A Work In Progress

Have you ever felt like you needed to catch up in life? Like yours wasn’t as put together as others? Sometimes it feels like other people live these magical extravagant lives and have it all together and you’re wondering when you’ll finally get your ducks in that pretty row. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in comparing our life to others, especially on the internet. I didn’t evercompare my life to anyone else in that way until a few months after becoming a mom. I started feeling bad about myself for things like: still trying to finish school with a baby and wishing I could finally have some things I dream big about. I don’t think there is anything wrong with dreaming big either, but there is a right way to go about it. There is also a difference between dreaming and doing and right now I’m in the long doing process. My problem is getting frustrated; feeling like I’m not even close to being in “that place” yet all because of comparison to those who are. Comparison has taken me away from me being content and grateful for the things I was content and grateful with in the beginning of the year. The things I praised and thanked God for.

If I’m being honest it can be hard to be happy for others when you see them living what you always dreamed of. You wonder if you’ll ever get to a place even a little like that. I’ve started to get depressed over it, especially this time of year. I sometimes get sad when I look around and also get asked certain questions that crush me inside. People don’t know though, because they’re normal things to ask . Every year I hope it’s the last year I have to deal with it. Coming out of the sadness has been a daily process. Some days are rougher than others but I’ve had some good guidance, thanks to God and my husband along with a close friend. I’ve been thinking about sharing for a while because I think many people can relate to it but just don’t talk about it because it might feel embarrassing.

There are two things God’s been whispering to me the past few months: “learn to work with what you got” and “be thankful in the now.” Each day these words repeat and get louder and louder. I’ve also been hearing testimonies of people who were in some tough situations years ago and seeing them now I would have never guessed it. God worked everything out for them according to his good. I’ve learned everyone has a story and God does things in our individual lives on his perfect timing. Comparison is just nasty lies from the enemy to get us tripped up and feeling sorry for ourselves. The more I go to God the more I overcome and actually become happy for others like I should be. I’ve noticed this is a mountain I’ve gone around from time to time. I’ve gone into panic mode and all God has ever been saying is “Please trust me, don’t try and fix it yourself like you did all the other times or go listening to negativity.” If i’m going to be real sometimes certain people add to the stress. Right when they open their mouth you hear the doom music playing over your life while they’re saying, “OH NO what are you going to do now? or  “this is bad!” Then pushiness comes in to now impulsively go to do this or that. I’ve drowned in the negativity by people who have no idea how to share hope or encouragement. That is why I believe in being careful with who to go to.

I was listening to John Gray speak and he was telling the story of God showing up in Solomon’s dream. God told Solomon to ask for anything and out of all the things Solomon asked God for wisdom. John Gray then said something that stuck with me which was, “When you ask for the right thing he’ll unlock the rest of the things. Don’t ask for money. Ask for character because if you have character when he brings money you’ll do right by people and you won’t treat people different thinking you’re better than them because of your bank account. Your bank account is not a measure of your integrity. Ask the Lord for character, humility, patience, joy and a grateful heart.” John Gray also pointed out Nehemiah 8:10 where Nehemiah says “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Strength is what I desperately need and I cannot get past this on my own. I have to make it a point to think eternity minded because some days are rougher than others when my mind drifts to sadness when I look around or get asked the questions. If I didn’t have God I’d have no hope or ever find joy. He keeps me from dwelling in the sadness, HE is the one who lifts me up and gives me the joy and strength in my weakness. Not only do I want to be thankful in the now but I want to be thankful in the always. Remembering to be eternity minded is what changes my perspective around.

Before I close this, I just wanted to say that I didn’t share this to shine pity but because I felt led to share it. It can be scary putting yourself out there. I don’t want to share with you only the parts of my life that look pretty.  I don’t believe I’m in this alone and I know others have experienced this at some point. HE is guiding me through this process. I am God’s work in progress. I hope that those wise words from John Gray will also encourage you like it did me.

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