Growing up, I loved to play soccer. Running down the field, dribbling the ball, dodging the last girl between me and the goalie, shooting the perfect shot to score the goal - all of this brought me such joy and contentment. Soccer was a sport that God gifted me at allowing me to be one of the top players on my team. I loved playing soccer so much that I actually considered playing it in college. To see how I ranked among other girls in our state, my parents enrolled me in the University of Alabama's soccer camp before my junior year of high school. When I got to the camp, I quickly realized that while I was good there were other players much better than myself. They were stronger, faster, quicker, and more skillful. At the end of the week, any hope that I had at becoming a college soccer player withered away. I lost my confidence and didn't even try to pursue the sport at a collegiate level. Have you ever had a time like this in your life? Where your dreams were shattered and you realized that you didn't make the cut? Rejection is a tough thing to deal with. Sure, rejection makes you grow and is good for your overall development but that doesn't make the process any easier. When the day came and I realized I wasn't the best soccer player...that day was a wake-up call. Why did God make me good at soccer but not great? Why would He give me this gift but not give it to me as much as He gave it to those other girls?
As a child, you think that you are going to be the best at (fill in the blank). But, who really is the best? Is there a person in the world that is truly the best at his or her gift? Sure, Micheal Phelps is the best swimmer of our generation. But, one day someone else is going to come along and beat all of his records. So, is he still the best?
Since that first moment of realizing that I wasn't going to be the best soccer player, I have had some time to process this whole notion of who is better than who. What I have come to realize is that God gave lots of people the same type of gifts. There isn't just one soccer player out there. Same goes for accountants, doctors, actresses, moms, etc. Lately, I have been re-visiting this idea of who is the best when it comes to our blog/my writing adventures. As y'all know, there are tons of writers in this world. To be honest, it is intimidating. It puts me right back at that soccer camp where I realize that there are writers that are better than me - they have more articles, they have books, they speak - and a small voice inside me head hesitantly asks, "Is there room for me?"
When I see these other writers receiving the success I dream about, a big feeling of envy and jealousy rises to my chest. This seed of resentment quickly turns into a loss of confidence and I struggle with the reason of this gift in the first place. Why all the effort if I'm not the best? In my quiet moments of this confession to my loving Savior, these simple words come to my heart:
He is jealous for me.
For me? Really? Yes. God made me and He is jealous for me. In His eyes, I am His child that He took such special care in creating. Yeah, He gave me the same gifts as other folks out there but I am still unique.
He made me outgoing but shy at the same time.
God is jealous for me and I am so loved in His site.
God is jealous for my heart and for my obedience to Him - not these false idols of "bestness." What God is teaching me is that He created a bunch of people to serve Him. He has spread us out through the nations to bring glory to His name. He is jealous for our attention and He wants me to keep my eyes fixed on Him instead of the people around me. What I have realized is that God gives some of us the same gifts so we can make an impact to those around us.
The other day, I received an e-mail from another woman with preemie twins. One of her twins is about to have surgery and she said that our story gave her hope that the Lord was taking care of her preemie during this dark time. Wow. What encouragement that was to my tender soul. If God just gave one person one gift there would be a big chance that a lot of people would never receive the blessing of that gift.
Friends, I love competition. I love to win. I would love to be the best. But, when I'm not the best and I am faced with rejection, I am gently reminded how loved I am. How jealous God is for me to come to Him in those moments of hurt. God can change my envy, resentment, and jealousy towards another individual into a new song of hope and gratitude. He shows me that I might not be the best, but He is.
Till next time, let your light shine!
So, would it be completely awkward right now if I asked y'all to vote for our blog to win Best All-Around Mom Blog for Parents.com? :) Like I said, I love to win!