Facebook and I have had a rocky relationship which can be described as me shunning and abhorring Facebook. For those of you who were willing and eager to join Facebook, that may be hard for you to understand. I am a reluctant and unenthusiastic Facebooker. I joined two days ago, kicking and screaming.
God has compelled me to begin building what social media experts have termed a “platform.” It is an elevated space that gets your voice heard above the rest. Being 4’10”, I have stood on wooden platforms behind lecterns before so I understand the need! Building a platform on the internet involves reaching out and connecting with people. Some ways to do that are starting a blog, interacting on Twitter, Facebooking, Instagram, Pinterest, and live broadcasting on Periscope.
I am doing all of this because God has asked me to. I don’t know the end result of my efforts, but my heart’s desire is to speak to women at churches, small groups, ladies meetings, and retreats. I am throwing my hat into the ring! While I build, I am finding that my messages of vulnerability and imperfection are resonating with women. This has surprised me and given me great joy.
I joined Facebook about 10 years ago and my account was active for 24 hours. They were 24 very rocky and emotional hours, including a sleepless night. After 24 hours of connecting with old friends, I had had enough, and deactivated my account. Years later my son accidentally reactivated my account and I had a panic attack while I tried to figure out how to shut it down. So why I am so averse to Facebook?
Most of the people who tried to connect with me on Facebook were from my old high school, Independence High School in Charlotte, NC. Even now my heart trembles as I think about it. My high school years, like many of yours, were turbulent: filled with rejection, hurt, guilt, and shame. Girls who had gossiped about me were now trying to be my friends of Facebook. People who I had been in disputes with were sending requests. Guys that broke my heart and stole my innocence were there. And people that I had hurt were there as well. And even now, like then, hurtful things were written about me for all the world to see.
Memories of a period filled with deep regret and crushing pain flooded me. Until I decided that they needed to stop.
I deactivated that account.
Now God is asking me to join Facebook again and to open myself up to those haunting memories. Memories that I want to stay locked in my past forever. Those people who hurt me are still there, and truthfully, I don’t want to have anything to do with them. I don’t want to join Facebook, but I will bravely but reluctantly confront my Facebook fears and choose to obey God. Why?
Because I love God more than I love my own life.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 that he who desires to save his own life will lose it, but he who loses his life for His sake will find it. Holy Spirit constantly reminds me that my life is not my own, and I have been bought with a price, so I should glorify God with my body. So in joining Facebook, I am laying down my life and building my platform as God has asked.
Do I want to be involved in social media? Well, not really. Why am I? I have no choice. My life is not my own. I am bought with a price. Because I love God, I will chose to obey His direction for my life. Not my will, God, but Yours be done.
Even if that includes Facebook.
My obedience has not been easy. I have wrestled with God on many issues. I have had sleepless nights. I have sought counsel from mentors and trusted friends. I have been convicted by scripture. I am wrought with fear and doubt. I have not always been at this place of delighting to do God’s will. But God has worked in my heart so that I desire to please Him by obedience more than I desire to follow my own wishes.
There may be something that God is asking you to do and you are reluctant. You are saying, “No way, Jose, I am NOT going to do THAT.” It’s okay. God is patient. If you are humble and willing, He will slowly change your heart and give you the ability to obey. Be encouraged that He is always at work in our hearts to make us willing and able to do His own pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
What should you do? Humbly ask God to work in your heart and give you the desire and strength to obey. Ask Him to make your heart brave and courageous! Trust that the big thing that you don’t want to do is God’s gift to you in disguise.
It’s hard, I know. But it is part of the story of your life that God is writing. It might even be the BEST part. I can’t wait to see it.
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PS Thanks to all of my faithful blog readers and a shout out to Nicole, Brian, Emily, Erin, Sarah, and Amber for the social media help and encouragement.