I was laying down in my bed after a pretty tough day (definitely not the day pictured here).
Not a typical tough day, but one that put me face-to-face with my uncertainty, comparison, and struggles with doubt within my mind.
I grabbed my iPad and began to read one of the books I’m currently going through, Love that Lasts, by Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke.
These folks are full of wisdom. I have really enjoyed hearing their raw and vulnerable experiences in their marriage and family, as well as their take on society’s method of navigating these pivotal moments in one’s life. These two are great at striving to be fully present, and speaking truth into the lives of their readers/listeners.
Anyway, I was going through a chapter Alyssa wrote about her single years in college, and came across this chunk of text that really spoke to me:
“Likewise, God is giving you what is best in this very moment. You can trust His good work in your life. God is writing a good story just for you. It’s your story. It doesn’t look like anyone else’s story. It is unique and set apart and beautiful. Even if it doesn’t feel beautiful or is not what you would have written, it is good, and if you let Him, He will bring you into joy that you never thought possible.”
I had to pause.
GIRRRLLL…that is SOMETHIN.
Take a second, and think of a time when you didn’t lean into the process of the writing of your own story.
When this friend got married.
When that friend had a baby.
When this co-worker got a promotion.
When that family member took a trip.
When that influencer wrote a book.
When that girl lost 20lbs.
And you just kinda…were.
Do you ever feel that way? That someone is just GETTIN. IT. (woo! get it girl!)
And you’re just on hold?
100% been there. 100% done that.
How many times have you compared what you’re experiencing in you life to someone around you? And maybe even used someone else’s life as evidence as to why you feel unfairly treated.
I cannot COUNT how many times I have fallen prey to this type of mental game.
Even with my post praising COVID-19 brides weeks prior, I find myself struggling with planning a wedding during this pandemic. Not struggling to actually do what needs to be done, but struggling through the uncertainty of whether things would happen the way they are listed in my Google Doc. (Does this make me Type A?)
Why should I have to exclude people that I want to be there? Why must there be guidelines threatening MY wedding, when nobody else in my whole life, to my knowledge, has had to navigate something like this? Why do I have to create a plan A, B and C? It feels like I am on plan Q. Help.
These thoughts swirling in my head has just been breeding ingratitude and restlessness in my soul. How unhealthy is that?? And really missing the point of it all, am I right?
I am a teacher. A large ensemble director. And music programs and performing groups across the country could likely be cut, due to both budgetary and safety reasons. It is reasonable to assume that I am concerned about my job. And at times (a lot of times, if I’m honest), I’m envious of those who aren’t threatened with discontinuation of something they’ve known.
Listen, sister. OWN your story.
Yes, it is hard to watch others get what you have wanted.
Yes, our hard-earned efforts may crumble, and we will grieve them.
Yes, there is fear in the unknown
Yes, reality may prove to be totally different than your well thought-out expectations.
Yes, you may have to erase items on your calendar, and rework the stinkin’ Google Doc!
But the Lord is sovereign through it all.
In many little ways througout my life, I have discovered, through tears, that obedience, and surrender to God has given me a sustaining pleasure and a peace, that whatever I thought would make me happier ultimately couldn’t. I’m sure you can think of some little ways too.
But can you apply that to the big things?
Your COVID wedding.
Your delayed motherhood.
Your extra unwanted year(s) of the daily grind.
Your transition period, and time spent waiting.
Your unanswered questions.
Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
We will have struggles. We will experience devastatation. We will see unmet desires. We will have longings that this world simply cannot satisfy.
But we must know that the One who overcame death stands on our side. [Romans 8:31]
We must know that our Father establishes our steps. [Proverbs 16:9]
We must know that His plan is good. [Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28]
And that through the battles, physical, mental, and spiritual, that He is writing a story.
A story so unique, that can be used to bring Him glory, in different ways than her story, or his story, or their story.
I have not mastered this perspective as I would like to.
It’s hard when we see others’ stories play out, and when we have social media at our fingertips.
But if we can turn our attention heavenward, and trust that He is good. We can know that no event, no person, no trial is out of place.