I recognize I ended my last post boasting about how gracefully I’m letting go of certain things in the ALS process and today’s post is about the not-so-very graceful subject of jealousy…it’s a contradiction, I know, but both are true…
Jealousy actually isn’t something I struggled with in my life in general…especially in recent years. I’ve certainly had my share of insecurities but those insecurities rarely manifested in being jealous of others which is why I’m surprised by the jealousy I’m experiencing now. It isn’t a constant feeling but is just under the surface and rears it’s ugly head from time to time…it surfaces when I’m out and about and see able bodied people busily going about their day without having to think twice about how they’re going to navigate their day…it surfaces when I swipe through my FB feed and see all the fun life being lived…it even surfaced this past week as I watched all the Kay and Zales Valentines commercials on tv wishing I could build my “Silver By Trish” business and fulfill by dreams of being the next “Tiffany and Co”. Ha Ha Ha Did you catch that? I’m jealous of Kay and Zales Jewelers?!?! That’s silly!
At times, though, it’s also more personal…I’m jealous of my friends who are living out or anticipating life transitions that I long to experience, I’m jealous of those I watch seemingly making all the “wrong” choices in life and yet are also seemingly thriving (OUCH! Super judgmental, I know!! Forgive me!) and I’m jealous of Rolf and the unique relationship he’ll have with our children in my absence. Eew! I don’t like the way any of that sounds but it’s good to speak honestly because I’m learning that jealousy loses a good bit of it’s power when it’s exposed. And just in case you fall into any of the categories listed above, DON’T FRET, because I’m also learning that my being jealous has NOTHING to do with the object of my jealousy and EVERYTHING to do with… me. It’s my burden to work through and grow from! Being jealous and bitter isn’t where I want to land but I am discovering some beautiful expressions of God’s mercy in the act of confronting and interacting with the dark feelings.
For example, the reason I’m jealous of Rolf also happens to be my deepest comfort in facing death! How grateful I am that Rolf is a good dad, has a close relationship with our kids, communicates well with them and will be living life with our kids for us BOTH!!! What a huge gift!! God has also given me a gift in the area of music…especially as it relates to worship. It’s no secret that leading worship is something I’ve cherished since I was a young adult and is the last remaining commitment on my weekly calendar. With an amazing amount of practical support from my bandmates, I’ve been able to continue to lead worship at my church much longer than I thought possible. My contributions are stripped down though…I’m no longer able to sing lead in most of our songs and I packed away my guitar for the last time this past week…I just don’t have the arm strength to keep up with any kind of tempo anymore. What I can offer musically has been whittled down to a few harmony lines and a strike or two of the tambourine 🙂 and it’s clear that my season as a music maker and corporate worship leader is nearing it’s end. I can feel it coming and it breaks my heart.
God’s mercy in all this for me is the kids. God has allowed life to unfold in such a way that one of my greatest personal heartbreaks is being met with one of my greatest joys…the partnership I’ve had with my kids over the years in leading worship at our church is allowing me to pass the baton of leadership (figuratively and literally) to these precious souls that I know intimately, wholly trust and couldn’t be more inspired by! Wow! What. a. gift. Instead of being jealous, I’m overjoyed! I don’t put this in writing to put any kind of expectation on my children because their journey will be their own and I trust that…this is about me…in this moment…and how God is lovingly dulling the sharp pain of this transition through my kids. It makes me chuckle, really, because it’s not like our kids’ involvement in music is something we orchestrated or pushed in our household…Rolf and I didn’t even invest in music lessons for our kids for heaven’s sake!! I think music was just something Rolf and I valued through our different tastes in music and various expressions of appreciation and we invited the kids to enjoy it with us. Once introduced, they took control of their own relationship with music and are already far more musically literate and gifted than me. Combine that with a thirst for God and, wow, there’s power in that.
(The expression of Wilson’s heart means the most to me in this recent video…at 4:20 especially – sing it Wilson!)
(Max has the gift of making worship FUN…)
(Olivia has a confidence in her expression through singing that inspires me…and how grateful I am that she can sing my soprano parts!)
I praise God for entrusting these three to me and, in turn, I’m able to entrust something I cherish to them – without hesitation. May God continue to reveal Himself through their pursuit of Him and in their offering of praise…individually and together!!! 🙂