Soul-Stirrings from Stephen: What My Son's Needs Have Taught Me (5 - Battling Jealousy)

This post has been sitting on my desktop as an open file for me to add to, review, and edit as I need to for weeks. I think I have been hesitant to post it because it’s a tough one to share. Also, our lives have been extremely difficult as of late. I can’t say on here, but along with Stephen’s upcoming Autism testing/evaluation, our family is going through a lot. My own family, specifically, needs prayer.

As you already can see by the title of the post, I am continuing my Soul-Stirrings from Stephen series, and this is an extremely honest topic. But once again, God has used my precious little man to convict me, change me, and open my eyes to see His perspective on everything.

In our world, among every color, tribe, and social status, comparison is rampant, common, and feels completely normal. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, comparing what we have, how we look, how much money we make, how nice our house is, etc… We never look at ourselves through eyes in the mirror that stare back and say “content” or “good enough;” we see eyes staring back that view the world through the lens of “don’t have enough” or “don’t measure up”…eyes that can’t see the truth and define our identity with lies.

It’s a sad fact to say that new Moms, especially, are constantly comparing themselves to other Moms. And in turn, are being evaluated by other Moms based on their choices, parenting ideals, and beliefs. Then, if they do not measure up to whatever standards are set by whoever set them on her popular Mommy-blog, they feel like horrible, insecure Moms.

Eventually, the insecure feelings can lead to depression, anger, and bitterness. The worst thing about this is that it spills over onto our children, and we eventually start thinking there is something wrong with them as well. This happens to Moms of every type of child there is.

But bring in a Mom who has a child with real special needs, and it is a whole new ball-game. Along with all of the other common feelings that a Mom has when she compares herself to another Mom, a Mom of a special needs child feels something that the exhaustion, anger, insecurity, and bitterness don’t always reveal. A little secret that, if revealed, might blow her cover and cause her to avoid other Moms, even her real friends, altogether.

This little secret is called Jealousy. Yep, jealousy.

Oh I know, the word itself doesn’t sound so bad. But truthfully, it can eat away at you and destroy your life. Believe me, I know

Jealousy is something no-one talks about anymore because it is not really seen as one of the “big” issues. I mean, really, when was the last time your pastor gave a sermon on jealousy?

But it is an issue, and the Bible has a lot to say about it. One story stands out in my mind.

Jacob and Esau were twin brothers, but Esau was the first-born son to Isaac and the one who would inherit his birthright and standing from his father. Jealousy raged between the two brothers, and Jacob, who was so overcome with jealousy over Esau’s inheritance from Isaac, deceived his father on his deathbed. Then, when Esau realized that his father had given his blessing to Jacob instead, he threatened to kill his brother. For many, many years until they were reconciled, the brothers hated each other because of the jealousy and hurt that was between them. (see Genesis 25-33)

God hates jealousy, because he knows what it does to us, creating bitterness and hatred in our hearts. To long for something that we don’t have means we sin by not finding our contentment in Christ alone. 1 Corinthians 3:3 says “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

Jealousy has been one of my greatest battles since I comprehended that there was something different and special about my little boy.

When I think about how I compared Stephen to other children out there, it makes me sick inside. I was so jealous of other Moms, even my friends, that I sort of stopped spending time with people. Add that to the list of a thousand reasons I needed to leave Facebook for a while.

I am ashamed to say that I thought other women were more blessed than me because their children didn’t need feeding tubes, didn’t throw up all the time, were meeting developmental milestones, weren’t sick all the time, etc…

But then gently, slowly, God showed me the Truth.


In my hurt, my anger, my bitterness, I was completely blind to how incredibly BLESSED I was to be Stephen’s Mommy.

It didn’t matter if he wasn’t perfect, it didn’t matter that things were hard, it didn’t matter that I wanted to run away or stay in my black hole, every-time I looked at my child and felt jealous of other women who had children that were not facing what he did, I was missing out on God’s blessings.

God showed me through a variety of ways, while healing my heart, that Stephen is the greatest blessing I’ve ever known. There is nothing more beautiful than him, my son, and every single little thing he does is a miracle.

His special needs are no longer fuel for my jealousy, and I no longer compare him to other children. And because of that, God has again given me a reason to celebrate and to see Stephen through HIS eyes, eyes that stare back at me in the mirror and cry tears of joy, of truth, and of a love that shows Stephen he is a perfect child of God.


1 comment:

Aprille @ beautifulinhistime.com said...

Loved this post. Thanks for sharing.