Do you ever scroll through Facebook or Instagram while you’re drying your hair? I do just about every day. It makes me late a lot of times and it’s a habit I seriously need to break. But, this morning I noticed something even more dangerous about my hair drying routine- I tend to use it as a time to “check in” on everyone I don’t like. You know, just casually scroll through to see if they have posted anything new so I can make sure I haven’t missed a reason to not like them even more. I guess it’s sort of a sinful thing to reveal but it’s honest and if I had to bet I would say most of us do it on a daily basis. We all have people we’re not a fan of. But y’all there are some girls out there that literally make my blood pressure rise. They can walk in the room and my night is immediately ruined. And heaven forbid they actually look cute because then I may lose my mind. Some of them, I have never even talked to before. I just know them or (think) I know something they did in the past that automatically makes my eye twitch every time I hear their name. 98% of the girls I despise the most have never done a thing directly to me. I base my reasons for liking or disliking them based on extremely trivial reasons such as: 1) She dated my husband in the past or even looked in his general direction at any point in life (this includes preschool). 2) She’s prettier than me. 3) She has the job I wish I had. 4) She was ugly to my best friend/ and/or dated her boyfriend or ex boyfriend in the past. 5) She dates and/or dated my ex boyfriend. 6) She is a member of that sorority. 7) She’s pregnant and I want a baby way more than she does. And the list goes on and on and on. Putting it on paper really makes me look kind of nuts, jealous, and a totally insecure psycho. But if you stop and think about it, how many times a day do you hear or say the phrase “I hate her”? And why? Why do we do that? Why do we say that? It’s because really, we are insecure and jealous and it makes us a little bit nuts. Hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth.
I never thought I struggled with jealousy until I started dating my husband. He is 3 and ½ years older than me and had dated other girls before we got together. I knew him (and was totally hung up on him) for 4 years before started dating. He was in college away from home while I was still in high school and I wanted more than anything to impress him. I prayed every night that I would be a “Harrison” some day but even if not, that Jon and I would remain friends. We are now married and have had a child together. I could tell over and over again all of the different stories of God’s providence and blessings throughout our friendship, dating and married life but I will simply say this: God has been SO faithful to us. And Jon has never, not one single time, been unfaithful to me. So why on earth do I cry every time I hear the song “I Got the Boy” on the radio? Why do I constantly ask him if he loves me or still finds me attractive? Why do I believe the LIE that the enemy constantly whispers to me that I am not good enough for him and he will find someone better? Now that I am married, I find myself being more jealous than ever of other women. After all, now that I have a man I have to protect what I’ve got right? I doubt my ability to keep Jon interested in me so much that it has affected our relationship on every single level.
I firmly believe the enemy loves to cause us to doubt. I think it is one of his favorite mechanisms to cause us to sin. As early as the book of Genesis, the enemy approached Eve and asked her “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”(Genesis 3:1). If he can cause us to doubt what is true, then the line between right and wrong becomes much more grey. And with doubt comes insecurity and with insecurity comes downright jealousy. Jealousy causes us to sin. It causes us to be mean to other people-to our husbands, to our co workers, and especially to other women. It causes us to refuse to trust those that are closest to us. It causes us not to apply for the position we want. It causes us to refuse to surrender the fight to get pregnant into God’s hands. It causes us to constantly blow up on our husbands for not telling us “I love you” every minute of every day. It causes us to chicken out of leading a bible study at our home because we are afraid of who will come. It causes nothing but pain for US. And for some reason, we continue to let it rule every aspect of our lives.
If we are really being honest, the truth of the matter is that we don’t believe we are who God says we are. We don’t believe He is who He says He is. We don’t believe he is MORE than capable of handling every aspect, situation, and insecurity that we face. We don’t believe that we can trust Him. We don’t believe that we can beat a 50% divorce rate. We don’t believe that we will ever be able to look into the mirror and be content with who we see staring back at us. We don’t believe that we still have an opportunity for an amazing career even if we fail a test for grad school or law school or even decide altogether not to go. We don’t believe that when our Godly, incredible, (almost perfect) husband looks at us and says “I love you more than anything” that he really means it. We don’t believe in the abundant life. We don’t believe in grace. We don’t believe that we are “more than conquerors” through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37). We don’t.
I don’t know a way to fix jealousy or insecurity and I especially don’t know how to fix the combination. I struggle with both. I know I’ve tried on my own and it’s hard. And I don’t know why God laid it on my heart to share this morning other than the fact someone may be struggling with the same thing. I have noticed it more than ever this week after spending a weekend alone with my husband in the mountains. I don’t know the best way to deal with it. I don’t know all of the scripture to tell you to help you conquer it. But I do know that it made me sad to think that God held my hand in that emergency room when I lost my baby, He sent His only baby to die for me, and I still blatantly refuse to believe what He says. If anything, I am ashamed of how I have treated Him, how I have treated my husband, and how I have treated others around me because of a LIE that Satan constantly whispers to me that I am not enough. So consider this a public apology, a deep conviction, and bathroom revelation. I hope it is for you too.
And to think as long as I have struggled with this and as much as I have prayed about forgiving and just moving on, this came to me under the blow dryer. Lord help me.
Ashlee Smith says
Beautifully written Bethany!
Ginny Lea says
Bethany, I cannot tell you how much this post has directly spoken to me. I have been reading all of your blogs tonight and have one left, but this one has touched my heart deeply. Thank you for having the audacity to share your personal life with others.