Leah wasn't the queen of high self esteem.
Growing up I never really had a problem with self esteem. I mean I struggled for a few years in elementary and middle school with bullying and wanting people to like me, but when it came to having confidence, I had plenty to spare. I knew I was cute, I made really good grades and somewhere around my junior year of high school I decided that my singing ability was going to make me the next big superstar. I planned on being just like Britney Spears, only blacker...and shorter. So after graduation I headed to college on my way to super stardom. I spent my freshman year undeclared, but sophomore year I decided to take that leap and become a music major. Little did I know that reality was about to hit me and that it was going to hit me hard. You see I come from a little country town where everybody knows everybody. Everybody knew that I could sing in school and I was active in the school's chorus and gospel choir. When it came time for solos in the choir I didn't have much competition. Essentially I left high school feeling like a big fish in a small pond. But then I got to Norfolk State and it seemed liked everybody could sing...ok let me correct that, they could SANG...and not only could they sang, but these kids came into the program knowing how to read music. Mind you, reading music was something that I told my high school chorus teacher I would never need to know how to do because I just had "it" and my talent alone would make me successful (if I could knock my 16-year old self upside the head believe me I would). Now here I was in a room full of students who all had "it" and suddenly I was a little fish in a great big pond and it scared me.
It scared me enough that the next year I switched my major to Mass Communications. Instead of trying to work it out and learn, I had found myself comparing myself to my classmates. I felt like I didn't measure up. There was always someone I thought that had a better voice than me...or was a more talented performer than I was. So I decided to major in something else. Mass Communications turned out to be a great major for me and I just knew that my talent combined with my new college degree would lead to the perfect job after graduation. Sadly, that didn't happen and I would often find myself after graduation checking former classmate's social media pages and seeing how they had went on to start successful careers. Again, those old feelings of insecurity started to resurface.
Then when I became a wife and a mother these feeling only intensified. If you know me then you know my love for all things involving celebrities. I watched these celebrity moms balance relationships with children and careers and still look totally hot while doing it. I even found myself comparing myself to women that I knew, whether they be coworkers or family members, who I felt were better wives and mothers. As I approached 30, the more I began to feel like somehow I had failed at this thing called life. Then around my 30th birthday I began to develop an even closer relationship with God, which caused me to discover just how he felt about me.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" Jeremiah 1:5. You ever heard that old saying "God don't make no junk"? While it may sound cliche', it is definitely true. God knew us and had a plan for each and everyone of us even before we were conceived and not only did he have a plan, but those plans are "to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11. As I started to realize who I was and more importantly, whose I was, I started to see myself in a different light. So yeah, I still may not be exactly where I want to be career wise...and I still may be 10 pounds (ok maybe 15) shy of my ideal body weight...and my kids may still turn up way past their bedtimes and eat cookies for breakfast...and my husband may still pluck every nerve I have left that the kids haven't already plucked sometimes... but I've also learned that everything and everyone that seems "perfect" isn't, meaning even the people that seemingly have it all together, have things they are dealing with (if you need an example look at my bestie Beyonce'... her "Lemonade" album and Jay Z's "4:44" album gave us all the tea about their relationship issues). I've also learned that our timing isn't always the same as Gods timing, so in the mean time I am just learning to focus on me and how incredibly blessed I am.