It’s only natural to compare ourselves to others. But just
because it’s natural doesn’t make it healthy or holy. Why? Because it’s the easiest way to reach discontentment. It steals our joy. It makes us jealous. It robs us of appreciating the story God is writing in our lives. It discourages us from loving and serving others because we feel the need to be pitied.
other’s stories: my singleness and my journey through Thyroid Cancer. Human companionship and desiring to be known is a God given desire. It’s a beautiful, righteous, holy and sanctifying thing if you get married. In my story, I have never been out on a date and at the age of 24, I can allow the experience of my friends and college classmates get to me. In the last 3 years, I have been invited to 30 weddings. Filling out all those RSVP cards where there is an option of a “plus one” and never being able to check it off becomes disheartening. There have definitely been some dark, lonely, and pitiful nights, but I allowed myself to compare my story to their story. I couldn’t rejoice with my friends that were entering into a wonderful gift from God. I was being selfish. I was being ungrateful to the story that God is writing for my life. On my blog, I actually wrote a post about the reasons why I am thankful to be single. I encourage you, if you struggle with singleness, search Triple Braided for Brenda’s amazing series on PeaceFilledSingleness, and my website for some various posts on singleness.
Now, onto the cancer. My sophomore year of college, I was a relativity healthy 160 pound woman. But during my junior year, unaware that my thyroid was reacting to the tumor; I gained about 15-20 pounds. Then, over Christmas break, I was diagnosed, had surgery, and scheduled radiation. Because your thyroid controls many bodily systems, including your metabolism, I gained another 15-20 pounds during this time. Over the course of the next two years my weight would fluctuate, but would gain about another 15-20 pounds. As I seemed to balloon up my confidence decreased quite a lot, I compared myself to my friends, who at the time where starting to date, get engaged and plan their weddings. Countless times, I would cry in my room by myself and wonder why God was writing my story this way. Why would He have me take a detour through Cancer before reaching what I used to think was the ultimate destination of Marriage, while my friends didn’t have to walk through this kind of trial? There I go comparing again. It wasn’t until a year into my recovery from my first surgery that I was able see that even with the scars, the stretch marks and the extra weight, that skinny, healthy and married doesn’t mean that God loves you more.
It all starts with comparison. Comparison steals our joy. We become discontent and we lose sight of the amazing story that the Lord is writing for us. It might not always seem amazing to us, but each of our stories, being written by God is a masterpiece. Are you allowing comparison to steal your joy for the story God is writing you? Do you struggle with singleness or body image? Or maybe yours is that you are recently divorced, or you are financially struggling to make ends meet, you are looking for a job and can’t find one, your children are not as perfect as you thought they would be, or your husband isn’t as loving as he used to be, etc. If you are struggling with your story, and with comparing our journey with others, please take the time to sit down and write a list of things about your story that you are thankful for, and then write a list of things about your story that you SHOULD be thankful. Spend some time in prayer over both lists. Each day, try to add a few things to the lists.
Megan is 24 years old and just graduated from graduate school with her teaching license. She is a daughter, sister, friend, math geek, blogger, cancer survivor, and bachelorette. She is becoming a fitness enthusiast, homemaker, and teacher. She love the LORD and desires to use the talents He has give her for His glory. Travel over to He will be Faithful and join in her journey through a life ordained by God.
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