Earlier this week I ran into a friend I’ve known since high school in the grocery store.
We briefly updated each other on the happenings of our lives, mostly the adorable and annoying things our kids have done lately, and I told her about developments in my family’s plan to move abroad again soon.
She laughed and said, ‘I live vicariously through your adventures!’
My friend lives in her hometown and is married to a man from her hometown, they own a home, have great jobs, a beautiful daughter and are surrounded by family.
Her response made me smile.
‘I live vicariously through your stability!’
Yes, my life is full of adventure. Plans are solidifying for Ryan’s internship and we will move to our fourth country in seven years (update to come). It’s fun, it’s exciting and I love it. But not all of it. I know it’s a blessing but sometimes I long for more consistency.
The stability my friend has is a precious gift. There are so many blessings that come from the choices she and her husband make that grow their already deep roots even deeper. It can be easy for me to look at her, and others like her, and see how she is surrounded by people she has known for decades, lives in the house she will be in for many years and her strong connection with the community and long for what she has.
After my friend and I said goodbye and continued with our shopping I thought about how we both have it pretty good. We both love our lives and wouldn’t change them. They are very different and that means they come with different blessings and challenges.
That’s what I need to remember: no matter how anyone lives, there are blessings and challenges. There’s no point in idealizing and one situation or set of circumstances and looking only at where my life lacks. I get the greatest blessing from being thankful for all aspects of my life and choosing gratitude to a God who puts me in places where I can learn to be more like him.
So when someone else’s life looks better than your own, remember the benefits that come from your life and how you live and know that she faces hardships, too, and it’s better when you can share them together.