Are You Always A Bridesmaid?

Jen’s Gem: Trust God. Do Good.

In my twenties, I watched many of my colleagues and friends walk down the aisle. In some of these events, I was in the bridal party wearing dresses that were, well, let’s just say not in my color wheel. It wasn’t long before most of the people I knew were married and I was the third wheel at gatherings.

As I witnessed their “I do’s” one resounding thought played over and over in my mind. “Why them and not me?” While I was genuinely happy for them, I was secretly wishing it were me and Mr. Right being pelted with rice and jetting off to exotic honeymoons.

During my corporate career, this “why them and not me” demon showed its fangs again as I watched my colleagues climb the ladder of success when I felt I was just as, if not more so, deserving. When I struck out on my own with my baby gift business, same. My fellow entrepreneurs seemed to have figured out the secret sauce of small business success while I was scratching my head in confusion and drowning in debt.

Fast forward to today and this mindset rears its ugly head from time to time when I see others accomplishing what I had hoped to do. Life purposes being figured out. Visions being achieved. Accolades being received. It can be very discouraging.

My happiness for them has not waned however. I do not begrudge anyone their success mostly because I know the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. Overnight success is a myth. However, as I get ready for my birthday this week, this menacing thought is in high gear.

Should I have done this? Should I have done that? What if this? What if that? Why didn’t you do this? Why did you do that? My left brain is in overdrive as the clock ticks toward the end of a decade.

As humans in the 21st century, FOMO is like a cancer that is making its way through our culture faster than the speed of light. Each of us is afraid that we are missing out on what appears to be the happiness, success, fulfillment that we see flooding our social media feeds from friends and family. Each of us is chasing after some external thing that will make us happy once and for all.

This week, the handle on my microwave oven broke. I thought my appliance nightmares were over but alas, no. Because I’m pretty clueless about all things “home,” several pieces of packing tape are keeping the contraption’s radiation from escaping into my home.

My “just make it go away” mindset is wishing that I could simply click my way to new kitchen appliances. I want to throw caution to the wind (and my sanity), tap into my IRA and see a sea of stainless steel in my kitchen.  However, I’m quickly reminded of the exorbitant penalties and taxes that the federal government would get from this poor, knee-jerk decision.

What then is the answer? Here’s what I know for sure: 

  • I am right where God wants me to be.
  • God’s plan is on track for my life.
  • All things work out for those who love God.
  • God’s timing is perfect.
  • Trust God.

As an achievement oriented person, I’m drawn to others who are doing the same. I want to hear about how they did it, step by step, so that I can rinse and repeat. Many people feel the same way or you’d never hear the question “How’d you do it?” Yet, this is where our mistake lies.

How someone else achieves whatever their goal is will not necessarily look the same for you and me. Why? We’re not them! God does not mass produce life purposes and stamp the same one on us as we pop out of the womb. Yes, we are created in His image, but we are not created to do the same things. If we were, who would fix my microwave? (and washer, and dryer, and…)

Every one of us has a special purpose that God has hidden for us, just us! It’s our heart’s desires. It’s our visions and dreams for our lives. Our job is to build a relationship with Him through His Son so that we can fulfill His great plan, be His boots on the ground as He commanded us to do.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Until that light bulb moment however, we may have to wear a few hideous bridesmaid outfits. We may have to endure the bumps in the road. We may have to stand by as others succeed. But guess what?

God has a wedding gown in your future. And…it’s gorgeous!

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2020