Lies We’ve Believed | An AMH Blog Series
I have two siblings, and one statement I think I can fairly confidently make is that siblings are far too often compared and contrasted to each other. “Oh, they’re the funny one,” they say, or “They’re the shy one,” the list goes on and on.
The Musician and the Mathematician
For me, as the youngest child where both of my siblings are ridiculously musically gifted, I was very often asked, “So, are you musical like your siblings?”
My answer every time… “Unfortunately no, I am not at all musical. I’ve taken years of lessons, but nothing stuck. But my nickname is the human calculator. I’m really good at doing math in my head.” For some reason (sarcasm implied), the ability to do math was not greeted with as much enthusiasm as their question about my musical talents.
After being asked these questions time and time again, it became solidified in my head and heart that being a musician gets you more love than being good at math. I was not good enough as I was. If only I were musical, then people would like me. It did not help that almost all of my friends were musicians, so I really felt like the odd one out in a lot of social situations.
Now, here I sit at 27 years old, still not musical in the slightest, but happier and more at peace than just about anyone you could ever meet (all glory to God). How did I survive the lie that I was never going to be enough without my musical skill? You see, I took my heart’s longing to the Lord and realized I was never designed to be a musician. The only reason I strongly desired it was because I thought not being musical made me worthless. However, God was able to speak truth into my heart. He pointed out that I was believing a pivotal lie, that because of the sample size of musicians I had seen and the expectations which were placed on me, I thought I was a failure because I was not like others.
Choosing Encouragement Over Envy
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
I think it’s so easy for each of us to desire the talents of someone else, especially when those talents are higher on the scale of interesting party conversation factoids. Having lived a bit of life after high school, I can safely say that I would not trade my math brain for musical talent. God has used that unique talent of mine to help so many people. And every time it does help others, I’m reminded that it’s because the unique gift God has given me.
Once I had already solidified in my heart how much I loved my unique gifting and had come to terms with the fact I was not naturally musical, I asked God, “But why didn’t you also give me musical talent?” I remember His sweet answer to my spirit was, “Because this way you can truly be in awe of others and encourage them in their musical gifts.” You see, it just so happens that encouraging others is another huge passion of mine. The fact that others have talents I do not is a chance for me to build them up. All the while they can feel safe around me, knowing that I am not judging them or comparing them to myself. They can simply receive my encouragement for what it is, a celebration of the gifts and talents God has given them. So whether someone is good at art, science, music, and any of the other areas I do not naturally excel, I can be there, cheering them on. If I were envious of their gifts, I would repeatedly miss out on those opportunities and relationships, and all the fun I have building them up.
God knew what He was doing when He created me to be me; it just took me a while to realize it. I pray today you’d take a moment to ask God to show you areas where comparisons (by yourself or others) may have changed how you view yourself, and I invite you to ask Him to show you the truth of who you are and who you were made to be. Maybe you were designed to be musical, funny, a trivia buff, a carpenter, gentle, bold, etc. I encourage you to embrace the talents God has given you so that you can live fully in joy as you walk through life.
INSPIRED BY THE BOOK LIES YOUNG WOMEN BELIEVE