As I was crawling out of bed on my 23rd birthday I hit my shin on the metal bunk bed in my college dorm and I stumbled over to the mirror to stared at my face as I forced a smile full of braces. I remember fighting back tears hating the fact that I was nowhere I thought I “should” be at 23 years old. I was still in college without a husband, let alone a boyfriend, a mouth full of braces, and sleeping in a bunk bed.
Let’s just say that wasn’t my favorite birthday that I have ever had.
For as long as I can remember I have been a comparer. If it wasn’t my peers, it was my sisters. “I’m not as smart as Julie is.” “I’m not as tall or pretty as Jamie and Julie are.” I remember in my mid-twenties I would literally get sweaty and sick to my stomach before I would go visit with my childhood friends. I would think as I was driving to meet them, “They have it together. They have their own homes, husbands, jobs, and money.” I would try on 20 different outfits and then take my college self out to coffee with them. I am sure that they were not 1/10 as critical of me as I was of myself, but I got lost in the comparison game of how life “should” look for someone in their 20’s.
Now that I am out of my 20’s I can honestly say that time was the worst and hardest decade of my life and it was all because of the unnecessary pressure that I put on myself to be and look a certain way.
I wish that someone would have sat down with me and told me that there was no such thing as normal and that I was free to be who I wanted to be and pursue what I wanted to pursue because my life was my own. I had amazing people in my life so maybe someone did tell me that but I was so consumed with comparing that I couldn’t hear them. Looking back now I see how much I missed out on because I was so concerned with finding a husband, being pretty, funny, and cool.
God has made us all unique with our own passions, hopes, and dreams. The journey I am on not does not look like what I thought it would or what I hoped it would growing up and even into my 20’s. In saying that, I would not have it any other way. I love looking back now and seeing the timing of it all and God’s hand all over my life.
If I had about 25 pages to write I could tell you down to the specifics of God’s amazing timing and unique design with my life up until now, and that would just be the stuff that I knew of, not the stuff that I may never know.
I couldn't be more honest in telling you I am beyond thankful that I didn’t get kids when I wanted them, a husband when I wanted him, college when I wanted it, or a career when I wanted it. The life that I lead now is beyond anything I could have asked for or imagined. I’ll be celebrating 6 years being married to my best friend this year, we are in the process of adopting children, and I started an organization working with teens that I am so passionate about.
Cherish these days young friends.
Make the season that you are in right now the best season of your life. You will never get it back. God is doing something totally different in you than the person next to you. The biggest disservice that you can do to yourself is compare and wish that you were someone or somewhere that you aren’t. Embrace today!