Have you ever been in that time where it just seems like everyone around you is getting the exact thing you’ve been hoping/praying for? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Have you ever been surrounded by one person after another who seems to receive the very blessing you’ve been begging God for? I think we think that we’re the only ones who struggle with this, and in that we keep it to ourselves until it comes out in a bitter and resentful way. But the truth is, it happens to everyone.
We all go through these times of seeing other people walk in what we think our path should be at this very moment. And we get jealous. Bitter. Let the comparison game begin.
All my life I’ve wanted this job. I’ve known it’s my calling. But the companies aren’t calling me. Meanwhile, this girl who just applied on a whim got the job. MY job. What does she have that I don’t?
I’ve been praying so much for really great friends. Every time I start to become close with someone, they move away or get really busy. But I go on Instagram and see all of these girls with their amazing best friends and I start to get down on myself. What’s wrong with me that I can’t make & keep friends? Why do they get such good friendships? What am I doing wrong?
I’ve been single for 3 years, but it seems like every week a new one of my friends has gotten engaged/married/pregnant. I’m so happy for them, but every one of their milestones makes me a little bitter. I don’t understand why this is happening for everyone else but not for me. Does God love them more than me? Why does He want them to be happy but not me? I’ve tried doing things “His” way and I know they haven’t. So why is He blessing them when I’ve been doing things the right way?
And the one thought that is a big faith killer: Don’t I deserve ______ too?
The truth is, not all of our stories look the same. Let’s be honest, how boring would it be if we all had the same story? I was once in a place where the ones in charge tried very hard to make everyone look the same. It was not ill-intended, as they led out of their own experience and what worked for them. The problem with the cookie cutter mindset is that you’ll never be who you truly are. You’ll never experience God’s fullest plans for your life if you’re letting others dictate “God’s plan” for you only through the lens of their experience. And when this starts to happen, the comparison gets even worse, especially if your story was never supposed to look like theirs. You’ll say to yourself, “I did A and B, so why is C taking so long for me? She has C and this other girl has C without even doing A and B!” Meanwhile, God is saying, “If you would seek me and my direction for your life, you would see that I wanted to lead you into E and F because G will make you happier than C ever could.”
It’s okay for our stories to look different! It’s okay for our stories to look different! It’s okay for our stories to look different!
The next thing I have to say might seem a little harsh, but I feel it on my heart so incredibly strong. The next time we get in the comparison game and ask ourselves, “Don’t I deserve _____ too?” We need to stop. Immediately. We need to dive back into the Word of God and shake off the pride that our plans and desires for our lives would be better than God’s. Outside of times when we’re being blatantly disobedient, if God wanted us to have something right now, we’d have it. His plans for our lives are better than we could ever imagine. But in order to truly walk in all the things he has for us as individuals, we have to humble ourselves tremendously. We have to surrender the facade that we have control over our lives. We think that because we did A and B we deserve C. We stayed pure in our relationships and let God be in the center, so don’t we deserve to be married?! We welcomed the new girl and walked through a tough time with her, don’t we deserve a deep two-sided friendship?! We made the best grades and did all the extra work, don’t we deserve that job?!
No. We don’t deserve anything as a product of our “hard work.” In saying we deserve an outcome, we are saying we worked for something. Us. By ourselves. We did it! We deserve it! But the error in that thinking is that we’re denying God. Without Him we are nothing, without Him we can do nothing. So to say, “I did this so I deserve that” is robbing God of His glory of what we did with His help. It’s taking His strength as our own. But when we acknowledge that every achievement we have is only through the grace and help and strength of God, we become quick to stop the sense of entitlement.
A job. A relationship. A friendship. A baby. A lot of money. The world tries to tell us that all these things will make us happy. So these become the things we worry about. They become the things we strive for. But the Bible tells us that when we seek first God and His Kingdom, all of the things we worry for will be given to us (Matthew 6). Maybe it will happen in the way we expect, but what I’ve learned in my walk with the Lord is that most times, the best things happen to us in ways we could never plan ourselves. The biggest blessings I’ve had were unexpected, but now I know to expect big things when I surrender my plans and let myself be led.
So a word to myself and anyone else who just feels behind in life, whatever area or areas that may be. If we’re walking with the Lord, we’re not behind. Not even one step. He has an incredible journey for each of us- a different journey for everyone. Let’s make the choice to enjoy where we are in this moment, right now. Let’s choose joy and lean into Jesus for it. Let’s be sure not to miss the blessings He’s wanting to shower us with daily. We can’t let the world tells us that we’re behind because the ultimate truth is that it is impossible to be “behind” when the God who invented time is guiding our steps.
We’re exactly where we need to be 🙂