Ever since I can remember, I have struggled with jealousy. My first memory that I have is one of jealousy.
I can remember it well. It was Christmas Eve, and I must have been about 3 years old. My parents decided to take me to Mass with them instead of leaving me with the religious ed class that I normally attended. I remember we were walking down the parish hall towards the church, and I caught a glimpse of my class, all traveling together, and everyone was holding hands with a “buddy.” And then I saw it. The girl that was normally MY buddy was holding hands with ANOTHER GIRL.
And I screamed. I can still remember how I felt: Jealous. Replaced. Unwanted. Forgotten. All because my regular pre-k buddy found someone else to hold hands with. Over twenty years later, here I am, still struggling with the same vice. While I no longer scream until my voice breaks, I still struggle with feeling jealous, unwanted, forgettable, and replacable.
My problem was that I didn’t know my own objective worth, given to me by God the Father, proved to me by God the Son, and completed in me by God the Holy Spirit.
The fact is, we all have something like this that we struggle with. Some of us struggle with anger, some have trust issues. Many struggle with living with a purpose, and others struggle with living in joy. The list goes on. Some days, it’s manageable. Other days, it’s unbearable. Not so long ago, it seemed like my weakness would overtake me. The jealousy had become so prevalent in my life that it became difficult to tell between right and wrong. God’s voice became distant, and a voice that spoke fear and rejection over me seemed deafening.
That’s when a friend of mine, a Franciscan sister, stepped in. She showed me how this battle with jealousy wasn’t a battle against just a mere vice. It was a battle against Satan, who had waged war against me. My problem wasn’t just jealousy either; my problem was that I didn’t know my own objective worth, given to me by God the Father, proved to me by God the Son, and completed in me by God the Holy Spirit.
If I had known the immense love that the Father had for me, I would have known that my worth was not based off of anything I had or didn’t have, or anyone’s opinion of me.
If a friend chooses to replace me, so be it. That does not affect the way the Father sees me. If those around me forget me or replace me, that does not change the way the Father cares for me. If I am rejected and unwanted, it’s okay. The Father’s love for me does not waver.
To know that these things are true is one thing. To believe them and hold fast to them is another. My friend and I decided that we would fight back against Satan and his lies, first of all by calling them out. We wrote down every lie Satan had thrown at me, and started to name them and pray against them. “In Jesus’ name, I pray against the spirit of jealousy!” “In Jesus’ name, I pray against the spirit of rejection!” “In Jesus’ name, I pray against the spririt of feeling unwanted!” And worthlessness. And bittnerness. And hatred. And feeling replacable. And on and on and on. After we prayed against every lie we could think of, we started praying truths. “In Jesus’ name, I know that I am beautiful.” “In Jesus’ name, I know that God has given me incredible worth.” “In Jesus’ name, I know that I am loved.” And desired. And wanted. And remembered.
This process has helped me so much in my life. I would be lying if I said jealousy isn’t still a struggle for me. But after doing this (and I continue to do it every time I struggle), I know that I am receiving the upper hand in battle against Satan and his lies. I am clinging to the truth that God has given me, and I am choosing not to believe Satan when he comes against me.
So I challenge you. What are you struggling with? Jesus gave himself up for us so that we may live in freedom, not for us to be captivity. Remeber John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Call it out. Name it out loud, not just in your head. Say it with your voice, recognize it, and pray against it. Write down the lies, and pray against them. Then call out the truths. Pray the truths over yourself. Ask God to give you strength to believe Him when He speaks His truth over you. Be free of the bondages that Satan keeps us in.
Pray for me, and I will pray for you.