Originally published Thursday, 30 April 2015.
I could only see the distance God took her.
The places she was set to go.
The open doors she got to walk through;
they same ones that slammed shut in my face.
The must-have-been joy all on her face
as comments galore flooded her blog.
I could taste the sourness in my mouth
and feel the irritation well up in my heart.
She had everything and I walked away with nothing.
I used to be this kind of girl. The kind of girl that wanted only me to succeed. The kind of girl who couldn't deal with the success of others. I really hate to say it - because it's embarrassing to see this always in turmoil, always watching, never happy girl.
Jealous girl. Greedy girl. Needy girl.
I have fought this girl time and time again. I have told her to take a hike. I have told her she is wrong. I have told her she is ungodly.
She normally didn't care much because she always returned. Despite my best attempts to push her underground, to pretend she didn't exist - that dang girl kept haunting me. Jealousy is an ugly thing.
But, one day, God prompted my heart to make one small change. And, oh my goodness, I just praise him that I listened because in that moment I learned how to not be jealous.
Because this one small step of obedience changed the entire terrain of my heart. It's as if this one step of obedience invited a landscaper in to level everything. His work left my mouth dropped.
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:25)
When God calls us to untraveled, unlevel places of faith, he brings us there to transverse the most astounding, the most astonishing and the most breathtaking terrain of our lives. Terrain that leaves us charged to go to new places.
We leave knowing it was his work, because in this place, we got to behold his glory, perceive his beauty and witness his loyalty. We leave, perceiving life from a different perspective. Our soul is compelled to go new distances and new places.
It feels like the Israelites as they muster the courage to step into our promised land. We get faithful and then he brings us there.
He did this for me.
He called me to more.
He asked me to leave comparison behind.
To wave goodbye to inadequacy.
And to begin encouraging and uplifting.
As I did this, my dry desert heart began to sink away and an amazing thing replaced it.
The more I encouraged my fellow bloggers through
the #RaRalinkup, the more my heart was replenished.
The more I saw each person's pain and hardships,
the more my heart softened.
The more I lifted another up,
the more my love grew for them.
The more I felt a heart uplifted,
the more mine was.
The more I saw their love for God,
the more I wanted them to succeed.
Christ's love was taking over and I had leaned how to let go of jealousy.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 Jo. 4:18)
Each step of love, is a step towards life. Each step of encouragement, is a step towards excitement. Each step of faith is a step towards something greater than me and loftier than my sole vision.
God has opened my eyes up to the power of his body - a body working together in unison.
Rather than rallying against them, we rally together on Twitter and the blogosphere in the name of Christ. There is no fear in love. We are so much more effective as a whole than as a part. I see God accomplishing big Kingdom-work through this group of women.
Together we are powerful.
God pushed me to encourage. Now, I only want the best for these women I once envied. I delight in their successes and mourn at their losses - authentically. I truly want God to take each one of them to his greatest heights. I delight in cheering for them. I want to help them.
What a transformation. Am I always perfect, no, but who is? But, I am 99% changed.
I praise God because he is the great Transformer. He is always ready to lead us to more. The question is - are we listening? I saw how one small prompting could open a floodgate of love and change a heart completely.
So, it inclines my heart to wonder, what other small things is he speaking? Am I missing them?
How is he calling me to greater love?
Because I have learned, when he calls us somewhere it will stagger us.
When we let God in, he truly changes the landscape of our heart. He works and reworks everything that is out of place. When we get rid of jealousy, we see God's beauty.
A Note to the #RaRalinkup Linkup Team,
My heart beats for what makes your heart beat. Thank you for teaching me true love. God has used you mightily in my life. I am forever grateful. You encourage me more than I could ever begin to encourage you.
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