Just Starting and Already Behind

I hate this struggle I have of feeling like I'm constantly behind. I know I'm not the only one with this same thought because I've heard you say it too. I've sat over coffee with you or seen your comments or heart clicks when I post about this subject.

Social media can do a number on our confidence, can't it?

Don't get me wrong, I love social media. (Insert all the heart emojis and bitmojis.) However, if I'm not careful, I can let the enemy whisper lies to me with each scroll and click. A quick check on Instagram can turn into 30 minutes of increasing jealousy and self-judgment.

She loves Jesus more than you. Do you see how often she spends time with the Lord and it's always perfectly timed at sunrise? Look how many verses she's memorizing and how beautiful they look on her chalkboard? Her heart is constantly fixed on things of the Lord. She is able to see His will in everything. What about you? Note even close. You should get your act together before you try to lead others to Jesus.
Have you noticed that all her children look like Gap models all the time? Or how they are doing a new and creative project or adventure every single day? How she loves them immensely and doesn't seem to want space from them or find herself annoyed? She doesn't deal with discipline issues because they simply obey the first time. You should probably figure out this mom thing before try to add more to your plate.
Do you see how her and her husband love each other so much? Look how they post about one another. They have so much sex and think only kind things about one another. Do you see that? When you fight with Chris it makes you a hypocrite leader. Until your marriage is perfect you probably should stop trying to help others.
Look at how many followers and likes and comments she has. Did you see her book/Bible study is a best seller and it hasn't even released yet? Do you see how many speaking engagements she has? Don't even try to catch up. No one would choose you if they could choose her.
She is a member of CrossFit and BeachBody and runs half marathons every weekend. You like the idea of working out. She is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, sugar free, and drinks bone broth for breakfast. You, well, they know your name at Chick-Fil-A.
You are just one of a billion people that "feel called" to this. Are you sure you were even called? How could you be needed in the sea of people that want to do the same thing?
Look at how beautiful her images are, perfectly staged and beautiful graphic and filtered with a sun flare. Your little free apps can't compete. Stop trying. Your life is messy and technology makes you want to cry. Just hit delete.

(These are a few of the lies I hear, yours will likely sound different. Take some time and identify which ones you listen to.)

This is what I hear when I see their posts. Not all the time do I hear these lies, but too often I choose to listen too closely to these insecure breeding whispers.

To be clear, this is 100% on me, not them.

Someone else's success does not inherently mean you have failed or are already behind.

This morning in my Bible study (Stepping Up: the Psalms of Ascent) Beth Moore had us write the reverse of the very common Jeremiah 29:11 in our own words. It jarred me when I saw what I wrote:

This is what I listen to far more than I should.

I feel behind because I'm listening to my enemy, not my Rescuer. I forget that he too has an agenda for my days.

I like to ignore his existence because the thought of evil wigs me out a little. I can't watch a scary movie without needing a Hallmark or Disney Channel marathon to recover, and I know that stupid movie isn't real. So a real enemy who is the darkest of all and "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8), yeah, I'll just ignore that whole side of things, please and thank you.

This is immature and ignorant of me and not at all helpful.

On my healthy days I know all of it is a lie.

When I stop fixating on the filtered lives of those I follow and, instead, pursue my Caller, I no longer feel behind. My marker is no longer someone else's path; it is the next step He wants me to take.

So I re-read His words and I choose to believe these instead:

As much as I love what He says in Jeremiah 29:11, I love the verses that follow so much more because He let's us into His why:

"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you... I will bring you..." (Verses 12-14)

He isn't withholding His plans from us in order to lord our unknowns over us. He certainly isn't withholding from us because He wants us to get our own plans and definitions of success together.

Nope, He withholds some of the details because He longs for us to "call on Him and pray... to seek Him."

The issue isn't that we are behind in whatever way we would consider ourselves behind; it is that we are looking at our own definition of success on our own self-created timeline.

Let's encourage one another to great things. Namely that we would be "found by Him and brought near to Him."

Friend, you are not behind. You are right where you should be. Find out why you are where you are. Seek Him. Seeking someone else's life will live you so unfulfilled.