Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The post that was entitled 'Jealousy'

I've never thought to look up why green is associated with jealousy, but it seems fitting seeing how green is my favorite color and I am a jealous person.

I'm not boasting at all in my tendency to jealousy. I'm just being honest. Even before Owen died, I remember feeling like everyone else had it all together. They had, well, pick something and I was probably jealous of it. 

Watching women with huge, beautiful bellies swollen with babies that (in my head) won't die; seeing mommies and daddies playing with their children, holding them close in their arms can make me fall to pieces with longing and well, with jealousy too. 

I am so tired of being jealous. I'm exhausted with my tendency to covet what other people have. Really, when you think about it, I am jealous of what our Father has ordained for them and how His plans can look so different (read: unfair). 

In the past two weeks, I have been pulled pretty far from my comfort zone. 
I admit that I will do pretty much anything to remain comfortable in my circumstances, my home, my marriage, my life. It feels so much nicer to stay within the bounds of comfortability rather than step out in faith and trust that our Father actually knows what He is doing. 

By His Spirit, I have a really good friend who has a 29 month old daughter. If my plans had been the Lord's, I would have an almost 21 month old running amok in my house. What a cute couple they would have made! 
Two weeks ago, L. asked me if I would be willing to babysit her little girl. The Lord was merciful to provide the strength and willingness to do this for my friend. 
Baby-sitting sweet little G. could have been a horrible experience, not because she's a difficult child, but because I am a jealous person. 
The second time she asked me to babysit, I jumped at the chance. What a joy G. is and how fun it was to look after her for my friend. This time, though, I would be baby-sitting G. at her house and not in the middle of a doctor's office while her mommy had an appointment. 
I was a little apprehensive walking into L.'s house that morning. What would it be like to 'play house' with someone else's child? Would I make it through? Would I feel like the mother that I am or just a teenaged babysitter? Would I fall apart with jealousy?

It had been two and a half years since I'd taken an offer to babysit (at someone's house) and I wondered if it would feel different now that I was a mother.

It is obvious that I did not feel like G.'s mother, but I did feel different this time around. We danced and played dress up, we cuddled on the sofa and enjoyed the treat of watching Barney and Caillou (believe it or not, I had never seen Caillou before). 

It felt different holding her next to me and letting her rest her hands on my arms. I smiled and wondered if she needed the physical contact to make her feel secure. Her little head bobbed down a few times but she wouldn't acknowledge how sleepy she was. It felt different...

While we were sitting on the sofa watching her favorite shows, my gaze drifted out the window and amazingly, there was a striking red bird looking straight at me. I smiled, knowing how much our Father loves me. He knows my affinity for red birds and what a strong connection they hold for me to my precious little boy. 

I did feel pangs of jealousy and an intense longing for Owen, but I also felt very assured of God's love for him and me. 
By His Spirit, I do feel assured of our Father's good plans for my life and the good works He is orchestrating through my precious son's life and death.

I long to trust our Heavenly Father. The Spirit in me desires closeness to the Father and my flesh is busy looking at what my neighbor has. 
It is a constant battle. It is a deep struggle, but praise God, Jesus has finished the work and won the war. It is right now, and not yet.


Tonya said...

Sweet Ebe.
I always love your honesty. I'm so glad you enjoyed your time with little G. Isn't Calliou great? It was one of Jessica's favorite shows. I still know the song by heart. I can't wait for you to experience those things with your own little person! I'm glad you were able to step out of your comfort zone and that God reassured you in the midst of it by sending that red bird. Jealousy is a hard thing. I, too, struggle at times with His plans for others, which seem without hurt and pain, when His plans include that for me. It's one of the many things I don't understand, but by His grace, am able to accept.
Love and miss you!

Ruth said...

Hmmmm, jealousy. Check out my latest post: every time I log on to Facebook, the battle begins. I trust that God will be working in my heart so that I can fully celebrate with others who experience the joy of motherhood, free of loss.

Sara said...

I struggle with that too. I am so glad you enjoyed your time with little miss G:) Ebe, I love your honesty. It is beautiful! You are such a sweet Momma loving your little ones from afar... I am praying for the Lord to bless you with one that is meant to stay with you here on earth. I want you to have that so badly.

Don't ever forget you are precious to HIM, and loved with an everlasting love!

Thinking of you, praying and sending hugs!

Chris said...

I am so glad that RedBob visited you. the Lord is so sweet. I am floored with how He is at work within you "by the Spirit". How thankful I am for the Spirit's work in us. I love you, our babies, Miss G., and RedBob.
-Your Jealous Papa.

Traci said...

I'm so glad there was some sweetness in caring for little G. And oh how I love cardinals too!

As for jealousy - there are times it seems impossible to kick that nature. I remember that there used to be this tract that meant so very much to mom & dad. It was titled "Others May, You Cannot". I know the tract was meant to be encouragement to the Christian as he is watching the seeming unfairness of life around us - and my parents certainly interpreted it that way and took strength from it. But for me it somehow always felt like a slap in the face. Like a denial of the hopes and dreams that were so stong in me (and still are). I know God is good and that his plans are for our good and not our harm...but sometimes from this side of the veil it just seems unfair. If only He would allow us just a glimpse of the whole picture from His perspective...

Meanwhile, I struggle with the jealousy too. I don't want to feel that weight and ugliness. And most of the time I can find joy and pleasure in celebrating with those I love who partake of the things my heart so desires and so far has been denied...but I think it is probably only by God's grace that I am able to be so generous at those times.

Make He grant us that Grace with more frequency! Love you!