Last Thursday, January 31st, was an exceptionally special day for our one and only! Our son, Matthew, won "The Horizon Award" for the state of Alabama! This particular award is given annually to a person who is excelling in the field of horticulture. It is quite a prestigious award! To say I was a grateful, thankful and, yes, a very proud, Mom, is an understatement!
So you may be scratching your head asking,
"Barb, that's wonderful news, so what's up with the title of the post?"
That's a great question, and here's where I lay out my heart before you all. And trust me, it isn't pretty! Not one bit! I hesitated sharing. I really didn't want to, but the Lord said otherwise!
We were graciously invited by Matthew's boss to attend the award ceremony!
The ceremony was being held in Mobile, Alabama, and since we live in Florida, that could only mean one thing! Brian and I were headed on a road trip!
We'll get to see Matthew being surprised as he receives his award!
Spend time with Matthew, Tamara and Emma!
Walk the trade show!
Have loads of fun!
And with the flexibility of Brian's work schedule, we will extend our stay and turn it into a mini vacation!
I think so, too!
Just one problem!
Only one inconvenience!
One slight set back!
My chronic illness!
That pesky "thing" always has a way of rearing its ugly head, interfering and messing up plans!
No amount of prayer or faith would have made it possible for me to travel five hundred miles one way.
The crowds of people. The lights. The noise. The constant movement and motion would have set my head into a constant vertigo spin, not to mention the pounding head pressure, the kaleidoscope of visual images and the other unrelenting symptoms!
Not a very appealing mini vacation for myself or for Brian, wouldn't you agree?
When we learned several weeks ago that Matthew would be receiving this award, the Lord laid upon my heart to "highly suggest" to Brian that he REALLY needed to go and be there for Matthew.
And I'm truly thankful that Brian did get to go.
As the time for the award ceremony drew nearer I could feel that "ever so clever green-eyed monster" starting to work its way into my heart and mind.
Beginning to whisper LIES such as,
"It's NOT fair you gotta stay home again and miss out on all the fun just because you're sick!"
"Just something else you're missing out on!"
"Everyone else always gets to do what they want, but not you! You're always left out of doing fun stuff cause of your sickness!"
"Feeling rather useless, aren't you?"
However, it was being played out as TRUTH in my heart and mind.
Sad to say, this was not, by any means, my first go around with this ugly green-eyed monster.
As the limitations from my illness heighten so does my jealousy bone.
The less I am able to do physically and participate in, the more my jealous spirit grows.
Instead of recognizing it for what it truly is, I was justifying my jealousy simply because of not feeling well.
Justifying my jealous spirit because of being left out of all the fun stuff due to my physical limitations.
Justifying my jealousy towards others because they are able to go about their day never needing to think about doing the most simplest of things.
Jealousy is a joy robber to the umpteenth degree!
Jealousy is being discontent with God's innumerable blessings He bestows upon us EVERY day!
Jealousy is a child throwing a temper tantrum!
Jealousy is slapping God in the face, telling Him He made a mistake, I never asked for this trial and I deserve better!
The Monday before Brian left for Mobile I had the JOY of talking with my Pastor's wife. After a one hour conversation (maybe longer?) I had managed to lay bare my entire soul to her! I surely didn't mean to. BUT GOD DID!
She gave me some great godly counsel!
When those jealous thoughts fill my mind, I must cast them down IMMEDIATELY by praying ALOUD. By reading my Bible ALOUD. By singing ALOUD. By worshiping and praising the Lord ALOUD!
Notice the emphasize on the word ALOUD!
The devil cowers away at HEARING the Word of God. At HEARING the name of JESUS. At HEARING prayer. At HEARING praise and worship to our Saviour!
When those jealous thoughts begin to flood my mind and I begin to feel sorry for myself, I need to rehearse ALOUD all I DO have and NOT focus on what I'm missing out on!
Counting your blessings naming them one by one ALOUD!
Her final piece of counsel was,
Meaning in my case, DO NOT ALLOW my mouth to speak words of jealousy or my mind to think jealous thoughts.
Ask the Holy Spirit to replace the jealous words and thoughts with positive, godly, uplifting words and thoughts!
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
Friend, for you it might not be a struggle with jealousy.
For you, it is __________ (you fill in the blank)
I pray you will take the godly counsel which I received, ask the Lord to make the applications REAL in your life and ultimately win the victory through the power of Jesus Christ!
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May God Bless You,