Wanna know how you know the Father is trying to work something out in your soul? Wanna know how you know something isn’t quite the way He wants it to be? I’ll tell you.
Whatever it is, let’s say, oh, I don’t know . . . envy, will pop into your head randomly one day, like so: Wow, your jealousy meter just went through the roof. That was weird. Then, a few days later, it’ll happen again: Whoa, why did you just give that status update the death-stare? An hour after that, you’ll slam your laptop down in frustration and vow to never visit the likes of Facebook again (oh come on, you’ve been there. But I haven’t. Ever.). Another day will go by and you’ll be thinking about a hypothetical situation you made up in your brain and you’ll find yourself going down the rabbit hole of envy once again, glaring down imaginary people in your head and then you stop yourself and say, “This might be a problem.”
The “problem” will resurface over and over and over again until you can’t handle it anymore and you either explode out of sheer willpower or you bring it to the cross and dump it where it belongs.
I have a confession to make (this is going to shock you). I have problems (I know, get your blankie and some chocolate and come lay your head down, it’s going to be okay). I feel like I’ve kind of been in a holding pattern lately, spiritually speaking. At times I’ve had to remind myself to be thankful for the “lulls” because last year’s roller coaster was more than I bargained for and to be honest, I’ve needed some down time. But that doesn’t mean that my problems have stopped growing or intruding in my life. They’ve just taken a back seat to being dealt with for awhile, but one of them is rearing it’s ugly head over and over and over again lately, and if you think it’s the aforementioned ENVY, then you’re right. Give yourself a gold star and another piece of chocolate.
I have been struggling for a very long time with this ugly beast, in all shapes and sizes. From relationships to accomplishments to possessions and appearances. I’m sure that this all boils down to a level of insecurity that I haven’t dealt with yet, but it’s very clear to me that the time is now to get my booty in gear and start diving into the depths of my childhood to figure out where this crap comes from.
My envy wart pops out the most when I hear other people talking about writing, wanting to write or knowing someone who writes. Clearly I have the market on writing, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Haven’t you seen my billboards? “JULIE PRESLEY, WORLD RENOWNED WRITER OF ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME.” With so many best-sellers under my belt, I find it hard to close that belt sometimes (that might be the best-selling easter candy though)! How dare anyone else try to write anything when writing is my job.
And this mind-set makes me want to jam a fork in my eye and call it a day.
I’ll be honest: Stones of Remembrance has gotten pretty amazing reviews, but our marketing plan was basically: “Publish a book and pray to God that the Facebook and Twitter fairies will launch it into best-seller lists across the country.” Yeah we see now what a stupid idea that was. We had no clue. We still barely have one — working on it though.
I put my heart and soul into writing and publishing that book and even though I steeled myself for the critical reviews, they were still heart-wrenching to read (and of many many amazing five-star reviews, there are only a handful of negative ones.) and at times they stopped me in my tracks and I couldn’t write anything but blogs for months even though it was clear that the reader had completely missed the point. But still, in big-book-world terms, Stones of Remembrance was a big huge flop. And I still have a hard drive full of other books waiting to see the light of day.
Here is where I say that I am incredibly proud of Stones, and the testimonies I have heard that didn’t make it to reviews are nothing short of amazing. People who have dealt with grief and loss have received healing and hope as they read through Allaya’s own healing process, others reconnected with the Father after spending years feeling far away from Him. This book was so well received by 99.9% of those who read it, and that is what drives me to keep moving forward with self-publishing and seeking out representation and hopefully someday a big girl book deal. I want to believe that the most important thing is simply getting the books out there into the world, but at the same time, I really want them to be successful.
So naturally when that success is “threatened” by competition, I get defensive. I am the spider of this web and there can only be one spider on this web, so all you other “writers” out there, go get your own web, but it better not be nicer than mine . . . aaah jeez, this problem is bigger than I realized.
So why am I confessing this? Because I realized that it’s becoming a more in-my-face kind of issue lately and because I want to take the power away from the enemy by calling out my imperfections and giving myself some accountability as it relates to kicking this insecurity to the curb. I clearly see that my reactions are foolish and rooted in hurt and I have to get to the bottom of that. Also? Because I am a firm believer in being transparent, hopefully relatable and letting the world know that I am just as big a screw up as the next person is. The only thing good about me is Jesus IN me.
Food for thought: What is it that the Father is bringing up repeatedly in your own life these days? How are you going to kick that behavior/lie to the curb?