The past few months have been very difficult for me. Behind the smile I wear, I have experienced rejections, loss, uncertainties and doubt. I have often found myself with doors closed in my face. Dreams have been put on hold. The dance in the hallway has become unending as no available door was opened. Yet in this season, a lot of good things are happening to those around me. Promotions, career changes, babies, weddings, clean health bills, everything good that you can imagine.
So how about me? Where was my victory? Where were the things that I dearly prayed for? The ones that I craved for? Where was it all? As the questions lingered on in my mind and I watched other people celebrate their own successes and triumphs, I became detached. I became numb. I lost my spark. Those around me noticed but I put it to the fatigue from working too much. I became dull and brittle. I looked, behaved and acted like a defeated person. On the other hand, I avoided those who had celebrations. I avoided weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, engagements, promotion parties etc.
Why did I have to celebrate other people when my life was not going the right direction? And then the Spirit happened. The one who always brings truth to every situation. The Holy Spirit dropped it in my soul. “You are becoming jealous.” Who? Me? How? No way! I am a Christian of many years, Lord. There is no way I would be jealous. In my alternative reality, my defence was that I was not being jealous. I was just feeling left out and discouraged. I argued that this could not be the same as jealousy. But He is an amazing God. His conviction knows no defence. It tears down even the best legal argument. In that moment, I knew that indeed I had become jealous and envious. I knew that I had to get back to the drawing board. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have been on the path, back to where it all started; to the place of total surrender and joy and happiness.
I have had to re-learn that someone else’s victory is not my defeat. Someone else’s happiness and victory has got nothing to do with your circumstance. Your destiny is not intertwined with their destiny. They have not taken your shine. They have not stolen your victory. Your path is not their path. Helen Keller once stated “Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.” Whenever you find yourself concentrating on someone’s victory vs your failure, anger and bitterness are bound to arise.
I have rediscovered that it is easy to be more attentive to someone else’s victories that we forget our own testimonies through the years. After another door closed in front of me, I sat down in my sitting room, my eyes balling and silent in the midst of the defeat. I did not want to pray. I had no energy to pray. I simply was not here for any more prayers. All I wanted was to cry myself to sleep and not show up to the world. Everything within me screamed “defeated.” I looked defeated, I acted defeated and I was indeed defeated…just for the moment.
Just for the moment.
Because in all this, I had forgotten all the amazing things that God was doing and had been doing in my life. Just a few months ago, I had graduated from my dream university (Cambridge, baby!). Just the other day, God saved me from a car accident that would have ended my life. Just the other night, when I would not breathe as I suffered another bout of sinusitis, His grace enabled me to make it to the morning so I could see a doctor. Just the other week…..
Indeed my list of testimonies was quite long. God had indeed been very good to me. By focusing on the defeat of the moment, I forgot all the good things that God had done in my life. And that is the problem with focusing on what has not gone right. There is the danger of an unfair comparison. Our journeys are different. Our testimonies are diverse. Celebrate yours and definitely celebrate another person.
If you cannot stand to see the success of other people, you will never see your own. There is this thing called karma. It knows everyone’s address and it visits at the opportune time. Celebrate other people. Be in their moment. Yours will come but until then, learn to be present in another person’s season. Rupi Kaur once said, “learning not to envy someone else’s blessings is what grace looks like.” Grace is courteous good will. Your blessings are not the same as those of another person so there is absolutely no reason for you to envy them.
But most importantly, you do not always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to sit still in the silence of the moment, let go and let God. Stop constantly trying to figure out your life and perfect your destiny. Much of our disappointments come from drawing elaborate fairy tales of our future. We plan to have every piece in place and have a perfect ending, on our own timing. But that is not what life was meant to be. It must have its ups and downs, its bumps and straight paths, its disappointments and victories. But the best thing of it all is that God has you covered in all situations.
Therefore rest in the knowledge that your imperfections are perfect. Your failures are only a stumbling block. Courtney Walsh’s poem “Dear Human” sums it up best. You came here to be gorgeously human, Flawed and fabulous.
Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong.
You didn’t come here to master unconditional love.
That is where you came from and where you’ll return.
You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love.
Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love.
Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often.
You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are.
You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.
And then to rise again into remembering.
But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.
Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives.
It doesn’t require modifiers.
It doesn’t require the condition of perfection.
It only asks that you show up. And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry
and hurt and heal and fall and get back up
and play and work and live and die as YOU.
It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
Today, I implore you to count your blessings. Name them one by one. See how far you have come. Rejoice in your victories. Celebrate others. Be present in every moment and every season. The pieces shall fall in place in the perfect season. Until then, he is still God and his plans for your life are perfect.