What I Do Not Have

Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I began thinking about all the things that other people have that I don’t have. The things that I’m supposed to have at this time in my life. All the mistakes I’ve made. All the bad decisions I’ve made. All the plans I didn’t make. All the plans I made that didn’t work out. All the choices I made that took me in the wrong direction. All the wrong people I trusted. All the right people I didn’t trust.

I opened my journal and wrote this at the top of a blank page: “What I Do Not Have”

Guess what! I fell into the pit once again. The pit of self-pity, that is.

It’s a short slide into a deep hole. It’s a long climb back to reality. 

Grand Canyon, Arizona (Photo by LarryDavisPhotography.com)

Grand Canyon, Arizona (Photo by LarryDavisPhotography.com)

Now, I could start dissing social media or letting jealousy block my relationships or resolving to do whatever I have to do to get whatever they have. Or whatever I think I have to have.

Guess what! I’ve done all that before. I’ve already found out that it gets me nowhere.

On the highway of self-satisfaction, you’ll find a bumpy ride. And the road dead ends at the intersection of heartache and emptiness.

Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, Arizona (Photo by LarryDavisPhotography.com)

Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, Arizona (Photo by LarryDavisPhotography.com)

So if I don’t want to live in the pit and I don’t want to reach the dead end, what do I do?

Believe me, I ask myself that question more often than I’d like to admit. The answer is always the same.

For me, I go to Psalm 121. Every time. I know you may be tired of hearing me refer to that psalm. But seriously, that truth has saved me from wasting my life. So many times.

So the answer for me — and for you, too, I’m sure — is to make a different list. I tore out the page with “What I Do Not Have” written at the top and threw it away. The rest of the page was blank, by the way.

I started a new page and wrote this at the top: “My Blessings.” Then I began to write. I haven’t finished that list yet. I probably never will.

"Grace," a painting by my friend Sharon Ruane, who is definitely more than a widow. SharonRuane.com

"Grace," a painting by my friend Sharon Ruane, who is definitely more than a widow. SharonRuane.com

How about you? Which list are you making today?

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” — Psalm 139:1-6

Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2017 by Laura Warfel