Jealousy. A word that’s green with envy and a little bitter to swallow. A word that most of us have been familiar with at one point of our lives or another. I got hit with a case of it recently. I stumbled upon an author awhile back with a book contract I would have probably sold my left patella for and a series of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. Instead of being happy for them, I plopped down on the floor and cried “Why them, God? Why not me?” Me, me, me, me.
Ew. It was rather unattractive.
But I was frustrated. Really frustrated. Have you ever had that feeling? It was hard not to throw my hands in the air and count off all the reasons why I should be as fortunate as them and who are they to… yeah, like I said, pretty unattractive. It was at that moment I halted in my tracks. What I felt was wrong. Very wrong. And suddenly, the only emotion I felt was shame…OK, I’ll admit, the jealousy was still lurking in the shadows. So I asked, “God, what do I do about this? It’s not right to feel this way.”
Then the answer came–the way to cure a case of sour grapes:
I added this person to my prayer list.
Yep, you heard me.
Beyond their name, pretty book covers and 3 book contract, I really have no idea who they are. I don’t know anything about them. I don’t know how hard they worked to get to where they are or how many hours were spent on their knees talking to God about their hopes and dreams or how excited their family and loved ones were when the big “call” came through that a publishing house had offered a deal.
But here I was, pouting about their success. So I did what I felt God calling me to do and I immediately began to pray for them. And I continue to pray for that person until this day. Whenever they pop into my head, I immediately lift them up to the throne of grace and pray for God’s hand to continue to bless their life and writing career.
And you know what? The jealousy vanished. And if ever there is a moment where it tries to creep back in, I turn right around and spend those moments that I could have wasted stewing about how others have it “better” than I do, into a time of worshiping my God and trusting that he knows what books need to be published a WHOLE lot better than I do, and thanking him for the lives that have been touched through that very special author.
This is beautifully written and honestly shared. What a perfect reminder of how to make it about the journey toward His grace and step out of self. Thanks for leading by example.
What a great reminder–and so graciously written. I love this post, Joanne.