Tonight, my friend and her family drove me home. During the car ride, I've caught a glimpse of how they talk and interact with one another—they're warm, conversational, and seem to be really close.
I noticed that after noticing that, I was smiling.
I'm happy that my friend belongs in a happy and whole family. I'm happy that after they dropped me off, they'll be swapping stories for the day, perhaps laughing once or twice over something silly. And they'll come home to the same house, kiss one another good night before bed, and wake up to one another's stirrings in the morning.
And you might be thinking, "So what's the big deal?"
The thing is, before tonight, every time I hang out with my friends and their family and see how happy they are—no broken marriages, no calling dibs on holidays and celebrating them separately, no walking around on eggshells, and just enjoying each other's company—I usually feel shocked. "Wow! Some people do grow up in normal families. I wonder how I would've turned out if I did too."
Then, after the astonishment wears off, I'd feel sad. And so. Freaking. Envious.
So to smile and genuinely be happy tonight knowing my friend didn't grow up in a broken home like I did and instead experienced growing up with both her parents felt like a huge milestone for me.
Because slowly, I'm learning to exchange envy for glee.
Slowly, I'm learning that my lack doesn't have to hinder me from celebrating what's good in other people's lives. Slowly, I'm learning the art of acceptance. Slowly, I'm learning to be grateful for how God has been writing my story—for both the good and the bad and the in-between.