I’ve experienced a strange thing lately. It’s as though I am in the twilight zone and the world is passing me by as I watch murals of life through a looking glass. I have felt like a half-asleep bystander at times. When I try to slap myself awake, I’m shaken to find that I am not stagnant at all. I am moving backwards while other seems to be moving forward.
The world is fast paced. Our friends and peers, or more realistically, people we follow on instagram are accomplishing successes left and right. I have felt like I’m drowning in my unrealized dreams while others seem to be living theirs. Part of this is likely due to the fractured REM cycles that interrupt my desperate need for sleep over the last eight months. The other part is my slow adjustment to motherhood, a new family dynamic and schedule… or lack thereof.
But the strange thing isn’t necessarily that I am moving backwards while others move forward. The strange thing is that I haven’t felt a tinge of jealousy or inferiority in the midst of it. This is groundbreaking! Completely unlike me, completely freeing and completely awesome. If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me in the sense that we like to be making progress, checking dreams off the list, being meaningful and purposeful.
We are all hard wired for meaning and purpose which is a good thing. But the good can be contorted by the culture we live in. A culture that asks, “what do you do?” and measures impact by our social media engagement. Meaning and purpose soon gets replaced with need for recognition and status. This is Satan’s breeding ground for jealousy, competition, inferiority and comparison. Do we have a wealthy husband, do we own a home, do we have clear skin, do we have money in the bank, are we a #GirlBoss, do we have a brag worthy career, do we go on awesome trips? You can fill in the blank with whatever else came to your mind.
Satan has certainly had his way in me in this area. Even before the rise of social media! I struggled with jealousy. In order to feel okay in myself, I needed to measure up or win by worldly standards.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here complacent in my seeming backward movement. I’m in the middle of figuring out what it looks like to pull up my bootstraps up and make dreams happen while full time caring for a baby and managing a household. How did the Proverbs 31 woman do it anyways? Oh yeah she had help. Anyways, that’s another article. But in the midst of learning this new way of life and dreams seem frozen in time, I’m somehow okay. I somehow don’t feel inferior to my peers who are moving and shaking.
I have found that being free from jealousy and inferiority released me to be more confident, genuine and open. You can have this too! My friend asked me on the phone the other day, “How did you get over jealousy and inferiority?” This is what I told her:
Really, truly trusting God is the most crucial part of getting over jealousy and inferiority. When you trust that your lot is secure, your story is written and know that it’s a good one, then you can be at peace in a season of unknown. It’s one thing to know about trusting God and another to actually experience trust in Him. If feelings of jealousy creep in when a friend succeeds or surpasses you or gets something you want and still don’t have, get with God and find out why you are lacking trust in Him.
The way I finally went from knowing about trust to living out trust in the unknown is when I reflected on what God has done for me. I remembered the times He came through even when my trust had wavered. It’s amazing! All the times I had doubted, light came on the other side in one way or another. When you take time to notice and journal those times creates a record of history between you and God. I bet if you sit down and write down all the prayers God has answered, you’ll see how he has come through. Then you can look back on it when you find yourself in a cloud of confusion or season of hopelessness.
Trust that He gives you what you need in the amount you need it for the capacity you have. He has never forgotten you.
I have huge dreams. There have been times when I get discouraged and feel defeated. I wonder how in the world I will ever get to my dream? I feel so far off and unqualified. But now, I’m starting to see dreams come to fruition I thought would happen four years ago. It took longer to get here because God is good and protected me from my shortcomings. I needed to slowly build with small steps and building blocks. I thought I was ready years ago, but after going through some brutal training ground, I realized I would have crashed and burned if my dreams fell in my lap in my time. The same goes for you! It’s exciting to think about what God might be working out in you or what blocks He’s using to lead up to the big moment.
Want God’s timing for you, not His timing for someone else. God doesn’t love anyone more than you. Just because someone else has something you don’t, doesn’t mean it’s not for you too. It just may not be the best time for you to receive and steward it. Remember, God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and we can’t comprehend them.
Lastly, be gentle with yourself. Release the urge to look like you have it all together. Take the pressure off yourself to maintain the image you’ve worked so hard to project. Let go of caring what people might think. Who cares if you look weak? God’s power is made perfect in your weakness, so you better boast about it!
Most of our journey is spent on the training ground. God is training up warrior daughters to lead a generation counter to culture. Before we get the crown or the platform, there’s work to be done in our hearts.