As I scroll through Instagram, I see friends from high school buying a new home, a college roommate pregnant with her second child, a youth group pal getting engaged. As a late-20s and happily single working woman, my first reaction 95% of the time is genuine joy for others. Good for them, not for me! But some days, the endless highlight reels overwhelm me, and I unwittingly turn up the volume on the enemy’s lies. When I get stuck in the seemingly endless loop of comparison, lies begin to assault me from all sides. Lies like: You should have accomplished more by now. You should be where they are in life. You are missing out on all life has to offer.
What these accusations are ultimately driving at is the lie that I am not important. But that simply isn’t true. Satan, the father of lies, condemns, guilts, and berates. In contrast, God is the Father of clarity and of truth.
God says: You are right where you are meant to be. You are not behind. You are important.
God has me, and you, nestled in the shadow of His wings. He has a perfect plan for us. Even if it isn’t what you would have mapped out, you are so immensely important to Him that He has planned something far greater than you could imagine for your life. And the crazy thing is, once we tune our hearts to God’s voice and reject Satan’s lies, we will experience surpassing peace. A peace that can only come from Christ.
For example, I used to feel discouraged about my singleness. In Christian culture, being married is often seen as the norm. I get asked all the time — at church, at work, from friends and family — how dating is going. But the thing is, I don’t have a burning desire to date and get married. I love my community here in Nashville full of families with young kids, single people, and empty nesters. And I’m content — actually joyful — in this season. But when so many people ask me questions about dating, and when I see that I’m often the only single person in the room, every so often I let the lies seep in. Sometimes I get discouraged and start listening to the “shoulds”—I should do this, I should pursue that, I should be exploring this. I’ve learned through the years that when I catch myself feeling discouraged in my relationship status, I need to turn and fix my eyes back on His truth — the truth that I am flourishing in this season, that I am content and called, and then my peace is restored.
However this plays out in your life — the way your calling or season looks different from others’ — know that it doesn’t mean you are any less important or valued. Tune in to God and His truth as you tune out the lies of Satan and the persuasions of people. You are important, just as you are.
Our lives all look different because God created us each in unique ways to fulfill different purposes for Him and His kingdom. Your life doesn’t look like theirs because it wasn’t meant to. Take a minute, put down your phone, and remind yourself: You are right where you are meant to be. You are not behind. You are not missing out. You are important because you are His.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Let’s pray: Jesus, I thank You that You are Emmanuel — God with us. Thank You that You are with me in this season of life. Please keep me from comparing my life to those of my friends and family today. May I be able to rejoice with them while not turning inward to comparison. Holy Spirit, prompt me with reminders of Your truth when I begin to listen to lies. May I rest in the truth that You are with me here and that I am important because I am Yours. Amen.
This article was written by Ellen Wildman, as featured in Everyday Faith Magazine.
Sisters, as we continue in the summer months of relaxation (or regular work) and reflection, we keep coming back to the theme that we are holding tightly to this year — You Are His. When you wonder if anyone notices, God says you are important.
We pray that you experience eternal hope and encouragement every single day, which is why our friends at DaySpring created the Hope & Encouragement Bible just for you. This Bible amplifies 12 indisputable truths about who you are in Christ, such as: you are known, you are blessed, and you have a reason for hope. These truths equip you to recognize and embrace your treasured place in God’s heart so that you can experience eternal hope and encouragement every day. They are here to remind you that you are His.
Click here for a free download of the full books of Proverbs and Romans as well as additional content from the DaySpring Hope & Encouragement Bible!
Ariel Krienke says
Amen. Dayspring helped me with encouraging wall pictures saying I’m special because I’ma daughter of the King. I needed that after abuse from my family. I didn’t believe God would love me. I am important. God wants me here even if I wasn’t wanted from birth. Thank you
Dear Ariel, so sorry about the abuse and hard things that you had to endure. Praying for you, that you may continually experience God’s love and acceptance just as you beautifully said in your comment and that you may find deep healing and joy and hope in Him.
Yes, we all need to remember that He created us in our mothers womb for His purposes. He creates the work of our hands that we are to accomplish. Its rough to get over our birth families not loving us the way a normal family would. We must choose to press on towards the purpose that He created us for.
Lord help us to keep choosing to know that Your love is enough for me.
