It happened again last night while scrolling through Facebook. I saw a message between two women I know, one congratulating and encouraging the other on a recent speaking engagement. I don’t know if it was more about the accomplishment or the relationship between the two women, but the reaction was quick and fierce.
Jealousy. Envy. Defeat. I wondered why I even try when there are so many others with a better message.
I’m thankful that God has had me in this place before because this time I recognized it quickly. Just as quick as the jealous thoughts entered, I took control of them before they could take control over me.
I was reminded that God has made a place for each of us. There is enough room for each message and each voice. Even better, there is a need for each message and each voice.
Even when our messages are similar, they are still different because each of us has a unique way of sharing our stories. Your voice and message may touch one person, while someone else’s words catch my attention.
Each of our stories has the potential to reach out and draw someone closer to God.
A life experience that brings someone to take a breath and say Me too! is a story worth sharing. It benefits both sides in ways we may, or may not, see. But God knows.
He has plans for our stories and He will use them to reach others.
The jealously I started to feel when reading that Facebook message suggests there is only one story to tell, one way to tell it, and only one person to voice it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Satan knows that, but he will use it anyway to keep us quiet.
How often is he successful in keeping us from speaking? It almost happened to me last night. Even misplaced feelings of defeat are powerful in keeping us silent. But the Truth is much more powerful.
There is a place for your voice, and mine. Not one or the other, but both. God intends for us to share and encourage others through what He has brought us through.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT
God has a time and place for each of our stories to be shared. The comments I read last night had nothing to do with me. They were God’s time and place for someone else.
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 ESV
There will always be someone else to speak up…but how do we know we’re not missing the appointed time and place God planned for us to speak? Right now. Right where we are. To reach someone God has placed on our path.
Last night, I was able to recognize quickly when negativity started to creep in, so I did three things. First, I closed Facebook and got offline, because that’s often the best line of defense. Then, I went to bed, and while I fell asleep, I planned to write this post in the morning.