Even when the calendar says it’s spring, the weather can keep winter around longer than the winter-weary and spring-ready would like. There are glimpses of spring; warming days and melting snow and green shoots telling of it’s nearness. But then snow falls again, and we find ourselves waiting again for the so close spring that the appearance of robins and geese flying north promise will come.
Then, it finally arrives. The snow melts and the green takes over. The wait is over.
Waiting. A season of in-between, not still in that cozy winter mood, but not quite able to step into spring.
All of us have a story. A past, a present, a future.
There’s a lot that tries to write our story for us. Shame, suffering, brokenness, seasons of waiting, insecurities, unfulfilled longing, loneliness, hurts, fears, conflict, failures, rejections, poor choices, loss, worries, disappointments.
We can feel shame about our past. We can have struggles and suffering in the present. We can be scared about our future.
Life can be messy. Our stories can be messy. We can be messy.
And the enemy tries to use the mess to write a story of messy brokenness. He tries to write labels on us, so we’ll live in the broken places, named as Broken Beyond Repair.
I’ve had the amazing opportunity to go on four different missions trips in four different countries.
I’ve had the super fun blessing of being a leader at youth camp.
I’ve been able to be involved in various roles of church ministry since I graduated from high school.
And in each of these settings, I’ve felt inadequate in some way or another. In leading, in teaching, in interacting, in connecting, in sharing, in some way I’ve felt my abilities or my personality (or both) to fall short.
Scrolling social media, seeing snapshots of other’s lives, reading snippets of other’s stories, everything looking so perfect and happy, everyone seeming to have the things I desire but don’t have, and I find myself caught up in comparison.
She has more friends. She has more fun. She has a better figure. She has a better life. She’s better than me. I’m not good enough. I wish I was more like her and had what she had. Then I would be happy. Then I would feel significant.
The comparison trap has sprung, and I am caught. What started out as casual pursuing of social media has turned into an assault on my self-worth and a draining of my joy.
Have you ever found yourself caught up in comparison?
How are those New Year’s Resolutions holding up in this first month? Maybe you’re still going strong… maybe you’ve already given up.
There’s just something about the start of a new year that makes us want to begin anew; that gives us new resolve to strive for something more, to go for it, to take the next step, to not just dream but to chase those dreams.
But I know, as the newness of the year fades, our strength to strive and go for it and dream can fade as well. The busyness and to-dos of life crowd in and push away the dreams and wear on our resolve.