So, yesterday I wrote a post about living in freedom from the "comparison game". I'm not sure if I've ever met any woman (probably men too), who have not played this game at one time or another.
In Part 1, I told of how I used to play it much more often than I do now.
Well, I haven't confessed the area that I am tempted to play this "comparison game" in the most. You see, my fourth pregnancy ended in the stillbirth of our son, Joseph Mark, at 39 weeks.
This is gut wrenching tough stuff---the loss of a child. He was so perfect it's hard to describe.
There was a single knot in the umbilical cord.
Ugh. A hard blow.
However, it was not to be our last heartache.
Last fall, during my seventh pregnancy, (We have five children living at home), we lost another son. Thomas Franklin. My sweet little Thomas was about 17 weeks gestation...( I didn't know he was gone until we went for a 20 week check-up and heard no heartbeat.)
Another very painful loss.
And, yes, I had to deliever both of my sons.
So, can you imagine the thoughts that I myself struggle with? And, as far as other women have shared, I believe I am not alone. Especially if you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of a child? Thoughts of "Why should I have lost my child? This child would have been smothered with love and kisses their whole life! Why did that young girl addicted to meth get to have her baby? And, he's healthy! I don't understand.".....
On facebook the other night, I was asked by a friend who had recently suffered another misscariage....how do you cope? I mean, besides reading your bible and talking to God and your hubby?
Here, is my list of ways I fight off the temptation to be jealous and/or have that pity party we all are the ONLY ones invited to! :
1. Remember, that life is hard for everyone at some time or another! We are NOT the only ones that are suffering in this world. We get so bogged down at times with our own "issues", that we hardly notice what insight our story could be bringing to others.
Our worst trials, can be the greatest source of encouragement for someone else.
2. Also, I realized I have to truly FIGHT AGAINST thoughts that pop into my head. Thoughts like I mentioned before..... "why does that woman seem to have such an easy life and I don't".....along with many, many other thoughts that are negative. I warn you NOT to let them stay long, lest you give in to them and believe them. I truly have to fight them off mentally or with scripture, and truly REFUSE to let myself go there. I REFUSE to let myself have a pity party. Truly. I am quite stubborn about it. Ask my husband. Don't get me wrong, though. I have had many tears over losing my boys. This time around, losing my Thomas came only one month before losing our home. Double whammy! Yet again, God carried me through these incredibly dark times.
Beg God to keep you mentally strong, and He will help you! But, you've got to get your weapon of scripture and use it.
Get in the Word.
Get in the Word.
Get in the Word.
Must I repeat?
Tape verses pertaining to your situation on 3 x 5 cards, and tape them above the sink, on the bathroom mirror, and other places.
Remind yourself of the truth, so the lies can't creep in in the first place.
We have weapons that we sometimes forget we even own. We don't think about the power of the written word, and try to muddle through life without tapping into our greatest source of power and encouragement.
God doesn't desire for us to stay in the muck.
He desires TOTAL and COMPLETE FREEDOM for our lives!
The best weapon against the lies that get inside our minds :: The TRUTH of scripture
Ephesians 4:27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
3. Give yourself GRACE. God gave us feelings, and there is nothing wrong with feeling the way we do. However, I believe it is what we DO with those feelings that does matter.
Will I take my jealousy, grief, sadness, anger to God? Will I share with him how I feel, and lay it down at His feet? Will I accept His help in this?
Or, will I try to combat this on my own.
Talking with our husbands and friends is a wonderful thing to do. I find quite a source of encouragement from both.
But, am I looking to Christ as my first source of strength? Or, am I expecting others to meet my needs?
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
4. Develop a heart of gratitude and thankfulness.
Okay, so your parents have probably tried to instill this in you since you were young. Your mother probably said: "Say "thank you" for the sweater Aunt Judy gave you".....or something along those lines many times.
However, thankfulness has to come truly from our heart. Not just our mouth.
And, you know you hated that tacky sweater she gave you, anyway.
There is one lady who has changed my entire way of thinking about thankfulness.
And, it wasn't Aunt Judy.
10,000 gifts by Ann Vos Kamp, is a book I plan to re-read every year of my life. Her perspective on life seems simple.
Most people struggle to find the joy in the every day, and especially in the difficult times.
Believe me, you won't regret this one, and you will come away from her writing changed forever.
And, after reading this book, I can tell you I am thankful for the time I had my boys here on earth.
I am thankful for the testimony I have because of their lives. I love how they brought my family closer to the Lord, and how they have strengthened our faith, and others too, because they lived.
I pray that you would be able to find the good in the situation you are comparing yourself to others about.
It is there.
It just takes a bit of looking sometimes.
1 Thessalonians 5:18a In everything give thanks