My blessings are in front of me

I pulled up to a five bedroom house with a Lexus in the garage and instantly thought I had the directions wrong. Before I could react, my college roommate strolled into the garage and confirmed my location. How can a 23 year old already own a house bigger than my parents’?

(With the help of a well-to-do husband, it’s not so hard I guess.)

I quickly began the comparison game. She’s got this spread; I live with my grandmother and drive a Nissan. Her hair and make up always look just right; I still break out at 23. She’s got a successful career; I’m still in school.

In some ways, she epitomizes the American dream. It’s easy to compare things that stand out about her with things I don’t like about me. But there’s a big difference between what I want and what I need.

I’d be lying if I told you I wouldn’t like owning a big house in a ritzy neighborhood and driving a fancy car. I battle against those and other temptations on an almost daily basis, especially as I go through this time of uncertainty and job hunting.

The good news is it sends me back to prayer, seeking God for perspective. The good news is I don’t need any of those things. I have a place to live. I have a car to drive. (I rather like my car, actually.) I have a God who orchestrates my future. Therefore, I have security.

And you know, I don’t know what the future holds. I hope I’ll begin an exciting (and at least to some degree, successful) career in just a few months. But there are no guarantees.

What is success, anyway? The material trappings money can buy do appeal to me, perhaps because I didn’t have a lot of that as a child. (Or perhaps just because I’m human.) But when I conjure up a meaningful career, money doesn’t have a lot to do with it.

Instead, I’m looking for a job that is worthwhile. Okay, okay – that’s vague. You won’t see it going in the “objective” section of my resume. (I don’t have an “objective” section on my resume!) But it’s important.

The work I complete at my current internship may not have an eternal impact, but the relationships I form and the work ethic I cultivate do carry that possibility. Maybe I will write or edit for a Christian publication, but that’s not necessarily my goal. I aim instead to work at everything as unto the Lord, regardless of who’s paying my bills.

Maybe someday that’ll bring me a well-decorated home with an attractive husband and two adorable children (and my cat – can’t forget the cat!). Maybe it won’t, either. As difficult as it sometimes is to remember, those things aren’t my American dream. Faith is.

10 Comments

Filed under General, Insecurity

10 Responses to My blessings are in front of me

  1. As you know, I have a decent-paying job.

    When my job has sucked, the compensation has not been a blessing.

    When my job has been good, it has been.

    The lesson is that the money is not key to happiness.

  2. alisa

    Dont ya fret your pretty little head Carla. God is in control. We are moving to NC with Ems and living happy ever after. 😉

  3. Hey Carla,
    this is how i found your site: one day, i was searching for Sandra lyrics, and stumbled upon this girl Kathleen’s blog, and then another day i clicked on all her blog links and ended up at your page. the reason i have both auburn adn alabama links on my page is b/c i went to AU for 3 years and just transferred to Bama (weird, i know), but i do love it here in tuscaloosa. i’m from bham, and i actually am a member at briarwood pres and have some friends at Red Mountain Church, so i’ve enjoyed reading about your church visits. anyways, thanks for leaving me a comment! and ROLL TIDE! 🙂

  4. alisa

    Clarie… you know my friend Katie Lewis dont you? I used to live in T-town. 🙂

  5. alisa,
    no….actually i dont’ know katie, but i do read her blog. actually i read a lot of blogs from people that you and Carla know, a lot of them work at GSH. where did you used to live in ttown?

  6. the comparison game! lol. i’ve been playing that a lot lately. 🙂

  7. Nice entry. One of my biggest, if not the biggest, struggles is playing the comparison game. I didn’t pay much attention to it until OSP. God is in control, and He has us where He wants us to be, and He created us in His image. God never makes mistakes. Everything is for His glory.

  8. steveP

    i don’t scan through my subscriptions all that often anymore, but yours is always a good read. you being a writer probably has something to do with that…

  9. alisa

    Clarie: we lived in Northport right off the 69.

  10. Just remember: if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.

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