Day 18 – When Comparison Shows up

dontcompare_blackbkg

On Saturday we left the house only once, to go to my daughters soccer game.  It had already been a long day.  My son was sick and we were all feeling restless. I was tired, worried, and feeling a little sorry for myself.

I carried all the chairs and gear out onto the field and got everyone settled. I felt alone. For some reason it feels like all the other parents are happy couples sitting on the sidelines; I am by myself.  While I watch the game I overhear a conversation between two other couples. They are discussing which golf courses they really like, and what country club they and their friends belong to.

I wish I hadn’t heard it. I can’t help it. I immediately feel myself compare my life to theirs.  Right now my concerns are far removed from golf course greens. There is nothing wrong with their discussion, their life, their interests.

Intellectually, I know that this is wasted energy.  I know that just because I perceive everything is great in their life, doesn’t mean it is. I know that compared to most of the rest of the world, my circumstances, possessions, house, and troubles are all great ones to have. I know this.  Still, I feel the comparison.

It happens when I look through Facebook.

It happens when I visit someone else’s home, or hear about their new job, their healed marriage, their perfect kids.

Today I came across this blog post today on Ann Voskamp’s website. It really spoke to me. Please take a moment to read it:

When your life feels all wrong and your friends lives look picture perfect

It is a guest post by Sandra Byrd.  She talks about how she went through a difficult season of looking for a new job, and during that time her close friend found one instead.  She explains the mixed feelings she had; happiness for her friend, and sadness for herself. Then, years later, she was walking through a good season of her life, and her friend’s marriage fell apart. Their seasons of hardship reversed, and they still walked along side each other through it all.

I can really relate to this story.  In seasons where things seemed to be going mostly my way, I can remember looking at other people’s struggles and being grateful that I wasn’t going through the same struggles. Then, seasons change, and my own life takes a difficult turn.

At the end of the post she spells it out.

We each encounter all four seasons — just not at the same time.

And then I understood, and understanding made all the difference.

My summer circumstances often coincide with a stark time in a friend’s life.

My task, my pleasure, my privilege, is to share my sun and give her the warmth she needs.

She’ll do it for me, later, when my winter blows in and ices my world—for a season—just before spring arrives again.

This way, we’re always dividing the grief and sharing the joy — together.

– Sandra Byrd

Yes. SO many of my friends and family have shared their sun, and I have shared mine.

The point is not to compare.  The point is to show up for each other, to share the joys and the griefs. I like it.  I like it a lot.

That is exactly what I needed to hear today.

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8 thoughts on “Day 18 – When Comparison Shows up

  1. A challenge I have lived is not having a friend to share their sun with me. My friend bailed when my marriage took a turn. I faced all that heart ache and loneliness alone. I have to be careful to remind myself not to compare myself with those that have good close friends because then I feel like I come up short. I encourage people that are blessed with close friends to cherish and nurture those relationships. We don’t all have them.

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    • I read your post this AM but could not post then….I felt your pain ….for many years as my husband was ‘too busy’ to be interested in really relating to me and had no interest in the Bible or the Lord due to his ‘distractions’ I would ask the Lord to be my ‘prayer partner’ ….I had already been in a ministry that had developed into somthing of a cult…sad….losing that ‘family ‘ of long time fellowbelievers was difficult after some 15 years….

      Though many moves and losses of any network…searching for fellowship that was biblical …finally I have found a biblically sound fellowship….people who are hungry for the Word…but still my husband’s infidelty which I had not discovered over our then 26 years of marriage was so deeply shocking and difficult to grasp..[ I found out by discovering photos by accident of the two children he had with her!]

      So though I have been pretty good at reaching out to others…having any close relationships with anyone has been difficult for me and our two grown daughters….Still married now 35 years but the frequent moves for his career ..about every 2 years…and homeschooling …has left us pretty much without any network of anyone close.

      Still the Lord has been faithful,,,,just this last week my daughters and I were driving …and we saw my husband at a stoplight with yet ANOTHER woman which he finally confessed to having just started seeing …saying she believes he is divorced.

      I do not believe in divorce…but this kind of situation makes it difficult to draw close in friendships. I don’t want my trauma to be the main foundation of a friendship….but sadly it seems that those who have not dealt with such a blow are not really able to grasp how devastating it is.

      Society and media make big money from dramatizing this and glamorizing what God has told us is very damaging and destructive.

      Love does no ill to his neighbor is what the Bible tells us ..

      Actually one thing that many are not aware of is that real love is an act of the will…..God COMMANDED love ..so then we have to realize that what the World calls ‘love’ is actually based upon emotion and most of the time lust.

      It is sad that my husband has now demonstrated to our children …all of whom have trusted him because he lies so well …for so many years…that he does not really know what real love is but even with what he has known of the scriptures he has not wanted to submit to learning about what it takes.

      Sin darkens the mind, hardens the heart and turns a person away from the One who would be able to cleanse and resurrect them from the pit they have jumped into because of deception.

      We will heal and we are commanded to forgive but learning to navigate the future in how to relate to him is still a bit of a learning curve for me.

      Knowing the Lord and understanding things does not mean we do not hurt deeply when betrayed but at least we know that when all forsake us He will take us up and bind up our wounds.

      May your heart be encouraged and know that I will keep you in my prayers.

      Hugs

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  2. This is what I needed today too! Thanks for sharing! =) Hoping Spring shows up soon to end my Winter…even though Winter is my favorite season! 😉

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