Ever had a time in your life where you simply felt STUCK in your feelings? You know, those days when you can't even be fully present... you're stuck in something that happened yesterday, last week, or even years ago?
Let's be honest, I'm all up in my feelings at LEAST once a week. I wish it weren't so, but it is. (When I get to heaven I WILL be asking God about why He made me so emotional!)
All things aside, feelings aren't bad in themselves. Feeling all the feels is fine! But when we are experiencing high levels of emotion that seem to spin out of control, they're indicating things going on inside of us that need attention.
Over the years God has guided and helped me learn how to self-assess the "why" behind the "what" of my feelings and given me some tools to process in a healthy way.
In the next few weeks blogs I'll be breaking down some things God's helped me work through. I'm so excited to share some tools for having healthy emotions with you.
(Listen, I am by no means covering the exhaustive list, but the ones I have pin-pointed are areas I feel that I can speak confidently from.)
Today we're gonna talk real about jealousy. About 15 years ago, someone asked me a question that made me face pretty hard into my soul. They asked me, "if there was anything in your life that could take you down or keep you from going forward, what would it be?"
I knew the answer pretty fast, but it was almost embarassing to admit it. Jealousy. I had major issues with jealousy.
I grew up in very simple home- we always had just enough, but rarely extra. Then from my late teens and into my early adult years, I experienced some pretty traumatic times that caused me to live in a state of survival mode for quite a while. And I won't lie... I always wondered why I had to be the one who had it so hard. Why couldn't my life be simpler? Why couldn't I have the things I wanted? The support I needed?
Jealousy happens when we begin to think that something good is being withheld from us. They're being treated, and we're being cheated.
That's exactly what I felt.
But through that question, God began healing and showing me that He wasn't cheating me- and He isn't cheating you. He's bringing you down a path that ONLY YOU can go, with all the right tools to get you there. Jealousy can be boiled down to one thing: Trust. Do you TRUST that God is taking you somewhere, and it's GOOD?
Fix your focus
If you lose sight of where God's taking YOU, you begin to think that you should possess somebody else's tools and directions.
2 Peter 1:3 (VOICE)
His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue.
You don't need to reach for someone else's tools... God may be sending you to a mountain, and others to the sea. A boat won't help you climb a mountain! In the place God was bringing me, He needed me to develop empathy for those in great spiritual, physical, & financial need. He was giving me the tools to love well.
Sounds almost too silly to mention, but have you asked God for what you're hoping for? God WANTS to give us good gifts. In that season of difficulty, I can look back with CONFIDENCE and see that every time I had a need, I had to rely on God to fulfill it. It was in those moments that He proved He loved me and cared for the details of my life. Never was a need, and many times a want un-answered.
It's when I went BEHIND God's back to get my own way that I got in trouble...
James 4:1-2 “What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it! ”
Just ask! Don't strive. But in the end make sure your motives are pure and not just for selfish gain.
“Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door. “Do you know of any parent who would give his hungry child, who asked for food, a plate of rocks instead? Or when asked for a piece of fish, what parent would offer his child a snake instead? If you, imperfect as you are, know how to lovingly take care of your children and give them what’s best, how much more ready is your heavenly Father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask him?””
Matthew 7:7-11 TPT
Encouraging others is your purposeful way to fight jealousy! When you choose to go against what you FEEL and do what's RIGHT your heart will follow your action.
Just remember, someone else's gain is not your loss, & visa versa. Life is not a zero sum game, it's a multiplication game...so be free and generous in encouraging- living outside yourself enlarges your world AND others.
You can be one candle shining in the dark, or you can light 1,000 more and light up the world.
I hope you will all come by again next week. When we'll continue the conversation on what to do we we get stuck in our feelings.