I'm pleased to have my online friend Kristin Smith as my guest today in the "Comparing Ourselves to Others...and what it does to us" series. We first met last year through Holley Gerth's God-sized Dream Team and it's been a pleasure to get to know her. Kristin writes from her heart at The Riches of His Love and is a mighty prayer warrior. Please take time to visit her blog and welcome her here by leaving a comment. ~Laura
The word "blog" was something I hadn't even heard of until January 2008. My husband and I had tickets to attend a Selah/Point of Grace concert and we heard that the lead singer of Selah wasn't going to be able to attend. His wife was carrying a baby that was "incompatible with life" and she was due to deliver the same week as the concert.
The radio station gave the name of Angie Smith's blog, and asked us to pray.
I wasn't even sure what I would find on this blog, but I wanted to read more about this family. So that night, while using my incredibly slow dial up internet service, I logged on and found myself engrossed in a story I hadn't expected.
Here was a woman, who had made a choice to carry a baby they were being told wouldn't survive, and she was praising God in the middle of it.
I was heartbroken for her and yet inspired by her faith. My own prayer life changed as I found myself praying for Angie and her family. I watched as a community of strangers left comments and encouragement, offered up prayers and showered them with love.
Until that time I didn't know that community could be formed online.
And then in February of that same year my husband and I had a miscarriage. I was really struggling with the loss, even though it was early in the pregnancy, and I needed a way to process everything.
I had journaled as a teenager and thought that maybe this blog thing might help me. And so my first family blog was born.
I had 4 readers, literally 4. My parents and my grandparents. J
Initially, I was writing for me….finding a way to work out my faith in this grief process I was going through. The writing was healing for me and while I didn't have an audience of 10,000….I was so encouraged by the community that I had seen form online, that I kept going.
Then somehow I stumbled onto a few more blogs and "met" other women who were dealing with pregnancy loss and infertility struggles. I was not alone. And while none of us had the same story, I recognized that each individual story mattered. (<=== Click to Tweet)
What I found, was a common thread. Women who loved Jesus, yet experienced heartache and pain. Women who wanted to work out their faith, with fear and trembling, and were doing so by writing.
I discovered that even though it felt like it at times, I was not alone in my struggles.
The stories that I read gave me hope. Encouraged me to keep going, keep trusting God even when it hurt. Even when I couldn't see the light through the pain.
Many of these women have gone on to write books, or be contributors on "big" blogs, even have become speakers for conferences. Some don't blog much anymore while others, like me, don't have a huge following but keep sharing their stories because they want to offer encouragement to others.
No one of us is better or worse. Maybe based on the world's standards, some are more "successful" than others. But that shouldn't be our focus should it?
We each have a story and no one can tell your story like you can! (<=== Click to Tweet)
We should stop basing our worth on the number of "followers" we have, or how many Facebook "likes" we get, and remember that if our writing, our posts, encourage just one person - then it was worth it!
If I spend my time comparing where other bloggers, that also started out in 2008, are today to where I am….I might be pretty discouraged. Instead I recognize the amazing friendships that I am privileged to have, all because of this online community.
That alone has made this journey worth it and I thank God for it!
If you find yourself discouraged by your "stats", remember that God isn't keeping score. Just keep telling your story, the one He has planned for a very individual you.
Your story may be JUST what someone needs to hear, to have the hope or the courage to keep going for another day! Isn't that reason enough to keep telling our individual, unique and important stories?
I think so!
Do you struggle with comparison? It can be our biggest enemy! I'd love to hear if you are struggling and I will be lifting you up in prayer!
Kristin Smith is a wife and mother, but most importantly, a daughter of the King – redeemed by His grace and so very grateful for it. Kristin blogs at The Riches of His Love and is the Prayer Team Leader and a Contributing Writer at God-sized Dreams. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Linking up with Sharing His Beauty