in the quiet
"Every darkened crevice, every hidden place, every secret that's inside of me...though, I run from You I don't get very far, in my weakness you speak tenderly. You heal this heart of stone, I am not my own, I am Yours."
-Bethany Dillon, I Am Yours
This morning I woke up and the first thing I did was check Facebook. This used to be my routine every morning but for the past week I've been intentional in avoiding social media. To be honest, I've checked it twice just to see if I'd received any messages on my business FB which I am actually contemplating deleting. I've wondered if I'm committing business suicide by removing myself from these platforms but I know in my heart the world will go on (as will my life & business) if I decide to do this. As I logged on, I began scrolling through the newsfeed on my personal FB account. Not much is different after a week's sabbatical - mostly everyone is living their lives and sharing about it still. It is already beginning to feel different as I am no longer a participant but observer. I feel like a loner on the outside looking in for the first time - there's a friend battling depression & sharing about it, a friend rejoicing over positive results after a medical procedure, friends celebrating business successes, pictures of my friends back home with their kids & comments back & forth. All of these things make me feel as though I've been missing out.
"I'm missing really sweet moments!"
"Why didn't I know the magnitude of their depression?"
"I love reading about their much deserved business success!"
Just scrolling through photos makes me feel as if the world of FB knows more about my friends than I do. I logged off, made my coffee, sat down on the couch in our living room & opened my John study.
I love our living room. It is full of so much natural light. Katie, my roommate, has collected beautiful succulents and plants that breathe life into this room. We do not have a television so it's easy to sit in the quiet here. As I began reading and thinking about my logging onto social media, I realize that only in the quiet spaces am I able to see things clearly. For me, it's only when I stop & listen that I hear the Lord speak. And when He does, it is in fact tenderly: in reality, I should be calling my friends to check up on them. If I want to converse back and forth, call them. If I want to see photos, ask for them. Be present and not by way of the internet.
I observe others spill their hearts out and post their current statuses. I question why we do this. Why do we no longer turn to those who truly know us, in the flesh, to fill this void? I realize social media gives me a false sense of knowing my friends hearts, a false sense of community, a false sense of affirmation. It is not a substitute yet I've allowed it to be.
Last night, I sat around with 3 of my girlfriends here in Nashville and chatted about life for six whole hours. I don't remember the last time I stayed up with girlfriends til 1am just chatting. It was wonderful. We cooked & ate dinner together, enjoyed delicious dessert & shared wine. We spoke of our stories, struggles & heartbreaks. We asked questions, challenged one another & spoke truths. THIS is community. This lets me feel known. Lets me feel heard & understood and on a very real, personal level...with people who really do have my back...people who genuinely care about the condition of my heart...friends who want to dive into the deep places with me. They aren't judging me based off what work I produce or my perfectly curated instagram posts. They're down in the trenches with me.
Such real affirmation, this community.
I wonder now how many times I've forfeited rich conversations because I thought I really knew someone based off of what they've been displaying on social media. I don't need to fill in the gap because social media does it for me. It's so easy to display our best selves, or even what we feel are vulnerable moments, with people online. But, this is nothing compared to what we gain when we share our lives in person with people are actually trustworthy of the details of our lives. People who genuinely care about us. There's just something so much more sacred about it.
I want to get back to the hard conversations. I want to call & have coffee with friends. I want to be intentional in showing how I care for others and not allowing these substitutes to do it for me anymore. I want to get back to allowing the space for the Lord to speak into my life. To make room for what's real. And if that's in the quiet (and less social) spaces...then in the quiet I'll remain.