“You’re good at celebrating with people, even when they have something you would like to have, but don’t.”
I had been chatting up a storm about an upcoming wedding and my excitement for my friends was written all over my face. Morgan knew that I desired to be married one day, but there was no hint of jealousy in my voice. I simply felt joy for my friends, and eagerness to celebrate with them.
It was one of the best compliments I have ever received.
I sat outside Starbucks for a moment and inwardly thanked God, because contentment comes from Him. It’s not like I’m immune to jealousy. I am human. But the road to contentment takes intentionality and trust in the ultimate joy-giver, God. And over the past ten years, I have come to understand something: when it comes to God, there is always enough. When someone else receives a gift, what God has in store for me does not become less. No, we are unique individuals. And just as no human being is the same, God’s gifts will also be tailor-made for us.
This is why at 35, it still thrills me to attend weddings. I sit amongst loved ones and smile from ear to ear, because I believe in marriage and I love witnessing two people choosing one another. I’ve been a bridesmaid seven times (and never a bride) and each time I’ve counted it an honour. I long to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for the people in my life and for strangers.
I know it can be hard sometimes to attend events to celebrate others when you’re struggling with contentment. You don’t need to brush off your feelings with a fake smile. Instead, express to God what is triggering your discontent. Don’t be afraid to cry, to be brutally honest with Him. He can handle your raw thoughts and emotions, and He can certainly take that fragile heart of yours and make it strong again. As you communicate honestly with God, He will give you the strength you need to go to that event, to that shower, to that party. If you ask Him to help you, He will. Discouragement may feel natural when others receive what we long for so deeply, but it’s not healthy to stay there. As you consistently pray, try to also focus on gratitude for what God has given you. When your heart is focused on thanksgiving, you won’t need to fake a smile. You will become genuinely happy for the gifts others receive.
What if we stopped believing the lie that someone else’s happiness takes away from our own? We can either be childlike in our response to someone else’s good news or we can be champions of others and celebrate with them. We need to be confident that our story is unique. That we are unique. And once our hearts accept that, we will see that our biggest competition is not others, but ourselves. We’re all in this struggle of life together. Let’s be the kind of people that celebrate with one another.