When Envy Creeps Up

I was eager to dive into my manuscript today, but after peeking at social media, the sticky threads of doubt and envy held my back. It wasn’t anything overpowering, but I could feel the oozing influence of envy, like tar, bubbling a little too quickly inside my head.pageweb_mainimages_980x320112811_visit_tarbubbles

Suddenly I felt incapable of moving forward–even though I’d just finished studying spiritual messages. But I didn’t want to apply my mind to my work the way I knew I should, because I wasn’t a “real” writer. I’d never be good enough…

Luckily, I had a quick fix. The gym isn’t far away, and I remembered how my agent, Vanessa K. Eccles, and also Maggie Stiefvater have urged writers to do something physical when we get stuck. So I jumped on the elliptical and pumped a little iron. I was happy to do it, because it was on the “to-do” list.

While exercising, I listened to the Jars of Clay station on my Pandora app while working out. (I am grateful that I live in a world where I can exercise and choose my own music.) While listening, several gifted musicians reminded me of a little bit of truth I’ve learned several times before, but were buried behind the goop boiling in my head:

  1. Other writers may be successful in ways that I am not, but that is not my path.

2. God has a plan for me. My job is to work hard and communicate with him every day to make sure I’m following that plan.

That’s it! Nothing groundbreaking, nothing we haven’t already heard. But it was a good reminder for a girl who sometimes believes–or becomes petrified–by the insidious seeds of jealousy and doubt. Always, always, the adversary hounds us. Our job is to combat that negativity–with God’s help.

So the next time you or I are noticing someone else’s successes and begin wishing they’re our own, let’s wash those sticky black thoughts down the gutter, because (1) our paths are our own, and (2) God has a plan for us.