Her Success Doesn't Threaten Mine
“These were his instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’” Luke 10:2 (NLT)
Have you ever wondered if there’s any need for you and the dreams tucked in your heart, when there are already so many successful people out there in the world?
I totally understand.
Several years ago, I remember pouring out all the best words I had through a pixelated letters-turned-pages-turned-book proposal. I tucked my heart and dreams into a purple Office Max binder and hoped for the best.
That summer, I gave my proposal to several acquisitions editors. For months after sending out my proposal, I would dream about the day some publishing house would say yes.
I can’t tell you the number of afternoons I’d stand at my mailbox, holding my breath, praying there would be good news inside. When the rejection letters started coming, I tried to keep up the hope that surely there would be one positive answer. I just needed one publisher to say yes.
Soon, I’d received a “no” answer from all but one. And when I got that final rejection, I felt so foolish for thinking I could actually write a book. My dream was nothing but a sham. I had no writing skills. And I must have heard God all wrong.
At the same time, I had other writer friends who were getting different letters from the publishers.
Letters that turned into book contracts.
In my better moments, I did the right thing and authentically celebrated with them. But then there were other moments. Hard moments.
Moments where I felt my friends’ lives were rushing past me in a flurry of met goals, new opportunities and affirmations of their callings from God. It seemed the world was literally passing me by. And in those moments I said on the outside, “Good for them.”
But on the inside, I just kept thinking, Ouch ... that means less and less opportunity for me. The raw essence of honest hurting rarely produces pretty thoughts.
I wrestled and I processed.
And I decided to get still. Refusing to believe I’d been left out and left behind. And starving my scarcity thinking.
Those times of being still are good and necessary when your thinking needs to be swept all into one pile. Then it’s much easier to identify treasures to keep, from the trash that should be tossed.
Then I could see new and life-giving realities. Her success does not threaten yours, nor mine. When she does well, we all do well. All tides rise when we see a sister making this world a better place with her gifts.
When I finally started believing this, my stillness turned into readiness. And that was 20 published books ago.
This is what Jesus reminds us: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (Luke 10:2b)
And this is where we have a choice to make today.
We can look out and see the unlimited, abundant opportunities God has placed before us. To create. To write. To serve. To sing. To be and become.
Or we can stare at another person’s opportunity and get entangled in the enemy’s lie that everything is scarce. Scarce opportunities. Scarce supply. Scarce possibilities. And we start seeing another person’s creations as a threat to our own opportunities.
Oh, sweet sister, there is an abundant need in this world for your contributions to the Kingdom … your thoughts and words and artistic expressions … your exact brand of beautiful.
Know it. Believe it. Live it.
Lord, thank You for reminding me how You created me on purpose and with purpose. I don’t have to live this life feeling threatened by the success of others. Today, I’m asking You to bless the women around me doing what I long to do. Stir even more hearts with a deep passion to make You known. And continue to settle my heart with the truth that this world really does need my exact brand of beautiful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (ESV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there someone in your life whose success makes you feel threatened or less than? Take some time to actually pray for that person today. Ask God to abundantly bless her and to help you feel secure in His plans for you.
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