The woman I want to be is kind, loving, and honoring of others. She encourages others to step into their dreams, and celebrates when they do. She walks in humility and never takes someone else’s success as a threat. I am really clear on this. As a result, I have spent the last few years trying to match my action to the vision of this woman. I have aimed my schedule, aligned my priorities, and made decisions which have helped transform me into this woman. And I thought I was getting along rather well; until I wasn’t.
It was a day, just like any other. I opened up my social media to find that a friend of mine, a woman I respect and love, had just experienced massive success in a recent project of hers. People were so excited for her. I was excited for her. People were cheering her on. I was cheering her on. People were proud of her. My heart was bursting with pride.
First response, “Wow! This is awesome! I want to kiss her face!”
Moments later, “Gosh! I haven’t done anything successful in a long time.”
And again, “What if God is finished with me? What if my season is done?”
Followed by, “Seriously, what the heck is wrong with me? I’m such a jerk. This is not who I want to be.”
The internal storm brewed, knocked me out of the peace zone, and before I knew it, I began to wrestle with my flesh (aka- my sinful nature). It was like playing peek-a-boo. I would see it for a second; then it would hide away. It would peek through again; then go into hiding. Or maybe that was me - going into hiding - doing everything I could do, to avoid the yucky feelings that gripped my heart.
In my avoidance, I grew tired, and crabby as heck. Within a midnight second, I was irritated with the kids and snapping at everyone. Oh, heart of mine, you are so very human.
It took me a few moments to put names to my feelings. Jealousy & Fear. And at least an hour to hear the Lord whisper to me - Jealousy and Fear are not your name.
JEALOUSY AND FEAR; THEY ARE NOT MY NAME.
SHAME AND INSECURITY; THEY ARE NOT MY NAME.
And though they sometimes call out to me, I’m human after all, I don’t have to wear them. I can open the door when they knock, investigate what they are trying to tell me, and name them for what they are. But they don’t get to name me.
WHEN THEY START TALKING, THIS CHICK TALKS BACK.
My name is Sunny. That’s the name I answer to. I am a child of God. I am kind, loving, and compassionate. I love to honor and celebrate the people in my life. I don’t get threatened by other people’s success. I honor the unique call on the lives of others. I know, I too, am called. This is what I answer to. She's the woman in my vision. A vision that has roots in my faith and in the One who named me while I was yet in my mother’s womb.
So, when jealousy and fear, shame and insecurity, comparison and pride ring my bell - and they will - I will remember there’s grace for me. I’m only human. While I may wrestle in my flesh when they call out to me, I will choose to answer to the names that fit the vision of the woman I want to be. And as I do this, my actions will continue to take the shape of the woman I am becoming.
By Sunny Cain