Green with Envy: When Jealousy Steals Your Joy

Green with Envy: When Jealousy Steals Your Joy

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

 " Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)

The first time I came across this scripture in Romans, I remember thinking, "I'd rather rejoice with others than weep with them." This is until I had to rejoice (or at least pretend) with my sister-in-law who happened to get every prayer I wanted to be answered. Did God have us confused? Were there some cosmic wires crossed somewhere that had her living my life and me living hers?


I'm not saying my life is terrible by any means. A loving husband, two kiddos that were coming into their own at 15 and 12, a job that I enjoy, and a small side business that gave me freedom and fun. What more could a girl ask for, right?


Three years ago I got the baby blues. I wanted a baby, but after having my tubes tied during the birth of our daughter, and another surgery due to a complication years later, it wasn't in the cards. Still, I longed. And I prayed. And I was a little flippant when a new pregnancy announcement made its way on my Facebook wall.


During this time of longing that my sister-in-law became pregnant. I was happy for her, but a part of my brain asked, 'why not me'? Through the ups and downs of her pregnancy, I was there reassuring her that it would all be worth it in the end. Once that sweet baby girl made her appearance, she had every person wrapped around her little finger.


Admittedly, there were times I that I still had to fight off that jealousy. One night, I broke down and wrote a letter to God detailing to Him from my heart how I felt about the entire situation. Once I finished writing and pouring all that ugliness out of my heart, I prayed for God to burn them out of my heart, much like I did with that piece of paper. I vowed to start fresh and new without envy and allow the Spirit to work within me

I began praying for God to take away the feelings of jealousy I had and instead give me a heart of joy for my sister-in-law and her brand-new bundle of joy. I would go out of my way to help her in any way that I could. Some may think this was a way for me to easy my guilty conscience, and in a sense I think that is true. I also confessed to her how I felt, and that was the turning point in our relationship. After breaking down and telling her how I felt, she confessed that she felt guilty because she knew how much I longed for a baby and did not want me to hold any anger towards her.

This confession--this baring of our souls to each other is what mended our friendship and also dissolved any feelings of jealousy I could still have towards her.

When I left her house that night, I had a sense of freedom. I no longer felt that she had something that was supposed to be mine. I left knowing that God had a plan for my life that was suitable for me and, I was certain it would be great.

Now, I wish I could tell you at this point that I never got jealous again. That the green-eyed monster never snuck up on me in a moment of weakness. But, that would be a lie. When this same sister-in-law became pregnant yet again, it wasn't so much jealousy that I felt as anger.

This anger was white-hot and demolished any common sense I had for a time. I acted like a child that did not get her way; I may have even shaken my fist at God. Really, God? Again? WHY?

This time though, I knew what I needed to do. I had to take it to God-and quickly. But, this time was different. Instead of sorrow, I had peace. Instead of lacking, I had a fulfillment of God's great mercy and grace. In that moment, God revealed to me that His ways and His thoughts are higher than mine (Isa. 55:8-9). What I missed in my last burning out of jealousy was finally revealed--surrender. A sweet surrender to Him and His will. A surrender of all my hopes, dreams, ambitions, and goals.

Sweet friend, can I encourage you tonight?

When you feel those white-hot burning feelings of jealousy, take them to Jesus. Lay them at His feet. Surrender it all right there to Him. He will give you grace and mercy, not just in that moment, but in so many more to come. If it makes you feel better to purge those thoughts on paper and then physically burn them as a symbol of your surrender, do it. When we get rid of our "green" eyes, we see through eyes of love.

And where there is love, there is perfect peace.

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