How often we compare our lives to the lives of those around us!
It really is kind of a habit we just get used to. I see my sons comparing themselves, what they have or don't have already at the ripe old ages of 5 & 6. It seems I am constantly talking with them about being grateful. I guess it can't ever be said or taught enough. Certainly when the culture is filled with "you need... you should... if only you had..."
I have felt that way lots. I have fallen prey to the marketing, the unspoken suggestions, the bold face merchandising that minimizes who you are only to maximize their profits.
I had a rather troubling experience happen just after my miscarriage about 3 1/2 years ago. One month to the day after I had lost the baby I heard one of those hideous news stories about a baby found in a trash bag outside an apartment building. There was a fire station (a drop off point for babies where "no questions are asked") just down the street.
I was enraged. How could the kind, loving, promise fulfilling (based on God's promise to me I would have a baby) God make me give up a baby and then give a baby to a Mom who would literally dump it in the garbage!! Crushed and angry I cried hard while my Love tried to console me. I was so mad at God for allowing that! But, as I do, out of habit and the knowledge of who He really is - GOD, I took it to Him in prayer.
It wasn't one of those polite, "Dear Lord, please..." prayers. It was more like "WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING??? HOW CAN YOU MAKE ME GO THROUGH MY BABY DYING WHEN I WANTED HER SO BADLY AND GIVE THAT HORRIBLE WOMAN A BABY THAT SHE PUT IN THE GARBAGE!!!"
He, like He does with me (and many others I have talked to about such things) whispered into my spirit, "I know you don't understand. I love you. You know I weep with you over your baby and the one that his mother chose to dump. I know what lies ahead for you. I know what lies ahead for her. Trust Me with My plan for your life, even when it hurts. Even when you are angry. I promise I am in control. Do not judge her or me by the sin of this world. I am working out a different plan in her life. I was there. I held that baby. He is with Me. I hold your baby too. She is with Me. Do not try to fathom the sin of the world and how My plans and My blessings will unfold. Just be who you are, trust Me and I will be who I AM."
I know that is not word for word, but as I felt led to write this I asked Him to refresh what He told me that night.
My point in sharing this is: We have NO idea what He is working out in our lives or in the lives of those around us. That is why He tells us in scripture not to judge others. We don't have any way of knowing His plan for our lives, let alone His plan for theirs.
This is why we must be THANKFUL. The path God is asking us to walk, one day at a time is unique to us. Our path will never be the same as another, even our spouse.
I am thankful for our baby girl in Heaven. My sons asked me just the other day if she was still a baby or if she was growing up in Heaven. I told them I have no idea. We will find out when we get there. They miss her too. She would have been three this month (her due date was the day I ran my triathlon). I am thankful for the short time I held her in my womb. I love that I will see her again someday. I praise God for letting me know He holds her since I cannot.
I am also very thankful for the guys I share my life with. My three sons and my Love are true gifts and I wouldn't trade my third son for anything or anyone.
Being thankful for what we have been given, hard times and all takes practice, discipline, and focus. We must practice thanking God, thanking others, and being thankful for all we have been given. We must be disciplined to be thankful when the circumstances around us are awful, finding the small joys even in the midst of great pain. And we must focus on being thankful when we seem to have huge needs that threaten to overtake us, choosing to see the blessings that exist already.
Even as I continue to battle my old habits, create new ones and reinforce good ones I have to remain thankful for all of it. It is not my place to compare another life with mine. It is my place to see and use what I have been given. I can move. I can cook my own meals. I have money for groceries. I can teach my sons how to take good care of their bodies to name just a few... There is A LOT to be thankful for, even when it is a hard day.
Praising the Lord, putting my headache to bed, and praying you received what God had for you out of this INTENSE bit of writing.
God bless you!