Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Compare and Despair


I was talking to my brother late one evening about a month ago.
I rocked nervously in a chair located in our backroom. Sitting in the dark I began to cry as I let out what felt like weights that I had been carrying around my neck for months. 
Feelings of inadequacy. Feelings of failure and fear surrounding my health. Surrounding my motivations and goals. Things that had not turned out the way I expected them to. 

I went on to choke out that I saw all these things that others had. Babies. Health. 
The freedom that comes with being able to chose the time you have those children. 
And the purpose behind goals. The purpose behind a career or raising children. 
Neither one that I had. 

And in the midst of my blubbering my brother spoke quiet but firm words of truth.
He told me that I was comparing myself to others. 
I was seeking my purpose in other things instead of finding it solely in my God and having a right heart before Him.
He said that I needed to stop playing that game of  "compare and despair."

Have you heard of it? 

Because I realized I have often participated in this game and the slew of emotions and feelings that go along with it. 
It's a game that I have become better at as I have grown older. 
Sometimes I'm not sure I even recognize that I'm playing or participating in it. 
But, slowly and over time, I can feel the emotional and spiritual toll. 
Quite comparable to chains that become heavier and heavier until all I can do is crawl around on my stomach. 

His words rang true. I was looking at myself and the myriad of situations that I hadn't expected and then comparing them to others. And not always specific people our circumstances. 
But, in some cases, I was simply comparing my reality to the unknown reality of expectation and so many of the lies we hear as woman.
 Lies that are slowly taught and whispered in our ears by the world around us.
Even by the people that are close by.

Believing the lie that we all need to fit into this ideal by this age and have this number of things accomplished by then is not only mocking the plans God has for us, it is quite debilitating. 
It keeps us in bondage. It weighs us down. It keeps us silently ungrateful. 
It makes what we have not enough. It makes us despair. 

We despair because we compare ourselves to an imperfect world that we hold in silent reverence. 
We do this instead of bending our knee to a perfect God that says we can rest. 
That we can find all we need all we are in Him. That we can find more purpose and more joy in living our life to glorify Him than all the world could ever give. 
There is freedom there. 

As woman, we need to kill this burden of our own expectation (or the expectation of others) in our lives. This burden of comparing ourselves. This seeking other lives to live instead of our own. From believing that some how what we have is not enough or not good enough. 
I am learning this too friends. I am learning to expectantly wait and hope on God alone
I am learning that there is no freedom in comparison. 
There is no freedom in attempting to follow the patterns of this world with all it's silent expectations. 
But, I know where there is freedom. I know where these chains can be cast off. 

Whatever expectation you are holding onto. Whatever you may be comparing yourself to. 
Or your situations to. How ever long that despair has had a foot hold in your life.
Lay it down at the feet Jesus and walk in freedom. 
Walk in His grace. 
It's enough.



6 comments:

  1. You have a unique role in the body of Christ. God is the only source for gifts and His plan is perfect for each of us. My husband and I are struggling to conceive as well. I feel God is leading me to consider adoption. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you for that encouragement Leilani! I am grateful for those prayers and I will keep you and your husband in prayer as well!
      That is the beauty of the body of Christ: being able to pray for each other! :)

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  2. I so needed to read this...exactly right now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and thank you to your wise bro.

    Cheers
    -D

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    1. Oh I'm so glad that it was encouraging to you. It's amazing how God knows exactly what we need to hear at specific times in our life.
      I am so grateful for that. :)

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    2. --and thank you for joining the photo friday blog hop. happy weekend!

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  3. That is so true "compare & despair" - I do it all the time. Thank you for this perfect message. You have a wonderful blog!! I'm your newest GFC follower from the “Photo Friday” blog hop - this is my blog if you wanted to follow back: godsgrowinggarden.com
    Thanks
    Angie

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