I'm about to get ruhl real up in here, but I am struggling, y'all. I have struggled for a while now with comparison, in my glorious human state :: sarcasm ::, but it seems to ebb and flow quite a bit. At times (and quite often, really), I can look at some who is beautiful, doing well, seemingly has it all together, super fit...you name it, and feel genuinely stoked for what they have going on for themselves. "You go, Glen Coco!" But sometimes, a quick browse of Instagram, or catching up on blog posts, or just being in public with a restless heart, and I turn into the little black rain cloud that is liable to break down at any moment and would do well to shut it down for a few days and not share this crazy with another unsuspecting soul.
But did you catch the key there? A restless heart. When I let me heart stir for things of this world, and when I start to believe the lies that so easily creep into our heads (especially for women), it's not long before I'm lost and useless. And the latter is what is most unfortunate...but it's also the point.
When I serve no one but myself, I'm useless. My all day, every day is about me, how I'm feeling, what I'm going through, yadda yadda yadda. I'm not available to serve. I'm not free to share the gospel of Grace. How can I be? Anyone in their right mind would look at me in that state and be like, "Uh, I don't want what she's having." And rightly so!
To add to the ridiculousness, it's very possible that people may look at my life and think that I've got my stuff together. My sweet husband reminded me of this one day when I was expressing this sort of thing to him in confidence, and it sort of baffled me. But he's right. We never know who is paying attention or making certain assumptions, even assuming the best of us.
It's so easy to wallow in this state, and to feel like the answer is to cancel my Facebook, unfollow all blogs (except food blogs...well, maybe the perfectly styled food blogs get the ax, too), close my Instagram account, and wear blinders 24/7. (It's all very Handmaid's Tale.) But the issue is me. I don't go away in those "solutions." I am instead left to my own devices, to blame others for executing a perfectly cultivated life (meanwhile, I have no idea what their day-to-day really entails, or what the motivation is behind lovely photos and styled living), and to let circumstances of this world disable me. Where's the testimony in that?
Thankfully, God has shone his merciful light on the reality of this situation, and is assuring me daily not to worry about the lot of others. And slowly, I will catch on to His wisdom and cling to His outstretched hand. He has provided a beautiful life for us, but even if that disappears tomorrow and even my sad attempts at styling a shot of my morning coffee are never again a possibility, it's all good. Because He is everything. He measured time and the heavens, and named every star. He is mighty and sovereign, and nevertheless, He loves us, feeble humans who are so easily distracted and wooed from Him by shiny things and lies. I absolutely believe that we can be blessed with goodness here, from Him (and only from Him), but we cannot do it apart from Him. That's the ultimate litmus test. Without Him, everything is delicate beauty hiding dirt and despair.
So take heart, friends, if you too sometimes feel those pangs of jealousy, comparison, and discontentment. Drop everything (including your phones and laptops), and look to He who is greater than all, and more beautiful than we can comprehend. Let Him be your eyes and show you what it means to be well.