This is the way I approach the world, generally: No one else can have what I want if God has set it aside for me. (shout right here, saints)
Thinking like this gives me a certain level of confidence. If I want something, the only thing that needs to happen is for God to also want it for me. If He does, it will be mine. The job, the opportunity, the man, the house, the shoes, or the piece of chicken. It will be mine if I want it and if God put it in a special place just for me. No one else stands a chance. My resume will float to the top when I apply for a job. My name will come to mind when people with business opportunities wonder whom they can call. The man will see me and make me his wife. I will close on the house before the new paint has even had time to dry. The shoes will walk themselves onto my feet and the chicken will wobble its way to my plate. You get the picture. Everything I want will be mine.
The flip side to this is that God will do the same thing for everyone else. When God sets something aside for someone else, there is no amount of begging, pleading, crying, or promising I can do to have it. It will not happen for me. The job will go to the girl who walks like her feet hurt even when she’s wearing flats (this always puzzles me); the phone calls with opportunities will not come; the man will overlook me (or worse, look right at me and decide my afro puff is too dry and my sense of humor is too corny); not a single lender will give me the loan for a house; the shoes will be too small and the chicken will simply run out.
When the things I pursue or desire do not pan out for me, they were never meant to be for me. So, I don’t get jealous when things seem to work out for others.
It’s not because I don’t want it. It’s not because I’m such a big person. It’s not because I don’t care. I do want it, I’m not that big of a person, and I do care. But I trust God. I trust Him. He’s working it all out for our good right? I have evidence of that. I have been blessed something serious. I’ve been in situations that should not have gone as easily or as well as they went. I’ll get blessed out of the blue sometimes. I’ll just be sitting on my couch and a blessing will come through. Y’all know that’s a shame. Just sitting on my couch! Pajamas on, Netflix blasting, hair wild, looking like I don’t belong anywhere and I’ll get an email like “Mariah, you’ve been nominated as Best Person of the Universe. To accept this nomination, just put on some clothes, comb your hair, and find your way to fancy-land where the rest of us live.” And I’ll look up toward heaven with eyes that have not seen make-up in a month of Sundays like is God punking me right now?
I trust God in the not-so-good times too. Sometimes I’ll want something so bad I can taste it. I remember wanting this job once. I crafted the PERFECT cover letter, cleaned up my resume, made my friends and family review my application materials. I even fasted . . . and y’all can just guess how I feel about not eating. Needless to say, it’s not exactly my thing. Anyway, do y’all think I got that job? No mam. Sure didn’t. They gave it to some guy from Texas. I was like, “Texas? Texas! But Texas is so far away. I’m closer!” Clearly, that didn’t matter at all. Once I calmed down, I realized a few things. That job was meant for the dude from Texas. God set that job aside for him. I was not meant to have it and that’s ok because there is something else for me.
I don’t have to be upset when I meet a woman who has her own company, two children, a nice figure, a fine and faithful husband, the new Lexus RX with a sunroof and red leather interior. Nope. I do not have to be envious. Her blessings have come in the same fashion that mine will. God clearly does not want me to have that Lexus yet. I don’t know why. Can’t figure that part out. But that has no bearing on my attitude. I have what God wants for me, and it is pretty darn good. There is no need to want what she has.
Every so often I struggle with feelings of jealousy or envy, but I always come back to this. I’ll have what I want if God wants it for me as well. There’s comfort in that right? Works for me anyway. Y’all try it and let me know if it works for you.