|Posted by Lauren Sparks on May 11, 2015 at 9:40 AM|| |
Happy Mother's May, mama readers! I hope you had a great weekend and that the spoiling doesn't stop yet. I had a sweet time with my family that started with breakfast in bed and then church together. Our pastor at 121 Community Church continued his sermon series on breaking every chain that binds us. Yesterday's topic? Jealousy. Strange message for Mother's Day, but it worked. Mother's Day is often painful for women who long for children, who wish they had a better relationship with their children or their own mother, or have lost a mother or child. My heart goes out to you if yesterday was a reminder of what you desire and have no been able to have. I can only imagine your sorrow. And please don't hear me say that it is wrong to grieve for those relationships. The feelings only cross over into jealousy when we are so bitter about our circumstances that we can't rejoice for someone else. I hope you don't hear any condemnation because I will be sharing my shortcomings shortly in the area of jealousy.
Our minister defined jealousy as the idea that God owes me. That I somehow deserve something. Anything. To examine ourselves, he asked us to think about what person or category of persons we secretly resent. Ouch. I'm sure I don't have a jealousy problem. I'm only envious of women who are thin, stronger and more athletic than me, are creative and crafty, those who get to help lead women's ministry, fitness instructors with bigger classes, those who seems to get invited to social events often...I think I will stop there. But I'm sure there are more.
Although I was convicted of all the work I need to do to be content in who God made me to be, I also left church affirmed. I realized that God has already released me from a huge jealousy issue. For years, as I was adjusting to Shelby's intellectual disability diagnosis, I had a very hard time hearing other moms brag about their child's accomplishments. Listening to all that "Johnny" had learned was a painful reminder of how slow Shelby was. The things we celebrated with her seemed so miniscule in comparison. I dreaded life groups and play dates because I couldn't be happy for my friends. I was too miserable in my own mourning - lost in what could have been. But God has replaced that jealousy with a true appreciation for my unique and wonderful Shelby. She is the funniest, most loving child I know. Her sweet demeanor charms everyone who comes in contact with her. My heart still hurts occasionally when I see other kids doing things she will never do, but most of the time, I just celebrate the wonderful girl that she is.
"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures." James 4:1-3
Dear God, thank you for the work you have already done in changing my heart. Please continue to heal my discontent so I will be fit for your kingdom work.