Another year of my life has flown by and I can’t help but reflect on this last year. While my life has felt abundantly rich in love, adventure, and blessings, it’s also been met with the reality that all my desires, hopes and dreams for my life haven’t seem to be met yet. This last year I can say that its definitely taken its toll on me. I haven’t felt my best physically, emotionally, and spiritually. At times it has seemed like such a battle to keep joy in my life. The thoughts like “ok God, when?” and “how much longer?” seem to be the theme. We aren’t meant to understand God and all His ways and why things happen in life the way they do. He’s just simply calling us to seek Him and trust Him. It’s so much easier said than done and at times can feel so exhausting. All of the things in our hearts that we burn for are there for a reason and in His perfect timing will come. I’ve recently been reflecting on the lyrics to this song by Kristine DiMarco: “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He’s in the waiting. Hold on to your hope as your triumph unfolds, He’s never failing. And You who hold the stars, who call them each by name, will surely keep your promise to me, that I will rise in your victory.” I’ve always felt like throughout each day I’m just “waiting” for the next thing to come instead of embracing every moment as it comes as God’s plan for me. I always thought that by this time in my life that certain desires of mine would have come already. At times I’ve felt depressed, defeated, and so frustrated! The verses of the same song come to mind: “Slow down, take time, breathe in, He said He’d reveal what’s to come. The thoughts in His mind always higher than mine, He’ll reveal all to come. Sing praise my soul, find strength in joy, let His words lead you on. Do not forget His great faithfulness, He’ll finish all he begun.” Whatever you’re going through today friends, whatever you’re waiting for, whatever it is your heart burns for, God knows. Continually trust Him and seek Him with your whole heart and know that He’s in the waiting.
In a smart phone world saturated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and so much more, it is so easy to find ourselves comparing ourselves and our lives to what we see all over social media. We scroll through photos or videos looking at what our friends, the people we follow, or what celebrities are up to, where they’re vacationing, how happy they are, what they look like, how busy they are, and how successful they appear to be. Then suddenly we find ourselves looking at our lives and realize how “insignificant” we feel, or how “unsuccessful” we are, or how “boring” our lives are in comparison to others. Or, were just left feeling sad afterwards and wonder why. I’m sure in one way or another we’ve all found ourselves doing this. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are doing this because it’s such a routine for us to “check in” to all these social platforms. When we start comparing ourselves to others, how are we left feeling after it? Some people would say discouraged, unhappy, jealous, defeated, unimportant, not good enough, etc. So, why do we as humans do this to ourselves? Is it because we don’t like who we are or what we’re doing with our life? Is it because we don’t know who we really are and what God says about us? Are we unmotivated and uninspired and trying to gain inspiration from the world around us?
We’ve all heard the saying “there’s always going to be someone prettier than you,” “there’s always going to be someone smarter than you,” or “there’s always going to be someone better than you.” I’ve heard this statement being used a lot regarding the topic of comparison and it has always bothered me and I could never figure out why, until just recently. I realized that all it really does is set someone up for immediate comparison, and suggests that in our best effort we will never be good enough, or as good as this person or that person. In addition, I find it discouraging and completely counterproductive to its purpose as a statement. But I say, who defines your beauty? Who defines your success? Who defines your worth? Yes, we all have our unique gifts, talents, and strengths, but let’s take the focus off of what other people have and start looking at who YOU are and what God gave YOU. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are a child of God, you are loved, you are enough, you are unique, and you are called to a great purpose. “God is asking you to believe He is who He says He is, believe you are who He says you are, and then live like you believe those things”-Rick Warren.
Stop comparing yourself to others and stop believing lies about yourselves. Start saying what God says about you and let it change the way you think about yourself. Then, as a result, it will change the way you live. I had a dear friend, Linda Wilson, that passed away and one thing I remember her saying when I spoke to her about this several years ago, was “what’s theirs is theirs and what’s yours is yours.” Stop looking to the left and to the right and start realizing what you have and be thankful for it all. In moments when you feel yourself comparing yourself to someone else, just stop! Put your smart phone down, close your eyes, and ask God to give you the right perspective. Ask Him to tell you what He thinks about you. Ask Him to show you what He has in store for your life. I promise, you will find so much joy and satisfaction when you truly know who YOU are in Him and what He has planned for YOU.