By Shelia Stovall
Everyone I know suffers from jealousy at some time in their life. Since starting the writing journey, I’ve been plagued by the acrid emotion and it shames me. When it’s time to announce finalists for different writing contests, I shut down my computer and avoid Facebook. When writer friends post, “I’ve just signed a three-book contract,” I make the appropriate comments, but, there’s an ugly green poison that infuses my spirit.
There’s a reason God listed covetousness as one of the Big 10, Thou shall not… It steals our joy. What I’ve finally discovered is that I needed help to overcome this virus. All these years, I could have been celebrating with my friends and sharing in their happiness. Instead, I’ve sipped from the cup of envy. I’ve confessed this sin, and repented in prayer, but it wasn’t until I asked Jesus to take this burden from me, it happened. THANK YOU, JESUS! I couldn’t’ do this on my own, but the power of His holy spirit wiped it away.
My critique partner, Carrie Padgett, has a sweet spirit, and she’s one of the most talented and hard-working writers I know. I’ve critiqued the first few chapters of Harley Taps Out. When the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference (ACFW) announced her name as a finalist in the Genesis contest, my heart soared with joy. Then she asked me to accept the award for her, if by chance, she won, because she was not able to attend. My heart overflowed with happiness for her achievement. When her name was announced as the winner, I practically ran to the podium in high-heels and accepted with tears in my eyes. What a blessing to share in her success and joy.
God has gifted me with so many wonderful friends along the writing journey. As I sat in the audience Saturday evening, I cheered on and celebrated three additional writer friends who have counseled and mentored me. Cynthia Ruchti won a Carol Award for her novella, Restoring Christmas. I still have the advance copy she shared with me two years ago.
Also, my friend, Anne Gabhart’s book, Murder Comes by Mail was a Carol Award finalist.
And my friend, Liz Johnson’s book, The Red Door Inn was a Christy Award finalist.
I am so fortunate to have these women as mentors and friends. What a joy to be able to celebrate my friends’ accomplishments as their successes make my cup runneth over.
What about you? What’s causing you to be envious? Perhaps it’s a friend who gets the job you wanted, or maybe you’ve been waiting for the right man to be your life-partner, and it seems you’re always the bridesmaid and never the bride. I’ve seen women suffer such angst as there are praying for a baby, and yet, it doesn’t happen, then they suffer when friends have children. Dear ones, it took the power of Jesus to take away the burden of jealousy from me. Don’t do as I did, and try to do this on your own. I think it impossible to do so without the strength of the savior. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30 NIV. Jesus can replace your jealous spirit with His spirit of love, joy, and peace, but the choice is yours to ask for His help.
To celebrate my writer friends, I’m going to have three drawings on Saturday, September 30, 2017. For a chance to win one of the books below, comment about jealousy.