It was a beauty pageant, a conversation one night on the road, and a blog post that came after that . Women opened up, shared their hearts, and they bled, and I saw that the pain was universal.
Since that time, it’s been sitting quietly, percolating in my heart and mind, and in stillness, the Lord has been teaching. Then yesterday in class, the topic was envy, and a couple of things came together. This morning, I feel compelled to teach it.
In all of the comments that came in (which I read and tried to respond to), there was one that stuck in my head: “The concept of thinking of all women as abundantly loved is so healing, and yet in our weakest moments, so challenging too. If there was a way we could intimately tie that truth to a more practical way of viewing ourselves, and other women, it could change the world.”
Changing the world. A practical view, and knowing that we are loved. Spirit’s teaching.
We are loved.
In my own personal journey to healing and wholeness and freedom, this one, true thing has been the most transformational–that I have a Father Who loves me. No conditions. And past that, that He has chosen to adopt me and to take on the responsibility of my parenting. For me, it’s started there.
I. Am. Loved.
In these months of my “adoption journey,” the Holy Spirit has been hard at work, and part of His work has been to open up old wounds. To slice through scar tissue. To lance the pockets of disease and infection. So that healing can come.
And it hurts. Hurts like fire. But it’s crucial, it’s important, and I want it. Yes, bring that, and amen!
So as He’s been calming me, reassuring me, comforting a frightened girl who was shot through with shame, fear, contempt, He’s begun to stretch that a bit further…
To the beautiful women in the world. In the room. In my life. To the ones in my circle, my path. And He’s showing me how much they are loved. By Him.
I find, my dear sister, that as I am settling into His love for me; that as I revel in my new place as “not orphan, but adopted,” that my heart’s beginning to heal, and it’s en-large-ing.
It’s en-large-ing, beat by beat, bit by bit, piece by piece, and I find myself filled with the wildest hope and joy. For as I grasp and believe His wild love for me, I see that I am more and more able to love other women. Even if they are the prettiest (or smartest or most talented) ones in the room.
That’s the vision in which I’m walking. It’s the peace and the joy in my heart. Father’s love, for me and for them.
And now, the envy. It struck me, sitting there, absorbing the teaching, that envy and love can’t coexist. No, they can’t. For if I’m truly loving someone else, I can’t envy. Lord, teach me.
And further, that envy’s demonic! My Lord and God (my cry), I had missed that. “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and lie against the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual and demonic (James 3:15-16).”
I’m thinking today of all that sweeps over me when I am faced with someone who’s better. Someone prettier, more attractive. A writer with a much larger platform, or an “All Together” kind of girl.
De-feated. Dis-couraged. De-fensive. De-moralized. And all of it, utterly de-monic. Pure evil, with which I want nothing to do. Not a scrap.
So how do we beat this? What’s the path to victory? We can start by giving Him thanks. Saying “thanks” for what we have, what we’ve got, who we are. We’re His craftsmanship. He indwells our temple. So beautiful!
Then, for me, it’s prayer that works. Prayer for the object of my envy. And I pray blessing. I pray it over her, her family, her career. Over all that’s in her domain.
Then it happens. The sting, it leaves. The black flood recedes, and I feel once again Father’s smile. Feel hope.
I come back to Love, mine for Him, His for me. And that Love, it brings life abundant, so free.
And all’s well.
With love today from me to you, and a prayer that you’ll not fall to envy, but fall into Love.