"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
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.