Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Anyone remember Monopoly? I think the updated version adjusted for inflation and added credit cards, but you get the point. And maybe – if you’re anything like me – you sometimes feel like you take one step forward only for it to be followed by two steps back.
I often speak caution about comparing yourself to the new clothes, new homes, and amazing vacations that everyone on Instagram or Facebook appears to be celebrating. It’s easy to feel like you’ve been passed by. Everyone seems to have more money. Everyone’s celebrating something while you’re stuck in your rut. While we all have a responsibility regarding what we post on social media, I think what we tell ourselves about a post we see is equally important. Our own thoughts have power.
The other day, I realized an additional nuance or two to the comparison game as I took a rare scroll on Facebook. Not only does the enemy want us to compare ourselves to others, but we can also end up comparing ourselves to our own expectations. In a million years, I never thought I’d be starting over and unable to qualify for a home loan at the age of 47. I didn’t think I’d have to be working so hard and it still not provide the basics. I thought I’d finally be able to focus on using my gifts of speaking and teaching, not learning Mailchimp and Pushpay. If I wanted to dwell on it, it would be easy to conclude that my life doesn’t match my expectations.
What about you? Do you feel like you’re falling behind? Maybe you aren’t in the job you’d hoped for. Perhaps your parenting journey has led you to unanticipated detours. Maybe a child with special needs or a divorce has caused your life to unfold in a way that you didn’t anticipate. So… what do we do?
- Double check if your expectations came from the Lord’s leading or from your own plans (both are possible).
- Be honest with the Lord about your disappointments.
- Look forward.
Why is looking forward important? Learning from our experiences is good and comes from looking back. But looking forward allows us to see how God wants to bring glory and restoration. Focus on what you have… it’s enough. Joy doesn’t come from jobs, houses, or clothes… but from the love of the Father.
Believe BIG! Don’t let the enemy tell you that God has forgotten. Even now, He’s at work in the unseen and He’s a God who has never been surprised by a detour.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.