One of the biggest things that I struggle with daily is comparing myself to others. I see people around me or on social media, who have reached their goals, are in their "sweet spot" in ministry, or everything in their lives seems to be in perfect line for them. When I play the comparison game I get frustrated, anger fills my heart, and to be honest it makes me less productive. When I look at what "God is doing in someone else’s life" I fail to see all of the GOOD that He is doing in my own life.
For example…When things started to go slow for me in writing Running Mascara, I started to get upset and say, "God, there are all of these other women out there that have written and published many books, why is this so hard for me?" But then God would gently whisper in my spirit, "Tiffany, last week you only had 3,000 words. This week you have 10,000 words." The worst thing that you and I can do in this life is to compare our lives to others. When we compare we put out the fire, the excitement in our own lives, and in our own dreams. We fail to see the small or large improvements that we do make and everything that God is doing in us. In other words, the comparing game kills our dreams!!!
Throughout the process of writing this book and in starting to write another book, the Lord has taught me that the BEST thing that I can do for my dreams, is to encourage others in their dreams! I have found that when I do encourage others it makes me excited about all that God is doing in me. Not only does encouragement put a boost in someone else’s dreams, I get more focused on mine. Plus, no one likes a, "Look at me, look at me, person!" People like people who encourage them, inspire them, and excite them to move forward in their dreams.
Even more than that...our dreams are not about us! Our dreams are about God and His plans unfolding for the universe around us. Our dreams are about those He longs to reach through us in our gifts and our talents that He so graciously gave us even before time began. Friends, nothing we have in this life is anything we have conjured up ourselves, we are given our gifts and talents from Him and for Him. God created and calls us to rejoice and lift each other up so that His plans can be at work in each person and not smothered or stopped by discouragement! When we tear each other down we are just being used as instruments of the enemy!
Just recently a dear friend of mine invited me to a "Girls Night In" to create "Dream" poster boards. Of course, I LOVED this idea! She felt, and so do I, that as women/people in general we do not encourage one another enough! I went out and bought another poster board, supplies, and I was ready to put my dreams down on paper once again. Although, when I got to her house I got more than just a dream board. I developed new friendships with all different types of women, from different backgrounds, and with different dreams. When I was on the floor creating my board I was surrounded by beautiful women, beautiful dreams, and recieved encouragement from all the different walks of life that surrounded me. In our diversity, in our openness of our shortcomings, our desire for our future...beauty shinned so brightly. I was inspired, I was encouraged, and hope filled my heart for this generation and for the generations to come. I was reminded that God is doing something BIG in the hearts of His people!
Encouragement is vital for the survival of our dreams. Comparison puts out the fire of others dreams by making them feel discouraged and it kills our dreams. Needless to say, we need to do everyone a favor and STOP comparing! God has given each of us different gifts to be used in His timing! So, embrace where you are, trust in His timing, encourage others, and celebrate each step towards accomplishing your goals!
1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (ESV)