Here’s a fact:
Social media is not real life.
This seems obvious, like me saying, “lemons are yellow and apples are red.” but we have a really hard time wrapping our brains around this.
I wonder sometimes what my life looks like to you. She is always going somewhere fun. Is she out of the country again? Wow, she seems to have a lot of friends. Her business seems really successful. Working for your mom must be a cake walk. Does she ever have a bad day?
I say this not to evoke pity, but to present us all with a dose of reality.
I feel like I’m traveling all the time, but I don’t have a home. I’m just circling the globe, waiting for my life to begin. I have amazing friends, but we are all in such different seasons, and most have gotten married, engaged, pregnant, into graduate school far away.. you name it. Everyone seems to be moving on with their lives, and I often feel like Beth in Little Women, happy for her sisters’ exploits, but feeling left behind nonetheless. Planning more bridal showers for weddings that aren’t yours, and listening to stories anout the amazing man who has swept you off your feet. So proud of that job you just landed in a big city, and feeling small for my part time job. So happy you are a new mom, and yet feeling so empty because that season feels so, so far away.
And I know, I know what you’re thinking. Your time will come! Enjoy this season while you’re not tied down! Travel before you have kids! etc. etc. etc….
But don’t you ever feel like that too? Like you’re scrolling through Instagram going, “if I see one post about how perfect her boyfriend is, I will throw my phone across this room.Or maybe you’re trying to conceive and all your friends seem to be having surprise babies so. dang. easily. Or perhaps you’re still working a job that feels small while your friends are posting pictures from their fancy looking desks and your retail job is nothing to stand up and dance about. Maybe you’re involved in ministry and your Facebook posts make it look like the ministry is thriving and you are full of the holy ghost, when in reality you’re suffering from depression and about to burn out.
I don’t know what season you are in or what season you would rather be in, but trust me when I tell you this: all those pictures you’re seeing aren’t the evidence of a perfect life. I need to pause here and clarify, because I hate it when people say, “you know, marriage is hard. kids are tough. it’s not all sunflowers and daisies like you see on Facebook.:” Yes. I get that! Duh! Life is hard; noted.
I’m saying we are all fighting our own battles.
The girl with the perfect relationship might be really struggling because she has a broken relationship with her dad.
The mom of the precious baby girl may feel like she has no friends to walk through motherhood with her.
The lady with the fancy job may be in deep debt.
The ministry wife may be about to give up and leave everything.
The homeschooling mom of 7 you envy may be on the verge of putting her kids in the dreaded public school.
We are all going through it, in one way or another.
In church yesterday, the pastor preached on the widow with the oil in 2 Kings 4. She didn’t feel like she had anything to offer. She was focused on what she didn’t have, rather than what she did have. When she took the precious oil she did have, God multiplied it and it fed not only her and her family, but her community as well.
So my question to us today is this. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have. But if you focus on what you do have, you are postured to give, which is exactly what the enemy does not want.
What do I have?
The very great and high privilege of traveling often, and the opportunity to encourage others as I travel. I know younger girls I can pour into. I have friends I can serve as they prepare for marriage. I have a business I can use to sow into the kingdom! I have so much, and I bet you do too!
Look at Beth: slight, frail, quiet… but I would venture to say Beth was the sister who held her whole family together. You may see yourself as small, but I imagine the people in your life would disagree.
“The secret of joy is Christ in me, not me in different circumstances.” -Elisabeth Elliot