February is coming. Oh wait, nope, it is here. I’m terribly hypocritical of this month; I love love love Valentine’s Day, but only when I’ve got someone to share it with. When I’m flying solo, it is fine grain sandpaper on my heart. We’re talking good ol’ 36 grain on my fragile little blood-pumper. I am jealous of people who have a romantic partner. I’m basically jealous of anyone about various things. I’m even jealous of the people who aren’t jealous. It is a rocky road, y’all.
What is even harder for me is that most churches decide to do a marriage series this month. I’ve honestly been filled with such anxiety and tension about attending services this month due to our marriage series. Now, I know, I know; it’ll be good for later. Thing is, I thought now would be ‘later’. In my life plan, I was gonna be married with kids by 25. I’ve now pushed that goal back to 30, but 26 is creepin’ up now and I’m all out of sorts again. So see, I know that the marriage series every year will indeed help me, but I figured I’d be in marital bliss when I went through them. As I sit here, alone on my couch, watching my dog chase the bugs that intruded when my windows were open, it is painfully obvious this year will not be that year.
In an authentic effort to help myself, I’ve been letting go of my own plans. But in that way where I still hope they come true… A few days ago, I started a 5 day devotional in the Bible App on comparison. (I encourage anyone to follow devotionals about whatever you’re going through, by the way!) So this morning’s devotional was focused on how we definitely all wish we had something some other gal has. It made two fabulous points I’d like to share with you.
- Pray about your discontent. “I wish I had a ___ like hers. Help me be content with my own gifts; ______, _______, _______.” Recognizing the jealousy will help us be honest about our hearts, but it also gives us a chance to reflect on what we do have. Now it isn’t always “I wish I had a family like hers.” It can be a gift someone has that you don’t feel you have. Truth is we’re all made for different purposes, so your gifts are yours for a reason!
- Keep pace or keep peace. You either keep up with her, or you make peace with her, and yourself. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want you racking up credit card debt just to look like that women’s ministry leader you idolize at church. Oh yeah, I went there.
Y’all we as women cannot fake or feign innocence on this topic. We’ve all been here. We’ve all thought “if we just posted more happy family photos like her” or “if I just learned how to cook like her” or “if I just looked better I’d be the boss like her”. I’m right here with you in this mess. This month I basically want to punch the face of anyone who posts sappy Instagram photos, who announces an engagement… really anyone who isn’t me, crying on the couch watching Love Actually and sobbing into my gelato. That’s why I’m doing that devotional, and why I’m writing this. Life is hard, let’s be honest about it, okay?
Somehow this verse resonated with me after reading this devotional. 1 Timothy 6:7 NLT says
After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.
Sweeties, lovebugs, darlings, look! Whatever we have here on earth, including husbands, wives, children, fur babies – none of that comes with us. Usually this verse bums me out, like ‘man, God, harsh’. But it is actually so freeing! We aren’t chained to this world by anything. Having a 2016 Grand Cherokee will not make me a better Christian woman, however it will definitely make me broke as heck. Having a shiny new engagement ring will not make me happier. (Okay mayyyybe it would for a little bit, but for the purpose of this post, you understand my point.) Nothing I earn, gain, hoard, collect, or love here means much of anything. Ouch.
Now does God want to bless me with a husband? I believe so. What He doesn’t want is for me to be SO wrapped up in seeking a husband that I lose sight of Him. God wants His babies to have nice things, but not at the expense of His glory. It is a thing I’m still learning, still pushing through, still struggling with. But God is faithful, and when I keep my heart open and honest with Him, even my woe-is-me, Netflix-and-cry, hot mess of a 25 year old self will be okay when March 1st rolls around.
P.S. The devotional is based on The Comparison Trap by Sandra Stanley. It has it’s own app and plan that I will be checking out. You should too!