We’ve all had the experience of hearing an inspirational speech, yet due to a lack of practicality, our lives ultimately go unchanged.
I don’t want last week’s blog post, Showing Up For Battle to just be another one of those speeches. So over the next few weeks, I am going to share with you some practical battle strategies that you can put into place to conquer The Knot of jealousy, comparison, and shame in your life. These are real strategies that I have used in my own life, and with the Lord’s strength, they are effective.
But first… I have a story.
During college I worked behind the scenes in a boutique. My main job was to receive and ship inventory, but I also did other tasks, like naming the items, taking photos for social media, and steaming clothes for the models’ upcoming photo-shoots.
As the business grew, we needed more help, and my friend Olivia was an Apparel Merchandising major, looking for experience. The job was perfect for her! She started right away and fit in great. I was so excited to be working alongside my friend!
However, a few weeks into her new job, our bosses extended Olivia a special opportunity: they asked her to be one of their models. Although I had worked there longer than Olivia, I had never been asked to be a model.
This was extremely difficult for me. The ever-prodding Why not me? ran through my mind day in and day out. I must not be pretty enough. I must not have the right body. They must not like me as much. Maybe it’s my teeth. Eyebrows Perhaps? They probably think I’m weird.
I was stuck between being happy for this girl whom I loved dearly- and being angry with her for swooping in and stealing the show when I had given her the opportunity in the first place (We’re not even going to address my pride and sense of entitlement right now. But ew, ew, ew).
I thought my insecurities and bitterness would ease with time. They did not.
The battle in my head raged on as I worked and steamed my friend’s clothes in classic Anne Hathaway fashion (I must clarify that my coworkers and bosses were incredibly sweet, lovely women. In no way did they treat me like a second-class being. This was purely the work in my own heart and mind).
Flash-forward about six months…
I quit. I needed an internship and there were a few other factors, but truth be told one of the pushing factors for my resignation was my broken and bitter heart toward a girl whom I cared for deeply. I could not handle the way I felt about myself or the way I felt towards Olivia. The Knot of jealousy, comparison, and shame pushed me to quitting a job. I’m not kidding when I say we’ve got a powerful enemy.
SO WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET PRACTICAL, KELSEE?
Right now, girlfriend. The summer I quit my job was the summer I became passionate about fighting this jealousy. My first step? Telling someone.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Sin is like mold. When we keep it hidden away, it grows and thrives in the dark. But when we bring our secret struggle out into the light, it begins to wither away. It is important to tell others about our struggles so that we can have their prayers, encouragement, and their accountability. When you tell a sister about your struggle that means you are no longer alone. She becomes your partner, sharing the burden of sin with you, just as Jesus carried your sin to the cross.
WHO SHOULD I TELL?
Please use discretion when sharing deep struggles. You should only tell a safe sister.
- She loves the Lord
- She knows and seeks scripture for wisdom
- She is humble- not likely to judge you or condemn you
- She is honest and will speak the truth you in need and the grace you need
- She is trustworthy and will keep your confidence
- She knows you well and loves you well
Something powerful happened when I told my safe sister about this struggle. I felt the weight of shame melt away as she spoke truth and love to me. I felt empowered to have someone fighting with and for me. I realized I was not alone in the struggle, as she confessed similar thoughts toward other women.
SO WHAT HAPPENED TO OLIVIA?
I’m so happy to say that despite my bitter heart, Olivia became one of my very best friends. About a year after I quit my job I shared with Olivia all that I just shared with you. She met me with such grace and thanked me for sharing. Then we entered into a dialogue about jealousy- realizing once again that this is a common struggle amongst all women. This experience ultimately brought us closer and removed certain barriers that I had in my heart between us- totally evidence of God’s redeeming power!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
I’m not sure where you are in your struggle with comparison or jealousy.
Maybe for the first time you need to have a long talk with God. Telling him about your weakness (which he already knows about) and asking him for his grace and strength.
Perhaps you are standing alone on the frontline, shaking, but ready for battle. I would encourage you to build your army by at least one woman. Find a safe sister to confess your struggle with and ask her to join you in the fight.
Perhaps you are ready to tell a friend about the barriers you’ve had in your heart towards her. This should be done very carefully, with lots of prayer and meditation beforehand. Check your motives before confessing. Be sure there are no manipulative intentions in your heart.
Wherever you are, you don’t have to be there alone. You were created for community and that means you were meant to have an army of sisters by your side. So go and build your army this week. I’ll meet you on the battlefield.
With Love & Freedom,
P.S. I would love to be praying for your specific conversations as you build your army. Let me know how I can be fighting for you in prayer Here.
P.S. Again! Want to be notified when the next Battle Strategy is released? Click the purple link to JOIN Detangled&Free.
In case you were wondering, Olivia is in this picture, fighting for me as I step into marriage. The Lord is so gracious.