As I’ve shared before, I am euphoric when pregnant. I imagine soundtracks playing as I subway to work or walk in the frozen tundra to pick up the chil’ren:
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
I feel like I won the lotto to be able to experience this all over again even with a growing, peach-fuzzy stomach,
linea negra faint black line down my belly,
gagging while brushing teeth,
burping on the drive to church and being shocked by more than a burp,
and popping Tums for dessert night after night.
However, I am still a three-dimensional human being and find myself struggling with envy even during this abundant season of verdant pastures.
Pastor Rankin Wilbourne once shared that he would never be envious of Kobe Bryant’s basketball skills. He is more susceptible to becoming envious of another pastor whose church is flourishing in a way his church is not. I get that.
I’m not envious of most things because I couldn’t care less. You thinner than me? Congrats! So are many. I don’t care. I want to eat more empanadas.
You have a great science mind while I was happy to earn my “B” in AP Bio? Cool – maybe you can drop science on my kids one day while I watch Wendy Williams.
You have a fat salary but have to work crazy hours? That’s great that you have that drive but for me, for now, no thanks.
However, there are wounds I carry and if you are blessed in those areas, I feel the wounds getting picked at again, or at least my armpits getting sweaty. Currently, we are blessed enough to have four living grandparents for our children. But all four of them are not geographically available and three of them are not available in the way I yearn for. I also don’t have a dad who can pour into my life. THESE ARE SOME RAW WOUNDS.
As abundantly blessed as I am, when I see doting grandparents, I tear up. When I see my friends get affirmed by their dads even at our mature ages, I cry. (Hell, I’m crying now, typing this).
I want my kids to know and FEEL that other than their loving but imperfect Dad and affectionate but limited Mom who still hates to cook, there are a couple others who love them to pieces and would sacrifice for them, not just connect on the phone once in a blue moon.
But I don’t stay sad because my default emotion is anger. I spew out and release my “Fuck Yous.” I don’t actually hate on my friends with blessings in this area because they handle their blessings with gratitude and grace, but when an innocent stranger posted on a FB Mom group about how both sets of grandparents watch her kids, NEVER LEAVING HER ALONE WITH THEM, and how one of them dared to ask for carseats for their own car so that they can go on adventures with their grandchildren, I had to bite my tongue because I want to say, “FUCK YOU VERY MUCH YOU FUCKING PRINCESS!”
Everything is relative. I KNOW THIS IN MY HEAD but my heart ain’t feelin’ it at times.
Someone could very well be thinking the same of me as Kevin does the heavy lifting in our household. In that way, I am pampered and ever grateful. But he also does this heavy lifting partially because he knows I have NO ONE ELSE and that it grieves his emotional wife. People have advised that I look for friends or “spiritual family” to lean on but I don’t dare lean on non-relatives when I know their plates are full, too. And frankly, friends have their own extended REAL families.
I also think about my friends and what they must struggle with. Friends who have suffered baby losses while they see pregnants all around. Friends whose kids have received diagnoses while they see neurotypical kids going about their regular school schedules. Friends who pray for a spouse. Friends who pray for healing of their illnesses. Friends who beg God for a baby.
HOW DO I/THEY FIND PEACE in our respective areas of need!? I know one solution is to stay in our own lanes and be grateful for everything we do have. But I need something more because in this real world, we don’t live in a bubble and we can’t help but notice each others’ lanes.
I want to grapple with envy in a different way. I don’t wanna become Bitter Miss Fuck You or only want to play with people who have my exact same struggles. I will protect and distance myself from folks who subconsciously enjoy being the object of my envy because they feel elevated from my raw confessions that I wish I had what they have.
Lord, give me tools to flip the script on envy. I know that it is not a single battle but a life-long journey but mature me in this area and teach me to deal with this in a healthy manner, and not resort to anger. Please guide me when the going gets tough and I hear Satan whisper in my ear, “Bet you wouldn’t be struggling if you had grandparents around like so many of your friends!”
I will hold you to this verse I love for 2017 – please spring forth a new thing within me:
Isaiah 43: 19 (NIV): See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
(photos of my blessings below)