I sit and write amid trash and crumbs strewn across the table. One child is sedated by a show, one squirms on my lap and the others are outside, finally making their own fun. The morning has been full of tempers that have flared. Tempers that lashed out at each other and the schoolwork that we tried to do. Forever I will be learning to not lash out at their lashing out because how in the world can I teach them to be calm when so many days I’m like a pressure cooker that’s not properly vented?
For years I’ve been trying to figure out how to do social media well. Sometimes it’s looked like being off for an extended period of time, others times I’ve felt called to intentionally engage with people instead of just creeping by like a stranger in a white van (no offense to my friends in white vans, you guys are my favorite).
A friend and I recently spent some time in prayer because we were both felt like we were not giving God our best. My distraction is social media. It’s my go to when life feels too consuming (which with five kids feels like most of the time). I’ve felt this pull, this tension, to draw back knowing that it is taking up too much of my brain space for me to be the kind of mom I want to be, but also the kind of friend I want to be to God.
Naturally, the week after we prayed, I spent much of it scrolling through social media, attempting to engage but doing a whole lot of creeping. I then felt that guilty pull of knowing that I want things to be different but doing absolutely nothing to change it. A few nights in this strange anxiety began to hit me, a feeling that I haven’t felt for quite a while and one that tells me to stop and look around at why this old feeling is trying to make a new space.
After a vacation followed by a couple of weeks of sickness I realized my guard was down. I was tired from mom’ing and from holding things together when Brad and the kids were sick. The enemy attempted to hit me at a time when I was soothing my soul with social media instead of Jesus, and he almost got me.
Then I heard the Lord tell me to lay low and seek Him until he told me otherwise. I don’t often hear such direct commands from Him, but I knew this meant to stay off social media until I heard further.
I used to think that being off social media for good would be the answer to all my problems. If only I could just delete my accounts forever, that would make things better. Lately, though, since we’ve started the School of Kingdom Writers and I’ve felt a pull to use my personal social media accounts for His good, I’ve realized that I must learn how to do social media God’s way. I believe that He has this perfect way for us to connect and teach and encourage each other in Christ, and I know that I just need to learn how to do that without being consumed. It sure seems like I should have that under control before we set out to disciple and teach others.
Last night I began to sense that God was telling me to post online, check and respond and then get back off. As I began to sense that and wonder if it was really God, I also began to wonder if it could really be that simple?
What if I waited until God told me, posted and checked in, and then signed back off again? I don’t need to let it consume me, I don’t “owe” anyone a quick response, I don’t need to dull my sense or feelings by looking at what other people are doing. I can put my content out there, connect with people as I see fit, and then log back off and into my real life where there are real problems that I need to have the courage and fortitude to address.
As my friend Sarah says, it’s so beautiful how God invites us into things with him. He doesn’t force us to join him, but he will gently remind us that we indeed have a part to play in becoming closer to Him. The more we seek Him, the more He responds.
It’s really as simple as that.
love this. i struggle with social media too. i was off for most of the summer, but now i’m back on fb (got back on to buy a baby carrier and never logged back off), i feel like it wastes so much precious time each day. it’s nice to hear how others wrestle with it and where God leads each of us with this.
Thanks friend. I think it’s so challenging to know how to use social media, and I imagine it’s a questions that the majority of people struggle with these days.