I was robbed!

While I was working happily at my part-time job at a clothing store, I was suddenly robbed!  And, the other day, at church – robbed! Then, again at home – robbed!  The sad thing is, that I allowed it to happen – I let the thief right in. Let me explain…

At the store, I was content, working with coworkers I like, doing a job that is rather easy and enjoyable. Then, I looked up to see an adult daughter with her mom walk into the store. They were both carrying shopping bags and coffee, talking intently with each other – so absorbed in their conversation that they barely responded when I said, “Hello!” That’s when the thief came and robbed me. I suddenly felt waves of sadness and discontentment. My mom lives about 1,200 miles away from me. I’d love to go shopping and have coffee with her and engage in lively conversation. If only it was different…  Poor me.

At church, I sat with people I know and love. I felt a sense of belonging. Then, as I looked across the room at a couple who are very like-minded in ministry and spiritual formation and I was robbed again! My guy and I have always been in different places spiritually. What joy it must be to be on the same page! I felt grief and disappointment. If only it was different…  Poor me.

At home, I sat in my quiet home, enjoying my morning coffee. Then, I saw my neighbor leave to catch the train – the same train we used to ride together downtown to work. Her life has continued on. She has such purpose and here I sit at home, unemployed. A big Zero. I felt despair and hopelessness. If only it was different…  Poor me.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” I opened wide the door to the comparison thief – it was easy to let it in…. so easy to assume that everyone has it better than me.

Here’s the truth: I’m so grateful for my relationship with my mom. So many people aren’t close to their mom – or their mom is no longer living. What a gift to maintain a good relationship with her – even while we’re miles apart! When we’re together, the time is precious and fun. And, my guy! Boy, do I love him! I know for a fact that he loves me, too. What a gift to be in a sweet season of marriage. Even though he doesn’t understand what Spiritual Direction is, he’s very supportive. And, my unemployment has been a gift of rest – something I’ve been asking God to provide for years. What a generous gift!

It’s so easy to let the thief in and steal my joy. But, I’m refusing to let the thief in these days. There’s nothing good that can happen when I do. Instead, I’m focusing on gratitude for what I do have. Thanks be to God, from Whom all blessings flow.


What about you? When have you allowed yourself to be robbed? How do you close the door to the thief?

16 thoughts on “I was robbed!

  1. janet

    Thank you for this gift! I know just how you feel/felt. My mom is 600 miles away, my husband no longer attends church and my job too has changed. Thanks for your transparency and encouraging words. If you feel that twinge comin on, message me and we can meet for coffee and rather than compare notes we can encourage one another and share our joys!


  2. Thank you for sharing honestly some of your inner life here. You are a blessing. “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,” said Paul. Sounds like you’re learning his secret.


  3. sue

    After years of living with multiple sclerosis and the changes in my abilities and circumstances along the way, some days the wanna-be joy-thieves seem to be congregating. There is a gang of them in town that goes by the moniker “The Used-To-Be s” as in “I used to do that…” Together they tempt me to idealize the past, resent the present and fear the future. Today reading your thoughts made putting these particular Used-To-Be s and other joy thieves in their place. Great reminder to keep counting our blessings (past &present) and look forward to those yet to come…
    keep writing girl!


  4. Judy

    I too find myself in a very different place than I ever imagined and have been struggling myself. I am so grateful to you for sharing these thoughts. Your ministry continues to bless me and I thank God for you.


  5. Nate Kirby

    The thief of comparison – that nasty little gremlin robs us of so much. I want respect and connection and money and love …

    But at the end of the day

    I want to be worthy
    I want to be enough
    I want to belong
    I want to matter

    And the gremlin/thiif of comparison wants to deny me all these things


  6. Kelly

    I feel like this was meant for me. I lost my Mom 17 years ago and still miss her very much. My husband and I are on different spiritual levels. I was laid off from a job I loved – found another one but it is not the same. But I am okay with all of this – I am loving life to the fullest!


  7. judy

    Thank you for sharing. I find myself sad today as I leave TX from spending time with our son. But I am thankful that he has a great group of friends that are always there for him, when family can’t be. Still miss him……


  8. Charity

    Brilliantly written, thank you. So timely for me. I often find myself comparing my parenting blunders with those mamas who ‘appear’ to have it together. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Thank you for reminding me of that sweet friend.


  9. Rose

    The quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt–a fascinating man with a fascinating relationship with both contentment and restlessness.


  10. Karen

    You have nailed it on the head for me, Lori. Thank you so much for sharing and being transparent. There have been so many times in life where I have thought I was the only one who felt like “fill-in-the-blank”, and then someone like you comes along and I realize I am not alone.
    Hugs to you. 🙂


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