When I get fired up about something, I can tend to come off a bit brash…. wide strokes, strong words, not always the most helpful to people desiring a softer touch. I wasn’t raised with a super ‘soft touch’, more tough love. It was the home where whining and complaining never solved anything so put-up or shut-up. I can’t say I can see entirely where God’s taking this unique package He created when He started planning out my days and purpose, but I can say I’m apologizing less for it. Does anyone else see the irony that we can agree God created us, has ordered and planned our steps, and then feel compelled to apologize for His work, knowing we’re in progress.
Imagine walking in on the greatest artist of all time, in the midst of his greatest creation. Would you think to open your mouth and criticize his work, or ask him to turn from it in the midst of his creation to apologize for the mess? Not likely. You would wait with hope filled anticipation at the unveiling, honored that he even allowed you a seat to watch while he worked.
I wrote about my beef with loneliness earlier and thought about waiting another day for a post but couldn’t. I could almost feel the enemy scheming behind the scenes, just waiting to twist my every word in an attempt to heap shame and condemnation on a reader he has trapped in the throes of loneliness. I prayed against it, believing God will use it to shine a light of hope for whoever might need it. It was like I was being taunted in that moment, hearing ‘if they get out of isolation, I’ll still keep them trapped in comparison, your words won’t make a difference’.
Words DO make a difference, they make ALL the difference. A WORD became LIFE y’all….. So I will speak my words unapologetically, and pray they bring life and hope and that as you read, if there be any twisting, you know it’s not my desire or design.
Now, I’m directing my words at my beef with comparison.
Loneliness is a soft spot…. its delicate. It likely required a much softer touch than I gave it, because the pain is incredible, immense, pervasive, and the road out fraught with every obstacle known to man, and uniquely created to trip up the person attempting to navigate its narrow path. The quickest way to stop any forward motion along said path, is to get your eyes off of it, and try to figure out how someone else is navigating theirs. They’re a different person, with different obstacles, the path will never be the same, so outside of the encouragement you might receive realizing others are walking similar paths and making forward progression, the fastest way to move along your own is to keep you’re eyes squarely in front of you.
Comparison has its way with me daily, and daily I try to remind myself that its a fruitless exercise. It says in 1 Corinth 10:13, that NO temptation has overtaken you that is not COMMON to man. I’m tempted to compare myself, just like everyone else, believing I can be a better mom, better wife, better friend, more servant hearted. Which results in me often missing the subtle lies I believe that nip closely at comparisons heels. I look at people serving in incredible capacities, and think WOW…. They must really have it all figured out. I believe they must not have a selfish bone in their body. I see other peoples kids doing some desirable behavior that my own might have been struggling with and believe their kids are easier, or their better parents, or whatever. I know the temptation exists when we see other people truly happy, while we’re in a place of pain or struggle, to cry out against the injustice and the temptation is there to believe they’ve never experienced pain ‘like us’. Pain is universal. No one escapes it. It’s guaranteed, in this world we WILL have trials, but the choice remains ours if the trials will define us, or refine us.
Please avoid a temptation to look at my life, or my words, and believe a lie that I’ve got this figured out, that I don’t experience moments of debilitating doubt and anxiety, that I’ve never experienced pain, that my life, by comparison, is better, easier, more fulfilling, fill in the ______, because…. BY COMPARISON means you’re choosing to keep your eyes on a path you know very little about. We simply can’t understand the nuances of another person’s life anymore than we can read their mind, so stop giving the enemy an open door to pollute your brain with lies. Look for your happy moments, focus on them, meditate on them, DO what makes YOU happy, bearing in mind our responsibility to love and serve one another, but believing that not to be at the exclusion of your own happiness. Look for ways to be creative in infusing your life with moments that make you smile to help you over come the ones that don’t. Nothing is impossible for a God that loves you and wants to give you a life full of hope….. and if you don’t believe THAT…. maybe a little comparison can be healthy…. Find the life of someone that is living full of joy with that hope, and start asking them questions about what they believe and how they got to that point…. I can almost guarantee is will be an INCREDIBLE story worth hearing….. Let their words wash over you and see if you don’t feel an all-together DIFFERENT temptation, one that invites you to new hope
I will apologize for any pain that my previous post might have caused…. it was DEFINITELY not my intent, just a desire to see friends that are struggling with loneliness get as creative as they can in fighting back for every ounce of happiness they can lay claim to, because its their right to find it despite a lack of physical resources they might see/have…. A supernatural father that loves them will make a way…. I believe it with everything that is in me.