I just needed to take a breather.
I was drowning in a dense sea of tweets and likes and photos with pretty filters and hashtags.
I couldn't seem to keep my head above the water as I attempted to wade through opinions and videos and DIY projects and photos of people with lives so much more aesthetically pleasing than mine. And all the while I was thinking constantly about how my feeble contributions to this fascinating yet torturous world of social media weren't often enough or interesting enough or witty enough or beautiful enough. Nothing was enough.
I would be walking with my family downtown, not totally enjoying their company because I was too focused on figuring out what my next Instagram photo would be. And then I would spend the car ride home in silence trying to come up with clever yet strategic hashtags to go along with said photo.
A huge fight with my husband(actually, it was probably more like an intervention), a few moments of persistent denial (done my me) and some ugly crying (also done by me) were finally the slap in the face and shoulder shake I needed for me to realize there was an issue here that needed to be dealt with.
And so enough is enough.
For the past week, my husband and I have been on a media fast. Other than going on the internet for things that need to be done (such as checking emails, budgeting our bank accounts or using an online recipe to make dinner), we didn't use the internet or any social media apps or watch any movies or tv shows.
Truth be told, this was a much harder sacrifice than it should have been. My fast also included writing on this blog, which was both the hardest part of all and the most necessary. This blog has been my special place. It's been a way for me to give my thoughts and struggles and lessons a voice. It's been a place for me to record memories and remind myself there is much to be thankful for in this life. It's been a way for me to hang onto myself in this season where it's easy to feel lost.
It's also been my saving grace, a place where I've found my value and my identity and my happiness.
But it never, never should have been these things.
And that's why I took a break. And it's why taking a break broke my heart a little bit.
I have put so much weight on the success of this little space where I share who I am with the internet. I have put my salvation in how many people comment or visit. I have condemned myself when not enough did.
But the truth is that trying to find my salvation in these things is like trying to fill a black hole.
All the success in the world won't be good enough because I am trying to fill my soul with things that were never meant to fill.
Only one thing can fill that desperate place inside us. And that is Jesus Christ. Though how easy I forget.
But this past week has uncluttered my mind and left it quieter than it's been in a while. And in this quiet I heard clearly what God had been subtly whispering. It's something He's told me before, and He'll honestly probably have to tell me again.
Be found in me.
So I listened to those words and floated around in them a while.
And I came to the conclusion that Facebook and Twitter and blogs and Instagram give us so many opportunities to do good. To be different. To be creative. To be seeds for change. To build community. But they are merely resources to share love and hope and acceptance. They aren't the source.
I am so, so thankful for you who read my stories and my struggles and all my bits of life I share here. I want to keep writing, but I don't want to feel exhausted and defeated. I just don't want it to be about numbers or success anymore.
And so it won't be.
I want to be able to write from a place of contentment and peace and joy. And I just can't do that if I'm obsessing about these things all the time.
Ughhh...it's embarassing to admit that I've struggled with this. After all, I know better than to judge my worth as a person through the lens of social media. And you know better, too.
But sometimes we need a life jacket of truth tossed our way to help us remember.
To help us keep our heads above the water.