The Bible often speaks to the Lord directing our steps. He is sovereign, He is in control, His plans and purposes will prevail. He has had a plan for my life from before I was born and He has spent the last 35 years working to bring it to fruition. He knows what the days ahead look like. He knows what His will is for me, my children, our family. He will glorify Himself through our lives.
I forget this. I forget that He has way paved out before us. There are no surprises to Him. I forget that He brought Jason and I together for a purpose and a plan of His heart and He will accomplish all of His will. I forget that I am a unique individual and there is no one else created that is just like me. I forget that what works for our family isn’t what works for others. And because of that, no plan of someone else will ever work for me. It is useless to compare.
And yet, that is what I do. I compare. I covet. I longingly look at other life situations and say, “But God…
“…why doesn’t my family look like hers?”
“…why doesn’t she have to __________?”
“…why doesn’t her husband _________?”
“…why do you let her ______________?”
“…why do I have to _______________?”
“…why do we have to walk this path when she gets to walk that path?”
“…why is okay that she ___________ but I have to _____________?”
Oh the whining of my spirit! The constant comparison, envy, discontent, selfishness, and frustration!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:18-22)
You see, that’s my problem. I look around me at other moms, other families, and other women and I want God to give an account of what He has in store for them. I have this sinful idea that all in life should be fair, that everything should even out in the end. I want to complain and tell God that so and so isn’t as good as me and therefore she shouldn’t be allowed __________. I am constantly looking at others and judging my life, my worth, my value, and my purpose by what I see in them. But God has asked—commanded!—that I follow Him.
The path of life, love, and parenting that God has me on doesn’t look like anyone else around me. That scares me. I want to look for reassurance in others around me and when I don’t see what I am looking for, I get scared. I become fearful that I am being foolish, that I have misunderstood the Lord, that I have ulterior motives for walking the path that I am. I stop trusting in God’s word and instead trust in what I can see. And faith that trusts in what can be seen is no faith at all.
We’re asking tough questions right now. We are seeking God and begging Him to show us the way He wants us to do things. We are asking Him for wisdom in raising these beautiful kids. We are asking Him to show us the way in all areas of life: education, discipleship, lifestyle choices, church, work, friendships, relationships, giving, and more. I have to keep my eyes on Him and trust in where He is leading us, even if we see no one else on this path. This is the path for us.
As parents, it’s just so easy to look at those around us. We measure our parenting and living against what we see. But once again, God is reminding me, that what I see isn’t what is important. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. This is what He has to say to me, to you:
“What is that to you? You follow Me!”
I want to follow Him, wherever He takes me. Takes us. I want to trust Him each step of the way, believing that His Word will light my path. I am so thankful He hasn’t left me to find the way on my own.
And He hasn’t left you on your own, either. He has a plan for you, for your life. It won’t look like mine. It won’t look like so and so’s. What is important is not how it compares with others but how it compares to what God has shown you in His word. Let the ideas of the world fade. Ignore the voices of society and let them fall faint as you soak up God’s word to you. It will guide you. It will guide me.
In looking something up today in regards to this topic, I came across this post by John Piper. I’m thankful that others have been in this place, wanting to take their eyes off of others and place them on God alone.