Jealousy is Killing Me
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot” Proverbs 14:30.
There’s this one girl (and I think most of us have at least one of these girls in our lives) who is just perfect. She’s skinny, gorgeous, kind, sweet, funny, strong, and ever-trendy. She also happens to be good friends with my boyfriend. When we first started dating he told me he went through a “stage” of liking her but never told her.
Of course, that idea took hold in my head (and heart) and every time she’s around us I just feel awful. Compared to her I feel frumpy, fat, outdated, and boring. In my darker moments, I can’t help but wonder if he would rather have her but he’s settling for me.
This morning I saw a picture she posted on Instagram and immediately felt that uncomfortable tug in my gut. That’s jealousy, I realized for the first time. You know what she posted? A shot of the ocean. Nothing else. You know that you have some internal issues to work through when a picture of water can make you feel like a failure. Everything she does is perfect, even her pictures of the sea. So artistic. I would never have thought of that angle. I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on myself on this one.
So I dug a little deeper. Why do I feel this way? I should be confident in who I am. There’s nothing sexier than someone who is comfortable herself. That’s how I was, I remembered. I was utterly confident. In my last relationship, I had zero doubts about my boyfriend’s love for me. Well, he proved me wrong in my self-security when he cheated on me. Of course, it was with his friend who he always insisted was like a sister to him. I was devastated. Thanks to God above, professional counseling, and the women at my church, I went through an incredible healing process and I let go of the past. Or so I thought.
Apparently the hurt still lingers, showing up through my automatic reaction to situations like these. I don’t want to be jealous. God made me for so much more than struggling with feelings of inadequacy. I want to be completely at peace with who God made me to be, even if that means I won’t ever post artsy pictures of the ocean. I may not be skinny or wear the latest fashion, but God designed me to be exactly as I am: a gorgeous creation all in her own. One who is secure enough with who she is that she can allow other women to thrive as well.
Father, God, my Creator. You have broken my chains. I’m not longer a slave to fear- held captive by my past. You make beautiful things and you have made me new. Help me to love this girl and surrender my need to protect myself.
WRITTEN BY SARAH WITMER