"Are you sure you want to delete this account"? The words glare back at me. Nose wrinkled and face set in grimace, the key clicks into submission under the pressure of my touch. I had already made my choice. It was done.
"Let it go", God prompted. Not sure I can do that just yet.
"Pray for her", He reminded. Sure will, God...through gritted teeth.
"Stop looking for Life in a dead place, Meg!" Uh-oh. Ok God, you have my attention.
What He meant was that my life had been radically changed, yet I was taking part in online conversations that threw me back into old, negative thinking over and over again. Never in our history have you and I had so many reminders bearing down on us from our past. Our grandmothers and mothers grew, loved, matured, and moved on from their childish ways with a freedom we are not experiencing today.
This freedom comes from choices. Choices about the content that we allow to influence our thoughts. Choices about how we document our lives. Choices about every picture posted, thought shared, and word spoken.
Now before you say, "Meg, that's crazy!", let's be very clear to distinguish the difference between a social media site and PEOPLE. Facebook is not a person or a group of people. It is a computer program that enhances the speed and efficiency by which we communicate. I fear that we have developed a confusion surrounding this very fact.
People who we have made priority in our lives meet with us in person. We pick up the telephone and call them. We write letters, send Christmas cards, and make certain to remember their kids' birthdays. Yes, we can do some of these things via social media, but the fact remains that Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and others are simply modes of communication, not substitutes for real face-to-face relationships.
Every time we scroll through our news feed, memories from our past have the opportunity to bombard us. Many of them are pleasant, but if we were to be honest, we would admit that there are voices that remain that have no place speaking into our identities in the present day. It takes but a moment for the emotions of past experiences or even regrets to come flooding back. It might even overwhelm some of us to the point that we begin to question our healing and fall back into unhealthy patterns.
Let me take a moment to remind us of who we are not:
- We are not damaged goods because of the divorce.
- We are not the little girls seen as unintelligent in elementary school because we stuttered, or had a difficult time reading, or were just plain shy.
- We are not unloved because of the boy who shared unspeakable things about us in the locker room.
- We are not unworthy because we used substances or unhealed because we crave.
- We are not dispensible because the young man's actions in college suggested that we were.
- We are not ugly because extra pounds have found their way to our hips or because we never really developed curves in the first place.
- We are not "teases", "sluts", or "prudes" because we either chose to (or chose not to) cater to another's desire.
- We are not accidents or an inconveniences.
- We are not disappointments as daughters or failures as mothers.
- We are not powerless, contrary to how we felt those times that we were used and manipulated.
Now let me ask personally, are you allowing the master of shame to take you back to some of those dark places repeatedly through your engagement with social media?
God sees you. He sees me too, forgiven and still managing to make mistakes; yet He does not run from us. Ever. He assures us that our sins are not only forgiven, they are forgotten. Literally blotted out. He says in Isaiah, "I am He who blots out your transgressions (wrongdoing, crimes, mistakes), for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."
Chase after this very important truth this week. Tape it to your cabinets, your dashboard, and certainly next to your computer screen. Ask God to show you whether you need a social media reorganization or maybe even a break. He will be faithful to call you into health and freedom!
Who are we then?
- We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
- We are new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- We were rescued. (Isaiah 46:4)
- We are under NO condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
- We are noble, worth far more than rubies, and clothed with strength and dignity. (Proverbs 31)
Now let's arrange our lives in such a way that we are reminded of it every single day!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
2 Corinthians 5:17