Every week, we’re reading through one chapter of Lysa’s book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. We get together on Thursdays to talk about the chapter, share our thoughts, and grow together. This week, we’re on Chapter 9: Empty Woman. So glad you’re joining us!!
“You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” Galatians 6:7 (NLT)
Have I sown seeds of comparison? Why yes, yes I have. Have you?
I’ve been thinking about this all week since I read the chapter, and I cannot help but think that all women struggle with comparing ourselves to the woman close by who looks so much like we want to look. In doing so we create unfulfilled expectations of ourselves and others.
- She’s the woman who homeschools.
- She’s the woman who cooks organically.
- She’s the one with all the beauty.
- She’s never struggled a day in her life.
- She’s …..
You know the list. You’ve had one before, perhaps subconsciously, but it’s been there right? I relayed to a friend earlier this week that if I could only let go of expectation, I would be perfect. So many expectations. Right now I can think of a million and one ways in which I miss the mark on other’s expectations of me. Not to mention all the ways I expect others to do and be. Gradually I’ve tried to let go of the idea of expectations, but after a lifetime of them, it’s not an easy habit to break. However, I want to strive toward it because I want to be a woman of grace. A woman who does not let friendships and joy and peace and hope die, just because I am too stubborn and full of comparison and expectation that I forget to embrace the abundance of life. No. I don’t want to be that woman.
I want to continue to look at the women next to me with wonder for the beauty in which He’s given her, worship Him for it, instead of crave who she is for myself and hope to steal it. I want to authentically embrace her in love instead of secretly loathe myself for not being better at what she does. To be a giver of grace. Grace – favor without cause. hmm.
I want to be a giver and less of a receiver. Not empty with foolishness and jealousy, but full of life that spills over and over and over. I want to sow seeds of grace, of life, of joy, of beauty, and most of all, of His unending love.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. – Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)
I started this chapter thinking that jealousy wasn’t really something I dealt with.
Jealousy and discontent are eternally linked. And discontent is something I struggle with.
Those areas where I *know* I’m lacking, seem to be the areas you excel in. And the discontent settles in and the jealousy grows.
But the load you’re carrying isn’t one that I’m equipped to carry. Your load comes with both good and bad, the same as mine.
I was given my load for a reason. And I’m not carrying it alone, I’m carrying it in His strength, crafted perfectly to meet my needs.
Rather than jealousy, I want my life to reflect giving. Selfless giving.
As I meditate on those Galatians verses above, I can embrace the load I’ve been given – both good and bad. And the charge to do my creative best with the life I’ve been given? Well, that I can do. That I am excited to do.
And in the process, share a little love around with all the rest of you. Because your loads hold good and bad too. And chances are, you’re in need of a little love.
See the truth about your life for what it is – protection from a load you were never made to carry. And embrace that life with all you’ve got, using your very creative best to be the faithful steward God’s designed you to be.
Questions for Reflection:
1. What kinds of things spark jealousy within you?
2. Can you look back on your life and now see missed opportunities or disappointments as God’s divine protection?
3. How can you exhibit your creative best today?