Happy November, everyone! Hard to believe, isn't it!?
This post will be another chapter in the chronicles of "things that are strange about being engaged." I'm just learning so much these days! The big thing recently is about comparison. I know I'm like the billionth blogger to talk about this... so, perhaps skip this one if you want or at least give me some grace for the topic. haha That would be great!
Anyway, something about this whole season is making me extra sensitive to the temptation to compare. Perhaps it's because it seems like people are getting engaged every other day, perhaps it's because a solid handful of my coworkers are engaged or have gotten married just since I've been here, or perhaps it's just the nature of the beast. In any case, I feel like comparing is all I want to do these days. Is her dress prettier than mine? Is her color scheme going to be better than mine? Is her almost-husband helping her more or less than mine is? Seriously, it is a constant temptation to indulge these thoughts.
I wonder if part of this temptation is the fact that engagement makes life all-about-you for a period of time. When else in life do people act so happy for you, are they so eager to shower you with gifts, or so forthcoming with their affirmations of your beauty, your figure, your taste? It's kind of bizarre how much attention engagement brings you... from loving family members and friends to random women out and about. It feels good, to be honest, but it's also a dangerous thing, I think. And that's where the comparisons come in. If you are the center of the universe, suddenly other people being engaged and/or getting their own attention becomes very threatening. Their sparklier rings or prettier decorations or more helping fiances take attention away from you. And for some reason, getting attention breeds the desire for more attention, and this all becomes very bothersome.
On top of that is this weird realization that while, on the one hand, you're getting all of these things you've been dreaming about forever (the ring! the dress! the husband!) you're also saying adios to large portions of that very dream (goodbye beach wedding! goodbye ballgown! goodbye future husband that sings like Dave Barnes!). Does that make sense? As you settle into the reality of what your dream is actually turning out to be, there are many things that you realize it actually will never be. And there's the tempation again for more comparisons... but this time, it's with your fictional version of this story versus the reality of your story. The thing is... my reality is NOT bad. It is NOT AT ALL bad, but actually very, very, abundantly good. But it's also not always going to live up to the fairytale, nor will my circumstances always live up to or trump every single other almost-brides' that exists in the whole world. So I want to compare... and I want to be the "winner" of these comparisons. But playing that game never pays. I can't judge the value of my life and my circumstances solely on how they stack up to other people, real or fictional. It's just not healthy or productive.
So I've been trying to take a different approach when I feel the temptation to compare. Instead of indulging it and feeling better by rationalizing why or how someone's whatever-it-may-be is actually not better than mine, I'm trying to take a step back. I take a good look and I remind myself:
"M, this is exactly what God wanted for you."
"God gave you this man."
"God gave you this body."
"God gave you this wedding."
"God gave you these talents."
And He saw fit to give me these things for a reason. So I can get stressed about how other brides seem so much more talented than I am at coordinating colors (for example haha), or I can find rest in the knowledge that God's plan for me just didn't include that gift. I can feel bad that parts of my wedding are not going to look like I've always envisioned, or I can take comfort in the fact that this is what God has for me. And while it may be different, or the world may say that some elements are not-as-good, it is God's best. All of these things are God's will for me and my life. Can't God's best be good enough for me?
That is what I'm working on.