The dreaded "J" word!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jealousy. Just the mention of the word can put people on the defensive. We instinctively know that it's not a "good" emotion. We want no part of it. Jealous? Me? No way.
But in all honesty, jealousy sometimes creeps in when we aren't looking. At times it masquerades as something else....doubt, insecurity, comparison, pride....but at the core, it's envy.
I've never been one to really be jealous of material possessions. I had taken to heart the belief that to be jealous of what another person had was equivalent to telling God that what He gave me wasn't good enough.
But then there came the time that I remained single while every one of my friends got married.  Don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic for my friends. They deserved happiness and it looked good on them. But suddenly that jealous spirit was alive and thriving within me.
It started with doubt and insecurity. What's wrong with me? Then comparison. What does she have that I don't? Then pride. I'm just as pretty/smart/talented as she is. I personified that wicked green eyed monster.
I'd love to tell you that it only took a matter of days to snap out of it. I'd like to tell you it took just a couple of weeks. I'd be ok with telling you it only took a couple of months. In reality, this gloomy despair went on for the better part of a year.
And when I say gloomy despair, it's not an exaggeration. Jealousy consumed me. I just didn't realize the core of what I was going through was jealousy. I never labeled it jealousy because I was too busy making it all about me.
I spent so much time in prayer seeking answers from God. What was wrong with me? Why did He want me to remain single? If He wanted me to live a single life, could He please make it bearable?
God didn't answer me in any way that I could have expected. He just showed me the beauty of the life I had in that moment. I know that it was a slow process but He finally got through to me.
"I'm not designed or assigned to carry someone else's load. When I wish for someone else's life, I waste the limited life energy  I've got to face my own challenges and opportunities. God has a beautiful plan for me - a creative best I can accomplish with my life." (page 136 Unglued) Ultimately, I couldn't compare my journey with Him to that of anyone else. He was still preparing me for what He had in store for my life. It's all about His timing.
And He has placed the perfect man for me in my life at the perfect time. A man that He hand picked for me. A man that He knows is who I need and who needs me. Those single years weren't wasted. That was time God used to prepare and polish me so that I could shine for Him.
I can't guarantee that jealousy won't rear it's ugly head again. But as Lysa says in her book Unglued, having a jealous or giving spirit is MY choice. I never want to lose sight of the magnificence of my reality in pursuit of what I perceive someone else has. I will give thanks for who I am, for what I have, for what I can do, and for Who I belong to!