“What are your plans this summer?”
This question has been circulating around as the school year is coming to an end. Who knew that a simple question could cause feelings of stress, doubt, and lead me comparison.
Recently I have found myself comparing my summer plans to my friend’s summer plans. Many of them are studying abroad, have summer internships, and are even visiting other countries to teach children. I am excited for them but I can’t help and think if I should be doing similar things with my summer. My brain has been going into compare mode. I want to study abroad but everyone is going this summer, should I be studying abroad this summer too? Shouldn’t I have an internship too? Is what I’m doing this summer good enough?
The enemy’s tactic of comparison is sneaky and can cause us to ultimately lean on our own wisdom, and I found myself trying to take matters into my own hands. My weeks of stressing and comparison caused me to retreat from the Lord and his word. I instead was leaning on my own understanding of what my summer should be like, and the path I was supposed to be on. I was scrambling to make plans that would fit my own vision of the summer I was supposed to have.
Have you noticed that when you retreat from confiding in the Lord, and trusting in His will you don’t feel at peace, or filled with his spirit? This is how I was feeling. The comparison and anxiousness had such a tight grip on my thoughts (I’m sure the enemy loved this), that I was spending my time looking up internships, stressing about having a job this summer, and feeling inadequate instead of reading His word. I felt distant from God and that scared me. I allowed comparison and stress to consume my thoughts when all I had to do was turn to Him and lean on Him. All I had to do was read the truth to realize I had absolutely no reason to doubt my current path. Maybe you are facing similar feelings of doubt. Doubting if you are at the right job, or at the right place in your life in comparison to your friends. I urge you to take out your Bible and read the truth.
"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalms 16:11
My mom constantly speaks this truth to me: everyone is on different journeys and paths, and you are right where you are supposed to be. He reveals our life path in His own timing! I constantly have to remind myself that I am exactly where God wants me to be. Whether that means being at home for the summer, or not having an internship, there is no reason for me to compare my current path to others, and frankly no need to worry. We need to have trust in the Lord and in His will for our lives. Leaning on my own understanding got me nowhere but a few mental freak-outs and frantic Google searches for internships. In the times of stress and worry we need to submit to His power and will for our lives through patience and faith.
"Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5
The Lord has not forgotten about any of us and will fulfill His promises for our lives! It is all in His timing (that’s where patience comes in), and when we meditate on the fact that God has us right where we are supposed to be for a reason, we can find solace and thankfulness. Maybe God wants me to focus on other aspects in my life this summer besides an internship, or studying abroad. Maybe he simply wants me to reflect on how he has blessed me and grown me over the year. Whatever the case may be, I pray that we can continue to place faith daily in God's will for our lives and resist the urge to compare. I pray that we can be filled with the Lord’s spirit, that we have unbreakable trust in the one that loves us and wants the best for us. Our journey and path is unique to us, we should be so blessed that we can continue to grow and do so with God right by our side. Take a deep breath; you are right where God wants you to be.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Maddie // @maddieowens23