What to do when life isn't working out

When life isn't working.png

What do you do when it seems like life is working out for everyone else except for you?

You look around and she’s got the perfect job, the gorgeous boyfriend, she’s beautiful and dresses to the nines, her future is promising, and you’re left thinking “what about me?”

You think: “I have been trying to figure out what my purpose is. I have been trying to do well in college or university but I just can’t seem to get the right marks. I have been trying to get that job but I haven’t even been called in for an interview. I have been wanting a boyfriend for years but no one seems to be interested in me. I want good girl friends but everyone seems to already have their people.”

You might be believing a big fat lie: the lie that everyone has it all together except for me.

I want to challenge you: What does having it all together really mean, anyway?

Is it travelling around the world and having breathtaking Instagram photos to show for it? Is it climbing the corporate ladder and having the perfect clothes? Or is it getting married young and having a family? What is having it all together?

I think a chat with your nearest and dearest may clear a few things up. While her Instagram feed may look gorgeous, and her kids might appear well behaved, and she might have an amazing job, her real life may look a whole lot different. She might have gotten no sleep because she’s been up all night feeding her baby. Maybe she is in college, like you, and she’s struggling to get good grades. Maybe she landed that cool job through a friend or a referral but she actually has no idea what she’s doing!

On Instagram we see this perfect life but there is a whole life behind the doors that you and I all live. It would be silly of us to keep comparing our lives to others’ picture-perfect lives when we all present the very best of ourselves on Instagram

So if you feel like things aren’t working out for you while they’re working out for her, first of all, give yourself a bit of a reality check.

Secondly, celebrate that girl! When you encourage someone and are genuinely thankful for them, that changes things for you. It gets rid of that ugly green monster of comparison, and helps you to be happy for that person.

Of course, this takes time. At first, it may feel uncomfortable and unnatural, but practice makes perfect, and practicing being happy for someone will start the process of it becoming second nature.

The third thing I want you to do is to spend time with God and make sure he is first in your life. If you feel like thins aren’t working out for you, go to God and spend time with him. So often we feel discontent and frustrated and irritated because we haven’t spent time with God and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill us up from the inside out.

Spend time in worship, spend time in the bible, spend time with mentors, get connected in a small group at church.

They say that you are the sum of the closest five people around you. So, in addition to spending time with God, make it a priority to get yourself some good, godly friends.

If you feel like life isn’t working out for you but it’s working out for everyone else, I want to remind you of who your God is. God is a good God who loves you and who has good plans for your life. Your good father wants to give you good things.

1. Remember that God’s timing is perfect.

I know that can be difficult to remember, especially when it seems like things are happening for other people and you’re wondering when your moment will come. But understand that God is the author of creation and the author of your life. The one who has created you has good plans for you and knows what is best for you.

Get my free guide: 5 steps to finding your purpose

2. Spend time in God’s presence.

Ask God to give you clarity. Ask God to show you how you can help people and make a difference. Ask God to show you what your next step is.

3. Be obedient

When God says to do something, be obedient to him. Follow God, remembering that he is a good father who knows what is best for you. I know it can be scary taking those next steps, especially when it’s counter cultural, but keep taking those steps.

I remember when I was studying my journalism and business degrees and doing my journalism internships, feeling an intense sense of no peace. I knew that God was stirring something in me, and was showing me that path wasn’t the right one for me.

So often we don’t know what God has for us next but we just have to be obedient to him and take the first step. For me, that first step was finishing up my internships and not taking on any more. Then began a period of seeking God and his will for my life.

I remember seeing my peers sharing what they were doing on Facebook. They were broadcast journalists and they were on TV doing all of the things I thought I would have been doing. I remember thinking “God, why? I know you have a plan for me but why?”

It was a time of saying “God, I choose to trust you. I don’t know what you’re doing in my life but I entrust it into your hands and believe that you have a good plan for me.”

It was a period of over a couple of years of seeking God, and God ever-so-slowly birthing new passions and dreams in my heart. That wasn’t an overnight thing - it was a process.

While that was happening, I saw what everyone else was doing but I had to remember that God had called me to trust him and be obedient to him, and there is so much blessing in that. I have experienced this blessing in my own life, and I’ve also experienced so much purpose - not purpose I could create and conjure up myself or purpose I could find in what someone else was doing but in doing what God has called me to do.

If you’re worried about what your future holds, if you’re confused about what’s going on in your life, and if you’re busy looking around at what everyone else is doing, I want you to pause and thank God for his plans for your life. Thank God, spend time with him, ask God to show you what your next step is, and obey him.

If this message helped you, I’d love for you to comment a big YES below, and share this post with a friend so that they can be encouraged too.

Xo,
Elise