They say that comparison is the thief of joy. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. From my current perspective, everyone has it better than I do. I find myself jealous of the nicer houses, newer cars, pretty fingernails, the great job, fashionable clothes, vacations, fitness, makeup and trendy jewelry and such. I find myself thinking about how I envy the women who have spontaneous, romantic, grand gesture type husbands. Husbands that you can visibly see how they cherish their wives. I even compare my perceived spiritual life to what I see of other women. I wish I were one of those gentle, giving, wonderful women that everyone just seems to adore.
There is so much wrong with this way of thinking that I almost don’t even know where to start. I am unsure how to change this pattern of thinking. I know, intellectually, that I am blessed beyond measure. I truly am thankful for God’s provision and hand upon my life. So why is that not enough for me? Why am I not content in all that the Lord has provided? I don’t NEED any of those things. I have a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes on my back, and a healthy family.
This thinking causes problems for me. I don’t host people at my house because my house is not as nice as the homes of the people I associate with. It’s not decorated as nicely and needs things fixed up. I can’t have pretty nails due to not having that great job. We don’t take vacations because we don’t have the money due to poor financial decisions. It’s generally like pulling teeth to find the money to buy nice clothes and makeup and jewelry.
My husband is not a spontaneously romantic kind of guy. I know this. I knew this when I married him. Why does it bother me now? I am not a “quiet spirit” kind of woman. I am often loud, sometimes obnoxious, always outspoken. If you want a sweet gentle shoulder to cry on when you make a mistake, I’m not that person. If you want a friend who will tell you the truth and tell it to you straight, I’m your girl. That scares people. And it sometimes saddens me because I am not the type of person that others seek to be around. Why do I not just accept that I am who I am? God loves me and made me different than everyone else. He made my husband the way he is. Why does it bother me now?
For years, it drove my husband crazy that I was content with our station in life. I was content with our home, with our cars, with pretty much everything. Last year, everything changed. There was a huge shift in my thinking. When I found out about the extent of John’s infidelity and when I begged God to let me leave my marriage, I realized that I wanted more than what I had been getting. More than what I had been doing. I became determined not to accept mediocre. Well, that thinking has failed. Things are still mediocre in a lot of ways, but now it bothers me where it didn’t used to.
I want to be in God’s will for my life, in all areas. But my wicked heart wants all these “worldly” things. My wicked heart wants more.
I’m not writing this because I have the answers to these questions. I most certainly don’t. I am mostly writing this to organize my thoughts. To vent and try to sort it out.
Intellectually, I know that I need to turn this thinking over to God. I need to focus on all the blessings in my life. And most importantly, I need to stop comparing me and my life and my spouse and my kids and my house and my everything to everyone else’s. I need to remind myself that behind those “things”, those people likely have problems I know nothing about. Maybe that wife would trade all her nice things to have a spouse who isn’t dying of cancer. Or maybe that husband would trade me cars to have a job that allows him to see his kids’ school activities. I really have no idea what other people are dealing with behind their shiny happy exterior, but I do know that I could have things a WHOLE LOT worse.