Whew! Lord, am I so glad You are in my camp! Thank You! Some days it seems this exhaustion just gets worse, and that’s with me doing nothing but sleeping as much as I can! I am especially glad You were with me this week as the doctors are trying to help Bobby with his struggling to breathe. Unexpected appointments, quickly carrying equipment back and forth, having to run back to the car so many times because it was so warm I left my jacket in the car, but everything is my jacket because I just can’t carry everything, so I leave my purse in the car.
A lot of those places Bobby was waiting in the car during my appointments or getting something they say he needs, but it’s so hot he got out of the car. Honestly, I usually have to go find him if he did not go in with me somewhere with me to begin with. I typically find him leaving smiles on faces on those who are so patiently allowing him to wait in their lobbies. They love that he’s 85… short… and so friendly. I always hear the words… cute… and sweet.
How does any of this have to do with the study from this week… Her Gain Is Not Your Loss? You know, Lord? This is far from a rant or complaining. It’s every bit of praise to You! I know we still have the rest of the week to go, but that’s why You’ve been giving me so much sleep! I have no idea why I’m waking up as though I could go right back to sleep for a couple of years, even when I sleep night and day, but I surely love the peaceful feeling it gives. I am so numb, and in a fog. Sometimes it keeps me from stressing because I cannot remember anything other than that very second, and all I can feel is… whew… so grateful to have got what felt like 3 or 4 moments of sleep (that was 6, 10, or 12 hours)… or whew… feeling so tired I wished I could just lay back down and sleep my life away.
I will admit one thing I have tried to avoid bringing into this study is the battle that seems to go on between me and my sister. I figured because I did not compare myself to her, nor envy her, not begrudge, her, that I really didn’t see my need for this study. I love my sister. Unfortunately she does want to argue with me, accuse me, turn everything into a competition, and hates for me to have confidence because she believes I am saying I think I am better than she is. I was convinced mentioning anything would be me speaking ill of my sister. But this week really showed me something about comparison… and me.
My sister struggles to rejoice with me because she feels like it means something towards her. And if she sees my tears, she is either quickly cruel to say things like “You’re not actually crying are you?” or she will leave the room or make some kind of get away with the clear intention that I watch her do it. She has told me all of these things and more. This has happened for so long along with me trying so hard to figure out why or how I send these messages to her. I try so hard to get into her head to avoid this, that I unknowingly start to compare myself… thinking less of myself.
Day One: Facing Insecurity
Facing insecurity is a great way to describe comparison because even if I do not think I am better than someone else, God, You don’t want me thinking less of who You made me to be. I am not suppose to allow my mind to doubt, and worry, and take blame where there is no need for it. If I am saying something needs change or I am not good enough that is a silent form of pity and not accepting who I am in You. I may not mean to, I may even be pushed into it, but only You can say I belong wherever I am, know exactly what trials You do or do not want to walk me through, and why You need… want my confidence… in YOU!
Day Two: Desperate Desires:
Lord, while I wrote You a note in the book about being glad You allowed me to finally come home, when I read those two words… desperate desires... how can I not think of my health. And when I read that instruction You gave to “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you,” I can’t help but think of yesteryears when my desperate desires were to go home… night after night. While I never thought it would happen, You answered those prayers. I know You hear my prayers now, and are teaching me to accept and live my new normal, trusting the one who designed it.
Day Three: Leaving Laban
How many times in my life have You led me away from Laban, and Laban being my family too. It’s hard leaving people you love and are supposed to be able to live together in trust and helping one another… rejoice as they rejoice, and weep as they weep. I remember how hard that was to do with a little one, and several times through his childhood, up through college… all to follow You, and live as You teach. It’s amazing how six people can grow through life together under the same roof (most of the time) while living six different lives, but that was us.
Day Four: Comparison’s High Cost
You are absolutely wise to warn of the high cost of comparison because that is exactly what it does. It costs us the relationships with those we are comparing ourselves to, even if the only one we are comparing to or about is our self. Laban comparing himself to Jacob cost him the relationship he first enjoyed with him, and it cost him his daughters, and all of his family. Rachel and Leah paid the high cost of not being able to rejoice in the birth of each other’s children, and robbed them of the ability to console one another on loss. It cost them a relationship as a sister to the other. The comparison my sister insists on, and my comparison to lessen and blame myself continues to cost us and our family. And it’s so sad because we really need each other, just as Rachel and Leah needed each other. But You knew it would not be their path. Sometimes the only way we avoid the cost of a relationship with You is in abandonment of all and who we know, or be abandoned by them.
Day Five: You Be You
There was another pop quiz at the end. Sometime these tests are hard to answer because it forces to choose answers that are KIND of what you would say. For example question one was answered by what usually happens. When a bunch of strangers get together (especially with kids) it is one loud activity that usually comes in the form of questions… Do you go here? How long have you been here? Which one’s yours? Question two would not be about coffee because I don’t even like coffee. Yuck!
Question three was answered with fear of not knowing where we’re going, and being used to being the one who gets the directions and visits through Google earth before our family goes anywhere. Question four I would actually sit anywhere, including the front. I actually prefer it. I can see and hear better, and am less distracted from“comparing everything and everyone.” I am too busy praying for those singing and preaching. That takes a lot of faith. Question five is pretty much the same as three, trying to combat fear of the unknown.
I came out tying with Mostly 2s, You’re excited about unseen work.
Ironically, thought the tests are opposite of how I think I answered, the result is right in that I am excited about unseen work. How crazy is that to be afraid of people, yet loving working in their lives… wanting them to know God loves them?
The other I tied with was Mostly 5s, You’re excited about new relationships.
How crazy is that!! It’s so true, yet I am always so afraid of people! I want to love them as God says. I so want them to know God’s love and have their own personal relationship with Him, but I can literally be so terrified of people. Even the ladies of this study, as much as I love them as dear sisters in Christ. Yet God says that’s excitement for new relationships??
This study is coming to an end, but its affect and teaching will still be going on for as long as God sees fit. And that’s a good thing. He always is! ❤
The key thing He has taught me is that
comparison is a battle with self.
If I fix my mind on Him,
I will dwell less on me.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.”
– Isaiah 26:3 KJV