"I dwell in possibility" ~Emily Dickinson

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Let’s meet for coffee

Posted on: 10.16.2012

A couple weeks ago the lead pastor for preaching at my church, named Tom Mercer, taught on the book of Jonah.  I’ve heard a few sermons on the book of Jonah -- in fact, an entire week was dedicated to the book when I attended PLNU. 

I am always amazed at the way the Lord can instruct me through a sermon.  I sometimes leave church feeling like the sermon was uniquely tailored to my life, only to realize that I took away something totally different from my brother, friend, parents, etc. I love it!

Anyway, one thing that really stood out to me about this sermon was the topic of envy

Prior to hearing this, if we had met for coffee, and you asked me what you could pray for me about {which so many of my close friends lovingly do} I would not have told you that I struggle with envy.  If pressed, I may have said “okay, okay, perhaps I can be a little bitter about the way my life is going…” but that’s about it.  

But this sermon jarred me into reality.

I am envious to the core.  Pastor Tom used the term “malignant” to qualify envy.  I remember thinking that Sunday morning while I listened to the sermon, “Ew, I’m adding the term malignant to the list of gross words along with the words ‘maggot’ and ‘moist.’” Maybe it has something to do with the letter “M?”

But envy is malignant. I can see this now.  Like cancer, it doesn’t usually stay put in a nice, extractable mass. It spreads and engulfs other areas of life too.

I have been envious of so many things recently.  I look at the lives of others and immediately feel that I fall short. I don’t have the perfect body… whatever that is. I don’t have a husband or a child. I don’t have money for cute clothes. I don’t have a job.

I wish life was as easy for me as it seems to be for her. I wish money wasn’t an issue for me because it doesn’t seem to be an issue for her. I wish I could eat anything and not pay the price for it like so and so!  I wish I could craft my words in the artful way that seems natural to that person! Blah, blah, blah.

Ultimately, dwelling on these things robs me of my joy. It causes me to see my life as less valuable than it is.  And what is the most upsetting to me right now is the fact that I have not conquered it.  This is not a self-actualized post.  I’m not writing about this in the past tense. This issue is in the present progressive tense for me. 

It is so shameful to admit but it is too true to ignore.

So if we could meet for coffee today. I’d ask for you to pray for me about my struggle with malignant envy. And I’d also ask you how you would like for me to pray for you… 

Today is Day 16 of the 31 Day writing challenge I introduced here!


  1. If I were having coffee with you I would tell you that I would absolutely pay for you, and I would ask that you pray for compassion for me, I don't have a whole lot in me :)

  2. Thanks Ren! :) I appreciate it! I get a little nervous to post personal stuff like this, but people are always encouraging when I do! I would respond by saying that I would definitely pray for you in that way... thank you for sharing!


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