everything rides on hope

If you think about it, we’ve all been raised in an incredibly competitive and comparative society. Even if our parents had all the best intentions, school and sports and friends taught us to look out for ourselves, be better than the person next to us, and always, always compare ourselves to everyone. Friends, foes, siblings, celebrities-little boys and girls turn into adult men and women who live their entire life looking from side-to-side, sizing everyone up and then deciding where they land in comparison. Half the time we do it as easily as breathing, a woman walks in the door of the gym, and without even a second thought you’ve already decided her thighs are smaller than yours, her hips are bigger, your makeup’s better, but she definitely has more money. Your pace on the elliptical quickens. Boom. Instant comparison, instant self-degrading. We do it with our friends too.

I caught myself in conversation with God saying “You do know that all three of my best friends are engaged or married right? And all three are on the career path that they want to be on for the rest of their lives. You do get that I am none of the above? Are you listening to me?!” And right there is where He stopped me in my tracks. I can genuinely say it was the first time I came face-to-face with how much comparison was stealing my joy. I feel like my entire life, God continually has to remind me I’ve got you right where I want you. And He’s proven time and time again that even if I don’t understand why I’m in this place, it’s on purpose, and it’s better.

So. By being discontent because my life doesn’t look like someone else’s…isn’t that kind of spitting in the face of the One who put me there? Think about how much you compare your life to other people’s. Whether it’s about the way you look, the job you have, the car you drive, the person you’re dating (or not dating), the grades you make-a multitude of things, that crap gets a hold of you and can quickly send you down a very dark path. Without you even realizing it! And all the sudden, there you are with a blessed life-a job, a boyfriend, great friends, a cute little house, and you’re discontent because it doesn’t look like someone else’s. Or what you think it should look like. When you can realign your thinking with Jeremiah 11:29: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” {& for those of us who grew up in church, for whom this verse has lost it’s gravity, I hope we can regain that) we can have peace again. Hope again. Hope & faith that your Savior knows that what's best for the person next to you isn't what's best for you-even if you think it is, gosh darnit! It might be the hardest thing I do every day to release the death grip I have on my present and my future and let God take it over. But it's the best thing I do everyday.

Everything rides on hope.

I think just being aware of how much of our day is spent comparing can be huge for change. Even now, it’s kind of cool to watch myself grow, to realize I’m comparing myself to some poor soul in WalMart that has no idea and make myself stop. And as far as the comparison we hold with our friends, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing what you want one day. I know that I want to be a wife and a mother and be passionate about my work, and that that’s not where God has me right now. But how cool is it going to be to watch Him get me there one day?

Pretty cool.


Naara said...

That picture is TOO funny. I love your blogs. They are refreshing & sometimes they are wake up calls, to me at least. Looking FWD to your next one.

Nicole said...

oy. life takes so so much filling of the Holy Spirit. cheers for the growth in your life.