being content in all things.
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These words have plagued my mind for the past month. They slowly start taunting me from the moment I rise, until I sit down to do homework before bed. Swirling around in my head reminding me that I don't have it all together and I might as well just stop trying. I've been getting stressed and losing sleep and crying a lot more. I've been snapping at Mark and getting jealous of my engaged friends who seem to have the whole "wedding thing" figured out. I hate that. I don't want any part of that in my life, so I've decided to do something about it.
When I think about what is causing me to feel so insignificant and worthless, I realize that it stems from that comparison game that I've been playing in my mind lately. I've been looking at my dreams and plans and watching them slowly fade as my friends and colleagues strive forward, getting the things they desire. What I don't see is that they're attaining things that I don't really want, their styles are completely different than my own, and the place that they're at in life is not where I am. I'm comparing myself to people who are older and have worked hard and who are being used by God in a way that I am not called to. So really, I'm comparing apples and oranges. No bueno!
The phrase "comparison is the thief of joy" has been ringing in my head all day and I realize that I'm only unhappy because I am comparing where I'm at in life to where someone else is, what I have to what they have. This behavior breeds jealousy and anger, talking down on myself and not celebrating the blessings God has given me. Taking a step back I realize that (while it's difficult) the only way to not feel this way anymore is to stop comparing. To be content.
I turned to the greatest piece of encouragement I could find, the Bible.
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
1 Timothy 6:6-8 says: "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
Being content is a choice, one that God asks us to make daily. Counting our blessings isn't so hard after we start. He's given me food, clothing, family + friends, an education, a supportive + loving fiancé, passions + ideas, and my health. I am truly blessed and although I know that there will be days in the future when I don't feel good enough and when I start to forget about my blessings, I know that God will always love me and take care of me and that is something that will give being content a permanent place in my heart.
What are some things that you've been blessed with? Where has life's journey led you on the road to being content?
Beautiful! I used to be such a horrible worrier and perfectionist and just wanted everything now, now, now. I also used to compare my life and wonder how did they get so lucky. But then I grew up a little, had some big life things happen, and now I don't worry about that much anymore. I try to remember to be content with what I have because I am beyond blessed. Regardless of the obstacles I face, I trust that God is carrying me always. And I thank Him for everything. That always helps me remember to be happy. :) I just talked about happiness yesterday on my blog. It's a choice indeed!ReplyDelete
This is beautifully written. I love your genuine admission to something that a lot of girls struggle with. As everything falls into place and you marry the love of your life, this will become a great testimony of God's faithfulness. He called you to this place, put Mark in your life, etc. for a REASON. He's not going to let go of you now. Can't wait for your engagement party tonight! :)ReplyDelete
Happiness really is a choice! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me :) Keep trusting in Him!ReplyDelete
Thank you Jessica :) love you!!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your words, Natalie. Those same words have been ringing in my head, too. I'm always comparing myself to others and listen to the voice that says "I'm not good enough", etc. Praying for you, friend.ReplyDelete
Thank you Charlie :) Praying for you too!ReplyDelete
I get caught up in the comparison game too. I like how you said that those people are attaining things you don't really want. That's a good reminder for me. I may see my friends getting married, but I'm truly not ready for that yet.ReplyDelete
The comparison game is so easy to fall into and get caught up in. Taking a step back and remembering that there is a specific thing God created me to do, jerks me out of it. I like to remind myself daily of all the things I have to be grateful for and enjoy where God has placed me. Going through the study of Esther with She Reads Truth, and being reminded that Esther was place where she was for a purpose, "such a time as this" it jerked me out of the comparison game, to remember the two verses you mentioned and that I have been comparing apples to oranges.ReplyDelete
Hey there! This post is a blessing to everyone who reads it and I want you to know that. I find it interesting that even the things that God promises us––which ARE awesome btw, aren't shoved down our throats. We need to make the daily choices to own those promises. Thanks for sharing :)ReplyDelete
It can be so hard not to compare ourselves to others. I know I struggle with it on an almost daily basis. I feel social media has played a lot with that struggle because I am constantly bombarded with others things and how they are doing and what they are doing.ReplyDelete
Thanks for reminding me that comparison isn't helping anyone.
Yeah, it's hard to remember that sometimes. We tend to forget that everyone has to put in some work and patience to see their goals achieved.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your experiences Felecia! I love the story of Esther, and you're right. She does remind us that God has placed us all in the right place at the right time and we need to trust Him and follow his call.ReplyDelete
You're welcome! Thank you for your kind words.ReplyDelete
No problem Rebekah! It's a daily thing for me at times. I need to keep focused on what I am doing and what I am working towards and not what others have or things that I wish I could achieve.ReplyDelete
I'm at a place in my life where I'm being attacked about my faith (that among various other things). So I'm learning that although this stuff sucks, God has a purpose for it. Something I've done a lot of (getting better but still find I do it) is comparing myself to where a lot of my friends are...ReplyDelete
God has been reminding me that what I'm going through right now is preparing me for the next season of my life.
I've been enjoying many verses lately, but the ones that stick out to me about contentment are Philippians 4:11-13. just thought I'd share that!! Oh and a book I've been working through is "A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment - Calm My Anxious Heart - Linda Dillow", I'd recommend anyone who wants to work on contentment to read it! :)
Thank you for sharing that and for the recommendations! I'll be praying for you Christie! I know that God has a plan and all things work together in the end for those that are following his call!ReplyDelete