It’s pretty painful when you get slapped upside the head with your own sin nature. It happened to me this week. I wrote previously, in a somewhat joking manner, about being a bad sports mom here. But today I saw it for what it is – not a joking matter. It was ugly and green and monstrous. My jealousy. On behalf of my daughter. For months it’s been spewing forth in the form excuses and snide remarks. But I didn’t see it for what it was until now. Sin. In all it’s unattractive darkness.
I cried buckets of tears as the conviction set in. The way it was hardening my heart. The way it was trickling down to my daughter and infecting my husband. The way it was hurting others. As I piously complained about “those catty moms” I was blinded to the fact that I was morphing into one. Like a transformer with an evil side. And the grief over this sin has left me sick to my stomach and hugging the toilet. That may be more information than you wanted to have, but as a writer, I process the world around me with words. So you few faithful readers – if you hang in there – have to process it with me. My hope is that maybe you will learn a little something with me too.
I’ve done what I can in the immediate to rectify the situation. I have apologized to those I’ve hurt and I have confessed the jealousy to God and asked His forgiveness, but now I have a lot of work to do on me. I’m so thankful God offers plenty of help and grace for the process. In analyzing how I got here, I have to be honest enough to admit that I have personally never felt good enough. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not talented enough, not athletic enough, not fun enough. Enough to get by, but perpetually second string. So when I started to hear the words, “I’m not good enough” from my daughter’s mouth, something snapped in me. I wanted so much more than that for her. And I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I’ve let her success – or lack there or – become an idol to me.
I know that God has forgiven me, and I hope those I’ve hurt can as well, but I’m afraid that carefully constructed idol won’t tumble over night. So walking and talking this out with God has led me to two immediate courses of action to help drive this envy out of my heart.
- I realize that by coveting the achievements of my daughter’s friends, I am subconsciously saying that what my girl can accomplish is not enough. That she is not enough. That is the opposite of how I feel about her. Starting right now, I must celebrate where she is and what she does with no comparison.
- I have to fight back this scarcity mentality that tells me another’s success is my child’s failure. The truth is there is enough success to go around. I need to relish in the success of her friends – like she does. I need to follow her lead.