Beth Williams says
Praying you can feel God’s love of you. Remember this Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Let that sink in-the God of universe takes great delight in you (Ariel) & rejoices over you with singing! WOW~ You are super important to Jesus. Asking God to shower you with much love & peace.
(((((((((Hugs from Watauga TN))))))))))
Sarah Skinner says
Thanks for sharing this good message. I’m in my mid 40’s no kids and already some of my friends have grand-kids. I’m happy in my life now. I wasn’t always. And I’m working towards a goal of becoming a teacher. This is where God wants me. But, the comparison game gets to me once in a while.
Ruth Mills says
A group of dear friends were discussing/encouraging each other we need to eliminate the word “should” from our self talk. When we say it about our selves we are inserting our own goals & how we think we can accomplish them. As obedient Christ followers we need to not should follow Him. It’s an imperative not a wish I might do. Thankful when I/we don’t do as we are instructed He offers forgiveness at our repentance! Dear Lord help me not be the masterpiece that argues with The Master! Thank you for this great reminder! Blessings!
During counseling many years ago, the therapist asked “and what book of ‘shoulds’ are you reading from?” I still remember his suggestion to burn it and for shoulds that are appropriate (I should go to church, I should stop in to see my mom) I would be better off if I replaced it with “I want to go to church,” “I want to stop in and see my mom.” It does make a difference!
d from Canada says
Excellent writing, advice & encouragement Ellen both for myself & to share with a friend 🙂
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Thank you for what you shared Ellen. I don’t have kids I am married. But not brave enough to have kids. Now don’t have them in one way glad I don’t have any. But if did I be glad to have them. But I don’t miss what I don’t have. I have beautiful Nieces and Nephews. That I love as if they were my own. I enjoyed spending time with them all. They are not babies the eldest one is 22 and youngest 9. They are brilliant in their own way. I pray for their Salvation. But I did think at one time I was not important. As don’t have many friends. The ones I have two of them two sisters love 84 miles away from me. I hardly ever see them. I have one that lives 10 miles away from me I hardly ever see her as her life is so busy she is single like my other friends that live 84 miles away from me. So I did at one time feel on important. Why does no one want to be in my company. See me more often do things together that friends do together more often. I took that hard at one time. Then my Salvation Army Officer prayed with me and said Dawn you are important. Your a Daughter of the king of kings and that king is Jesus. Then one of my friends they live 84 miles away from me. Sent me print copy of the Father’s Love Letter. Told me to look it up on YouTube. Listen to it. Just type in the words The Father’s Love Letter. I did that. I really spoke to. Let me know my Heavenly Father loves me I am important to him. Because he knows all about me even the very hairs on my head. That amazed me to know that. I then said to myself. If people don’t want to spend more time with me that is there business. All that matters is I don’t let it get to me. Know I am important to God. That is all that matters. Now it doesn’t get to me as often or as much. I trusting God more. Keep telling myself I am important. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little in my prayers incourage xx
“I’m living the life God called me to” seems to be a good answer for those who ask about dating status. We are childless, not by choice, and faced similar questions years ago. I learned to say, “I guess it’s not in God’s plan for us and he knows best.” It may not be helpful to know, but as you get older it’s much easier not to compare with others!
Carrie Bevell Partridge says
I think we all have probably dealt with this. The comparison trap is seriously amped up by social media, and it can truly become a battle for the mind. Thank you for these reminders!
Beth Williams says
Social media makes it easy to play the comparison game. We see glitzy pics of others “perfect” lives. Suddenly we feel we need/want that. Add to that society tells us that we should accomplish ___ (fill in blank) by ___age. The trouble with that is that each of us were created uniquely. We have different talents/gifts & mature at differing rates. This says it all-Wayne Watson’s “For Such a Time as This” For such a time as this I was placed upon the earth
To hear the voice of God And do His will, whatever it is For such a time as this
For now and all the days He gives I am here, I am here And I am His For such a time as this!
We are His put here to do His will!!
Pearl Allard says
Ellen, your words speak to me too and I’m married with kids. There are times I am hounded with thoughts that I’m wasting my life and am failing and missing out. Knowing they are lies helps some. Hearing it from others helps more. May we uplift each other, in whatever places God has put each of us, and encourage one another to keep looking up to Him. Love what you shared. Needed to hear that today. May you be blessed.
I’m certain your post will resonate with many. Thank you for the reminder that we are on our own race.