LaKeisha Rainey Collins: Beauty for Ashes Column
Don’t view yourself as inferior: You are amazing just the
way you are!
Blog by Lakeisha Rainey Collins
Posted July 3, 2017
My family is preparing to move into a new home,
and in the midst of sorting through some of my
things I came across my collection of old journals. I
have at least 20 or more of them, dating all the way
back to 2010.

The pretty, spiraled purple one with colorful
butterflies caught my eye. Whenever I come across
old writings of mine, I’m always interested in seeing
where my thoughts were at that particular moment
in time. The pages of my journals tell some stories
that would make for great novels someday.

I’ve dealt with some stuff, hear me?!

Anyway, I opened the old journal to a random page
dated March 22, 2011. At that time, I must have
been struggling with my self-esteem and comparing
myself to other women, because I came across this
affirmation:
Credit: Getty/DigitalVision/Image Source
    “I am a woman of purpose.  I am a unique individual, intricately crafted by the hands of The
    Master Craftsman.  No one else possesses the beauty, talents, gifts, or greatness placed within
    me before the foundation of the world.  I do not compare myself to other women, because no
    matter how amazing I believe they are, I know that I am equally amazing.”

Retrospectively, I can definitely say that I hadn’t always believed those words I wrote to be true.  For a
long period of my life, I felt inadequate and inferior.  I compared myself to every woman I believed had
a better life than mine, and in my eyes, everything about me greatly paled in comparison to those
around me.  I thought everyone else was prettier, smarter, more accomplished, more talented, and
possessed a greater purpose than me.  Whenever I sized myself against others, the end result was
always the same – I never measured up.  I didn’t look at the lives of others as inspiration to better
myself; instead, I used others’ strengths to magnify my own weaknesses and shortcomings.
 What is
so wrong with me that I can’t just be like everybody else?
I’d think.  I hated those feelings, and my
continuous self-criticizing thoughts eventually caused me to hate myself.

Not only did my constant comparing produce self-hate, but also jealousy and envy.  I often felt jealous
of other women because I didn’t know how to properly channel my admiration towards them so that it
positively influenced me.  I circled the mountain of incessantly comparing myself to others for many
years, and part of my struggle with depression had a lot to do with the fact that I never felt I measured
up to the greatness I saw in others. I mean, I had too many negatives against me.

Not only did my constant comparing produce self-hate, but also jealousy and envy.  I often felt jealous
of other women because I didn’t know how to properly channel my admiration towards them so that it
positively influenced me.  I circled the mountain of incessantly comparing myself to others for many
years, and part of my struggle with depression had a lot to do with the fact that I never felt I measured
up to the greatness I saw in others. I mean, I had too many negatives against me.

Fatherless child.

Raised in poverty.

Molested.

Promiscuous.

Addictions.

Nothing good could come from someone who had so many issues. At least that was my twisted way of
thinking.

I remember praying a lot and just seeking God to help me change the way I felt about myself. I don’t
recall the exact moment, but I finally came to this realization:  Who told me that I had to measure up to
anyone? Where did I get the idea that the life belonging to the lady next to me set the standard for my
life?  If I was created in God’s image, then why was I trying to conform to that of someone else?
Comparing yourself to others was equivalent to telling God – who does all things perfectly well and
makes no mistakes– that He didn’t do a good enough job when He created me. When I criticized
myself, I criticized God’s perfect handiwork. When my mind and heart embraced this truth, my self-
view completely changed, and so did the way I loved and valued myself. This is why it is imperative to
take your eyes off of
them and keep them on Him.

Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s masterpiece.  If God considers each of us His masterful work
of art, we should never disrespect His work by treating it as inferior to another.  In God's eyes, there is
no one better than you.  There is not one person on this earth to which you can be compared
because everything about you is unique.  Your beauty, intelligence, gifts, talents, economic and social
status, purpose; your entire life’s plan is unique to God’s design for your life.  Just as your DNA
cannot be matched or compared to anyone else’s, neither can anything about your life.

You were not created to measure up to anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ, and His principles
and standards of holy, righteous living.  Absolutely nothing about you is supposed to be anything like
anybody else. YOU are His greatest, most original and valuable design. According to Psalm 139:13, in
your mother’s womb, He meticulously knitted you together and made all of the delicate, innermost
parts of your being. According to Genesis 1:27, He created you in His own image and likeness, to be
a reflection of the perfection He embodies. And according to Jeremiah 29:11, as He designed you, He
did so with a plan in mind, a plan that leads you to a future and a hope. You are not merely a result of
the physical connection between your father and mother, but you are a strategically produced
masterpiece, designed by the Creator of the entire universe, and are purposed to fulfill God’s specific,
predestined plan for your life. And none of that changes because of your life’s circumstances or how
you think you fail to measure up to the next chick.

You possess an inner-stitching which consists of your character, personality, gifts, calling and
anointing, that sets you apart in a world of look-alikes. There is no need to desire to duplicate,
replicate, or emulate any other person upon this earth, because the only thing you are wired, or
originally designed to be, is you. No other person in this world sets the standard for who should be,
for every detail of who you are is tailor-made to fit the specific purpose God designed for you.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you see that? You are beautiful and amazing, just the way you are.
You are enough. You are good enough, in every way. Don’t you beat yourself up another day for not
living up to the lie that you have to be like
so-and-so. No comparison, sis, no comparison.

Whether you are formally educated or educated by the hard knocks of life…

Whether you waited until marriage for sex or you have entertained countless men…

Whether you come from poverty or were born with an inheritance…

Whether you were rejected by your parents or deeply loved by them…

No matter what you look like, where you come from, or what you have experienced, this truth remains:  
You are one of a kind, created by the Master with great purpose in mind. You are a reflection of God’s
beauty, a precious picture of His grace, and a jewel in His eyes. Despite where this life has taken you,
you are enough and your value will never depreciate.

Marvelous are God’s works. This your soul should know full well.

Read last week's blog: The power of vulnerability

LaKeisha Rainey Collins is an Mobile, Alabama-based wife, mom of three boys and one girl, Founder
of Beauty for Ashes, Inc. and author of two books --
Beautiful Me and My Baby Has Wings. Learn
more about her
here.
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