Spectators at football game. Image Resource: www.freedigitalphotos.com
Today as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, to my surprise I saw that a speaker friend was on a radio show again. She had just done a show, and now here she was again in the limelight! I don’t think I’m alone when I say that sometimes I feel speaker’s (or writer’s) envy.
When I looked deeper inside of my heart past the envy, I realized that sometimes I feel like a spectator…someone who is observing others’ exciting, fun, wonderful, prosperous lives, and feeling left out. Yep, left in the dust. Do you ever feel that way?
To nip it in the bud, I immediately texted her and told her how I felt. And I repented to God. Because envy is a sin. Envy trips us up. It gets our eyes off Jesus and onto others and self.
Envy is not good, but it can motivate you to be and to do more. Yet the deeper, root issue here at stake lay in this thought: I feel like a spectator. Like my life is passing me by. Like I’m not really doing anything important.
Like I don’t really matter. Like I’m not good enough – ever.
Ah. That goes way back when.
Back to my childhood traumatic abuse. Feelings of worthlessness. Feelings of shame.
Hadn’t God already healed all that junk?
I’m such a different person now than I used to be! Family and friends can attest to the amazing change and miraculous emotional healing God has done in my life.
I’d spent 5 years in Christian counseling in my late 20’s and early 30’s combing through painful memories, feelings of rejection and hurt, crying a lot, eating very little, not sleeping all night, taking long walks at the park, feeding the ducks with my daughter Heather when I was mad or anxious or upset, using therapeutic art and intense journaling, talking, talking, and talking more with my counselor each week about how awful my childhood and life really were and would I ever feel happy and fulfilled and get over it?
My therapist was so patient. How did he ever put up with me?
Eventually I didn’t need therapy any more. Over time, the black, suicidal depression lifted. I no longer had panic attacks and agoraphobia. The nightmares were becoming much less frequent. I started enjoying eating (maybe too much!). I broke out of intense shyness and began caring more for others instead of just myself. I smiled and laughed, and made friends. I began going to social functions, enjoying myself and reaching out to others.
I married a Godly man who loved me and Heather. I began sharing my testimony. I earned a B.A. seminary degree in Christian Psychology. Went to professional writers’ and speakers’ training. I started an online business for my speaking and books, networked on social media, and made friends online.
Then I stepped into my purpose, speaking, writing, and coaching, using my gifts to glorify Jesus. I began teaching other women, imparting to them what God had done in my life. I’m now beginning to fulfill my lifelong dreams.
Yet…yet…despite the healing and me being an overcomer through Christ, here was that hideous, green-eyed thing again. Envy. And feeling less than. Not good enough.
Would it always raise its ugly head my whole life?
Today I found this great article that helped me put things in perspective: It’s not about me! And I need to live for an audience of One – God! (The article is 5 Ways To Stop Envy Before It Starts)
And I realized I could never fully become who God created me to be by looking at anyone other than Jesus.
I was made in HIS IMAGE. Not my friend’s. Not my own. Not anyone’s but GOD’s!
Then I set to work today. I revised my Speaker One Sheet. Printed out copies to take to women’s ministry leaders this week for potential speaking engagements. You can find it by scrolling down on my Speaking page to where it says, Beth Jones’ One Sheet. Just click on that link.
I wrote this blog, Are You Just a Spectator?
I took a breath. Went outside to feel the sun on my face and the refreshing wind. I’m alive.
I do feel genuinely happy for my speaker friend. Yay for her! I celebrate all God’s doing in her life. She truly inspires me.
Then today I remembered I have a speaking engagement in October with other speakers. And I have an amazing opportunity to speak at 2 women’s conferences in Kenya in December 2013. You can find out more about that by clicking here – please prayerfully consisder supporting me.
God is at work in my life! I am doing important work! I celebrate all God has done in my life, too.No, I’m not my friend. I’m not other women. I’m me. That’s all I have to be – who God made me to be.
I don’t need to compare myself to others or feel envious, or less than.
Suddenly I realized that I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you, God, for my blessings and all You’ve bestowed upon me. Forgive my ingratitude and self-centered thinking. Thank you for the wonderful opportunities you have given me!
I’m right where God wants me to be. His timing for all things is perfect. So are you! He makes everything beautiful in its time.
I don’t want to be just a spectator looking at others run to win the prize. I want to be and do all God wants me to do and to be. What about you?
God, help us to live our lives pleasing YOU! Not spectators. But involved and engaged in your Kingdom work here on earth. Fulfilling YOUR purpose for our lives.
I am worthy. I am important – to God. God proved this to me by Jesus dying on the cross. God did the same for you!
He has a great plan for my life – and yours. (Jeremiah 29:11)
We are not spectators.
Have you ever struggled with envy? What did you do to overcome it? Leave your comments below.