May 21, 2020
Her Success Doesn’t Threaten Mine
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“These were his instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’” Luke 10:2 (NLT)
Have you ever wondered if there’s any need for you and the dreams tucked in your heart when there are already so many successful people out there?
I totally understand.
Several years ago, I remember pouring out all the best words I had through pixelated letters-turned-pages-turned-book-proposal. I tucked my heart and dreams into a purple OfficeMax binder and hoped for the best.
That summer, I gave my proposal to several acquisitions editors. For months after sending out my proposal, I dreamed about the day some publishing house would say, “Yes.”
I can’t tell you the number of afternoons I’d stand at my mailbox, holding my breath, praying there would be good news inside. When the rejection letters started coming, I tried to keep up the hope that surely there would be one positive answer. I just needed one publisher to say “Yes.”
Soon, I’d received a “no” answer from all but one. And when I got that final rejection, I felt so foolish for thinking I could actually write a book. My dream was nothing but a sham. I had no writing skills. And I must have heard God all wrong.
At the same time, I had other writer friends who were getting different letters from publishers.
Letters that turned into book contracts.
In my better moments, I did the right thing and authentically celebrated with them. But then there were other moments. Hard moments.
Moments where I felt my friends’ lives were rushing past me in a flurry of met goals, new opportunities and affirmations of their callings from God. It seemed the world was literally passing me by. And in those moments, I said on the outside, “Good for them.”
But on the inside, I just kept thinking, Ouch … that means less and less opportunity for me. The raw essence of honest hurting rarely produces pretty thoughts.
I wrestled, and I processed.
And I decided to get still. But this stillness wasn’t passive. I had to actively make the choice to reject the fears that said I’d been left out and left behind. And I had to starve my scarcity thinking.
Then I could see new and life-giving possibilities. Maybe I wasn’t ready yet, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t ever be ready. Now was the time to stop looking around and start focusing on becoming the best writer I could be. And eventually, I wrote something worth publishing.
Her success does not threaten yours nor mine. When she does well, we all do well. All tides rise when we see a sister making this world a better place with her gifts.
When I finally started believing this, my stillness turned into readiness. And that was 23 published books ago.
This is what Jesus reminds us: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Luke 10:2b).
And this is where we have a choice to make today.
We can look out and see the unlimited, abundant opportunities God has placed before us. To create. To write. To serve. To sing. To be and become.
Or, we can stare at another person’s opportunity and get entangled in the enemy’s lie that everything is scarce. Scarce opportunities. Scarce supply. Scarce possibilities. And we start seeing another person's creations as a threat to our own opportunities.
Oh friend, there is an abundant need in this world for your contributions to the Kingdom — your thoughts, words and artistic expressions — your exact brand of beautiful.
Know it. Believe it. Live it.
Lord, thank You for reminding me how You created me on purpose and with purpose. I don’t have to live this life feeling threatened by the success of others. Today, I’m asking You to bless the women around me doing what I long to do. Stir even more hearts with a deep passion to make You known. And continue to settle my heart with the truth that this world really does need my exact brand of beautiful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (ESV)
1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you ever worry that there isn’t enough room in this world for you and your gifts? How can you let today’s devotion help you shift from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance? Join in the conversation here.
© 2020 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.