It might be a boyfriend, a marriage, a baby, or a job. Whatever it is – she has it, and you don’t.
If you’ve walked this path beside her for a while it probably feels unfair. If you’ve been waiting longer than she has, it may seem unfairer still. Yet it happens all the time: God gives your sister the very thing for which you’re waiting. How do you respond?
Resentment and bitterness are the heart’s first stop. We are innately more concerned with what is fair for us than what God’s will is for another. We know our pain personally; we can only observe their lives from the outside. Even when we walk the road hand in hand, heart to heart, we cannot fully comprehend what God is doing in the life of a friend. We are not privy to the extent of God’s personal call.
This doesn’t make things easier to bear or change our reality, but it gives us the groundwork for how to move forward. It challenges us to let comparison fall and faith rise up.
Life is not a series of landmarks: high school prom, college graduation, wedding days and baby showers. If we measure our lives by when these things “should” happen, we miss our lives in the process. The current cultural precedent is hard to overlook, and it takes eyes of faith to see beyond it. When your friend gets married at twenty-four and has a baby by twenty-six, she may be following what is culturally the “norm”. But if she’s a believer walking by the Spirit? She’s also following God’s personal leading for her personal life.
Your call is not her call. Your life is not her life. Your timeline is not her timeline.
It’s true that you can hinder God’s call on your life through disobedience and lack of wisdom. It is also true that you can become more dateable, more hireable, and more ready to follow God through the doors He opens. But even when you do everything “right”, there will be seasons of waiting. There will always be a friend who is ahead of you. If you don’t deal with it now, you’ll deal with it later.
Rather than comparing, resenting, and growing discontent or angry with the place God has you, see it for the training ground it is. Let His sanctification sink into you, painful as it may be. Let Him transform you into the stronger woman He sees within. Let God work.
Because that is what He’s doing.
When God gives your sister what you’ve been praying for, He’s not ignoring you. He’s teaching you. And He’s teaching her, too – through a different season and a different stage. There is no ground for comparison, so there is no ground for resentment.
Sanctification is hard. Bearing our cross is hard. But under the weight of the wait, you have an Advocate – a Man who went before you bearing a burden you no longer have to carry. You have an eternal hope even in this present pain.
You have an Emmanuel.