Psalm 139:1-6 & 13-18
I wrote this song after a conversation with my little sister. We were talking about the power that comparison has to steal our joy. The struggle is real. Whether it’s flipping through a magazine, walking down the street, or scrolling through an Instagram feed, comparison calls to us. We see the way a girl is wearing her hair, or who she went to the party with, or the job promotion she just got/vacation she just took/meal that she just made, and all of the sudden we are “not enough”. We don’t measure up, and what we have been given… our bodies, our jobs, our friends, our gifts and talents, our homes, our everything is not enough.
During our conversation about this age-old struggle, my little sister said something that stuck with me: “I spend so much time trying to make sure I fit in or measure up, but at the end of the day, I don’t really have time for that anymore. I want my life to be about something so much bigger than myself and I’m sick and tired of thinking about me. I want to be wrapped up in the story God has for my life, to be about doing the good works He’s prepared in advance for me to do (Eph. 2:10). I want to start actually living like I believe that what He says about me and about my life is true, and I want to start measuring my worth by what He says.” She’s 10 years younger than me, but I’m always marveling at her old soul.
After our conversation, on the days when I’d be gazing too long in the mirror, worried too much about the way I look, or at Instagram, worried about how I should be a better mom or artist or friend, I’d start asking these questions, “What if I took God at his word? What if I actually believed that I am fearfully and wonderfully made? What if I lived like all the days ordained for my life really were written in His book before one of them came to be? Wouldn’t that change everything? What if I shifted my focus from myself, to the face of the one who made me and who cherishes me as His own daughter?
I grew sad and hopeful all at once, and I started writing Wonderfully Made out of one of my favorite Psalms, 139. I was sad for all of the time that I’ve spent hating on myself, letting shame and fear run my days, looking at other people or to my own performance in life to measure what I’m worth. I was sad for all the joy that is stolen when we pine after something that we don’t have, when we lose that battle of comparison. I grew sad for the way the world defines beauty and success, and for the way that we all get so misguided and are left striving after something that doesn’t exist…the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect parent, the perfect outfit, the perfect life. So I wrote this song to offer myself an alternative, to shift my eyes from myself to my Creator’s face, and when I take the time to actually do this? I’m relieved and revitalized. I’m reminded that I’m His and that He’s mine, and that He’s got good plans for my life. I’m reminded that this life isn’t so much about me or my “performance”, as it is about telling the beautiful story of His love, over and over again in a thousand different ways. I began to realize that there is a powerful alternative to comparison. Instead of falling prey to the traps comparison comes with, I began choosing instead to meditate on the incomparable love He has for us. It changes everything.
Here's me with my little sister Carly! Thrilled to announce she is making a record! It releases June 15th! Listen to her beautiful voice and songs @carlybannister on Instagram.