It’s funny because this morning as I was sitting at the breakfast table, writing out my “to do” list for the day “blog” was on there but I really didn’t have a topic that was burning on my mind to write about. I left it and went about my morning which included going to the gym. I go to a gym that is much like Anytime Fitness. I have a key card and at times may be the only person there. It’s not my favorite concept in a gym, but it’s convenient to my house, so I deal with it.
When I arrived this morning I was alone, so I go through my leg work out alone, which was nice, but then about a quarter of the way into my cardio people started showing up, which is also nice not to be alone with my back facing the door for over an hour.
Today I did 40 minutes on the treadmill and some of the “regulars” were just finishing up their cardio when I got on the recumbent bike. I noticed 2 ladies I had never seen before at the other corner of the gym walking on treadmills and went about my business on the bike.
I tend to “zone” out on the recumbent bike, get on Facebook, fart around for 20 minutes, it’s my down time after a brutal treadmill workout usually.
Anyway, as I was wiping down the bike I was facing out toward the gym and the aisle as these 2 ladies were walking by and I kid you not, I watched the one girl look me up from head to toe and then roll her eyes!! BEFORE she made eye contact with me and became embarrassed then picked up her pace, said something to the other lady and they scooted out of the gym. I chuckled to myself for a lot of reasons but mainly because first I was REALLY caught off guard……I mean REALLY
I felt really hated on for a second and I don’t really know why exactly, I mean I was just minding my own business, did NOTHING, said NOTHING, but then it struck me….
You see God has been doing A LOT in me in regard to envy and jealousy, I haven’t blogged about it yet because it’s so much I don’t even know exactly how to put it all into words but I feel like after this morning’s incident I need to try.
Two weeks ago our church started a sermon series called “Let Not Your Heart Be” and the last week it was Let Not Your Heart Be Jealous and I had never known that the heart of jealousy is truly just PRIDE and ENVY…. I was so convicted by this message two weeks ago, tears just flowed down my cheeks, God began a huge work in my heart but I didn’t really understand what or how, until this morning and I don’t even know if it’s come full circle yet….
The sermon was out of 1Samuel 18 and I’m just going to highlight some of the things the pastor said that really struck a chord in my heart. He said, “We all have hearts that are prone to envy or jealousy because we have sin in our hearts. When we attempt to get our identity from anything other than Jesus, we become jealous or envious of that person who is “doing it better or have it better” than we do……ouch How many times have I looked at our life circumstances and compared our situation with our friends who are “making it” or appear to be successful, who have the house, cars, 3.5 kids and a dog? Always, especially now when our life has been “not at all what we’ve planned or had hoped for” I’ve been jealous of others in this area. But that’s in the here and now, if I’m really gut honest, I’ve been just like those girls who eyed me up and down in the gym this morning, my ENTIRE LIFE!!! Even when I wasn’t obese, but a measly 150lbs I would eye other girls up from head to to toe, give them a once over and assume their life story immediately then and there on the spot. Now at 41, living through the hell of what I’ve lived through (Brain Tumor, Stroke, 150+lb weight gain, high risk pregnancies, troubled marriage) I can HONESTLY say I did this as a form of a defense and out of sheer insecurity because I was jealous of who I was looking up and down. Because it was always girls I thought were prettier, skinner, had it going for them more than me, it was never someone I found less attractive or frumpy, you want the truth? There it is….and I can honestly say I’ve never been on the receiving end of such behavior in my entire 41 years of life except for today and I HATED IT!!!! I hated it so very much because it made me feel small and insecure again, like “what is she thinking? Why does she seem to not like me?”
Immediately in that briefest moment I was transported back to my insecure High School days and yuck I hated it!! I was smacked with the realization that there is NO way to know a person’s entire life story through a glance from head to toe. There’s no way that girl this morning could have known that less than 3 short years ago I weighed 300 pounds and I would never have dreamed of walking on an incline on the treadmill, let alone walk through the doors of a gym, or that I became that weight after having steroids injected in mass doses into my body following brain surgery or barely survived a stroke. There’s no way she could have known any of that. Just like I can’t know what battle she’s faced or what obstacle she’s overcome today to walk through the gym doors, but you know what she was there and that should be celebrated.
Then the pastor reminded me what Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” and again I felt convicted. See I have NO control over how others respond to me and that’s ok, BUT I can choose how I want to respond in this world and I believe in the core of my being that as my body gets physically healthier through weight loss, that God is wanting to transform my heart and mind. Like I blogged about recently, the battleground, for me anyway, is the mind and I believe it’s no coincidence that on the heels of one of the most powerful sermon’s I’ve heard in my life that I had this face-to-face encounter with an obviously jealous girl. I’m still completely baffled that she could be jealous of me, but it’s possible in all my years of being jealous of others that someone felt exactly the way I do today.
So while my body may be becoming more attractive to look at, it’s my soul that I’m most interested in. I want a heart that passionately pursues a relationship with Jesus Christ. I want a heart that is a peace…