Are you kidding me?! Are you kidding me… My thoughts swirled as much as the insides of my stomach as I found out more of my friends had gotten engaged. Great. Just great.
Don’t get me wrong, I was ecstatic they had gotten engaged. They’re amazing women and both had found godly men to stay by their side for the rest of their lives. But unfortunately, their engagements made me the last of my girlfriends to get engaged. Me, the one who had been dating my significant other 5 years longer than my girlfriends had even known Awesome.
So naturally, I did what any good Christian woman would do. I threw a pity party. And it was fantastic. I’ve thrown many pity parties before, but I must admit that this party was particularly great. I decorated with comparison, prepared the food of depression, and waited for my guests- Self-Pity and Defeat. After a week of continually battling my thoughts and coddling my heart, God came in to bust up the party like a parent walking in on an unruly house party.
Your story is not their story. Their chapters are not your chapters.
God’s statement changed the way I not only viewed my relationship status but my future as well.
Our lives are full of chapters. My friends were in the midst of one chapter while I was in the midst of another. And this was not a bad thing. Each chapter has its own beauty and its own purpose. No chapter is better than the other.
- The introduction chapter where God is revealing previously unknown yearnings and birthing new situations.
- The adventure chapter where we’ve begun following God’s leading. We don’t know what’s coming next and find ourselves facing obstacles, forced to rely fully on God.
- The romance chapter where our prayers have been answered, celebrating God’s divine sovereignty despite our occasional confusion and doubt.
My struggle of comparison was related to my relationship status, but the same struggle finds its way to our marriages. We compare the details of our chapters in marriage to others:
- Our jobs
- Both spouses working, one spouse working/one at home, etc.
- Our homes
- Living in an apartment, a townhome, a larger home
- Our families
- Having children, being infertile, experiencing miscarriage
- Child’s success or failures in academics, sports, etc. compared to our friends’ children
- Adult children following Christ, adult children running from God
We cannot compare our family to other families. God has placed different passions inside of us and has set us on individual journeys with different destinations. If we did not have different struggles and celebrations, we wouldn’t be able to connect with the different groups God is preparing us to mourn with and celebrate alongside. When we mold our marriage to look like someone else’s, we will find ourselves discontent with our marriage, our spouse, and eventually ourselves.
Enjoy the chapter you’re in because one day it will be over, and you’ll miss that certain flavor of intimacy with God that results from your specific season. Enjoy today’s story of your marriage!