Monday, April 18, 2016

Comparison is the Thief of Joy



"Comparison is the thief of joy." Google tells me that Theodore Roosevelt said that. He was a wise man to come up with that saying. Lately, that statement runs very true for me. It is so hard not to compare what I have (or my perceived lack of what I have) to what others have.

"Why did they get a baby - they've only been waiting 2 months?"
"It's not fair that they got pregnant and we can't."
"No, you don't understand the longing I feel, you've only waited (insert a number of months less than the number we've been waiting)."
"It's not fair that our book has been seen 8 times, and every time is a no, when (insert random person I probably don't know) got their baby after (insert number less than 8) views."
"Why does God come through for everyone else?" (and what did I do for God to not give me a baby?)
"I can't believe she is complaining about being pregnant, at least she can have a baby and all I have is my name on a waiting list, an empty nursery, and $20,000 of debt."

These are the UGLY thoughts lies that have been crashing around in my head. Now, they aren't all "lies," I do know of people in the same state, with the same agency who only waited 2 months and 3 months. I do know people who have gotten pregnant. BUT what I tell myself is that it isn't "fair." And that's not really true. In my bubble, in my perspective, it's not fair. But, who am I to decide what someone else deserves, or what happens to them, it is not always a matter of fair. These are all me comparing what I have to someone else in regards to our baby and our adoption.

I think at any stage of life we can compare what we are going through with someone else. Someone else's marriage, job, socioeconomic status, etc. So this (hopefully) is not just something I struggle with, please tell me I'm not alone in playing the comparison game. (actually I wish I was - I wish no one else had to struggle with this, but it is always nice to not be alone in something).

So for me, the longer we wait, the easier it is to see the negative and not the joy. The easier it is to compare my situation to someone else's, when  I don't know all the details (not that knowing the details makes a difference). And the harder I have to look to see God's blessings and to make sure I focus on truth and on joy.

Here are some truths that I know:
Everyone's situation is different, maybe they struggled with something else, or maybe they just needed a baby sooner. Or maybe that baby has issues that I am not prepared to deal with. And, obviously that baby was not meant to be mine.

Everyone has their own struggles. Infertility is one of mine, and usually I'm okay with it. Without infertility I would not be on the road to adoption, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

Everyone feels the adoption wait differently. It's hard. No matter how long you've waited. And I know that it is true that we will wait the right amount of time.

The right family will pick us at the right time.

Our baby will come at the right time in the right way.

God comes through on His promises and He promises us a lot. He is my constant and my joy. Keeping my eyes on Him and His plan for me prevents me from comparing my situation to others. And keeps me full of joy. And nothing I ever do could change His plan for me and change the good things that He has had planned for me and my family since before there was time. I cannot compare what He has given me to what He has given others. God blesses and loves us all equally and He gives all of us what is best.

The best thing to do when these feelings creep in (or crash in) is to acknowledge that they are there, that they are probably lies (or at least that they don't bring joy), focus on what does bring joy and pray for joy, peace, and love for the person you are comparing yourself too. Plus, remind yourself that everyone's struggle is different. And above all CHOOSE JOY.

There is true and real victory for me in Jesus through my pain, and He has shown up and will continue to show up in miraculous ways that glorify Him and not me. In this there is joy. Real joy.

My life is about Him, not about me. He is worth my worship, my struggle, and my praise.

Proverbs 16:3-4 - Commit your actions to the Lord, and Your plans will succeed, the Lord has made everything for His own purposes...

Proverbs 3:6 - Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take

Philippians 4:4 - Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!

James 1:2 - Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way consider it an opportunity for great joy.

5 comments:

  1. You are not alone in feeling this way. When those feelings creep in I try to remind myself of this: "Trust God and do good" and "God is good all the time. All the time God is good!" Here's to hoping God's Will is for our waiting time to soon be over!

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  2. Thank you for your comment on my post, and I want to let you know, you are NOT alone. Comparing is something I do all the time through I try not to. And I've had the same exact thoughts. "Why did they get a baby before us? Aren't we cute? And we've been waiting longer!" Haha. So yeah, I feel ya.
    Much love and hugs to you and hopefully the wait will be over soon for both of us.

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    1. Yes ma'am! I sure hope both of us find our baby soon. Thanks again for the honesty in your blog - it's so refreshing to read real honest emotion.

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  3. I am still following your story and I am excited to see you holding that sweet baby soon! It seems like forever and then one day it will be your day! We just received our official adoption decree a week ago. Our Ava is now 5 months old and I am so thankful we waited the exact amount of time we did, because she is the exact fit for our family. Your sweet one I believe is probably growing at this very moment getting ready for your arms. I know my arms ached and I also felt jealousy when others were "chosen" before us. I also wondered what it was about us that was a turn off. Turns out we were actually waiting because God was orchestrating a plan far beyond what we could have hoped or dreamed of. I know it sounds so cliche, but have hope....your little one is coming!P.S. I think y'all are a cute couple and I loved your online profile ;)

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    1. THANK YOU! I needed to hear that. You are so right. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers :) And I'm so happy for you and your little family :)

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