When Jealousy Threatens Joy

Well folks, summer is nearly over – also known as “Wedding Season”.

Now, I love weddings. The dressing up, the sacraments, the love, the tears.

All good things.

And don’t forget about the post-wedding goodies! Dancing, food, fellowship, pictures, videos, marriage.

Again, all good things.

There are people who would comment that I’m in that stage of life when everyone is pairing and marrying, and to an extent, they’d be right. The mid-twenties: an age where it seems that EVERYONE is getting married.

It’s true, many of my friends have entered marriage this year – I’ve been in three of these weddings since March! Yet, in a way, it feels as if I’ve been in this stage of “marriage is the thing to do” for a while.

I have friends who married young, while we were still in college.

I have friends who married after they graduated, but while I was still in school.

Then there were the friends marrying the summer of our college graduation.

And throughout these three years following college, nearly each season has been filled with friends entering into this next chapter.

I’ve begun to wonder: how does one fully embrace the joy one has for friends entering marriage while feeling the heartache of longing for that vocation?

Recently, I watched the wedding video of a friend from high school. The love he and his new wife share is palpable. I was moved to tears, and I realized that these tears weren’t simply happy ones, but slightly sad ones shed for myself.

Don’t get me wrong – I am overjoyed for each and every one of my friends who have entered and will enter into this sacrament. To witness the love between two people is incredible, so to witness the love between two people you love is overwhelming. It’s truly an honor to share in their joy.

And yet, I feel the twinge of jealousy. Just a twinge, followed by a wave of guilt. What’s wrong with me?! These are my friends getting married!

I try to focus on the joy and ignore the ache of my heart saying “Ah, why not me?”

But pushing down these feelings, this ache, pretending that I don’t feel the way I do…. this doesn’t make it go away. The struggle is real, y’all. I’m convinced that there is nothing quite like the pain of waiting for your vocation, especially when you’re certain of God’s call for you.

I had a moment in prayer weeks ago – while simultaneously driving because, hey, why not make the best of that highway time? – during which I saw this image of when I’m finally married to the man God created for me, and I am able to look at my husband and say “You were so worth the wait.” Many emotions washed over me in my mind’s eye – that feeling of “home” and gratitude for the struggle.

Call this prophesy or a glimpse of my future for the sake of keeping hope alive in my heart, but whatever it was, I’m grateful for it. For the first time, my heart believes that whenever that day comes, when my husband and I are together at last, the pain and longing and tears will all have been worth it.

The Lord has fulfilled other promises He’s made to me, why do I doubt that He will fulfill this one as well? Trust is the only cure and one of the hardest things to develop.

It’s difficult to close this post, because I have no resolution. This struggle between the ache of my heart and the bubbling over joy is an on-going reality.

I will continue to bask in the glow of my loved ones who have found the one for whom their soul longs.

I will continue to allow myself to feel what I feel, yet not dwell on these emotions which crush my hope.

I will continue to cling to the cross, knowing that He will fulfill the desires He’s placed on my heart.

Morgan McFarlin

Morgan McFarlin

Morgan McFarlin is a young, single lady attempting to live God's plan for her life to the fullest. A life-long Illinoisan, Morgan serves full-time with Students for Life of Illinois. She is passionate about building relationships, loving God, life, and strong coffee. Co-founder of the Not Alone Series, her musings can also be found at Follow and Believe.

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1 thought on “When Jealousy Threatens Joy”

  1. Thank you for your honest reflection! It’s really interesting, how I actually felt guilty once when I was engaged. I was one of those people who got engaged while still in college, but as I talked with one of my single friends-who was in her mid-thirties & very sure she is called to marriage-I felt kind of guilty. After all, why was I, a nineteen-year-old engaged, when she had been waiting for years and years? I just had to realize, though, that God’s ways are incredibly mysterious, and far beyond my understanding. I didn’t need to feel guilty, because God’s plans for my friend were incredible. Maybe very difficult for her to swallow as a still-single woman, but He was with her (and continues to be with her) every day. A lot of my college friends would tell me, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and it’s so true. Comparison will find us at any point, like when a bunch of my friends are all having babies, and my husband and I don’t have any kids. We can’t sit around and compare our marriage & family to theirs, because it’s all different. Life is just a big, epic experience to learn greater dependence on God, and realize that we each have unique stories and callings 🙂

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