I took a break from social media. It was not planned. I just stumbled across a post by Pastor Laura Lee that said “Social Media Sabbatical – 21 Day challenge”.
Just reading the word Sabbatical sounded like a vacation on a shoreline to me. I scrolled on to the next post, but I kept coming back to hers. I am a big fan of social media. I love it and I use it personally, professionally, and in ministry so stepping away would be a big deal for me.
Reluctantly, I took the plunge and removed all of the apps from my phone except the Bible App.
Besides the obvious benefits of having more time and being fully present and engaged, the one thing that shocked me the most was feeling my anxiety levels decrease.
I felt lighter, slept better and was able to breathe easier.
I had no idea how much being on social media caused me to worry.
I worry about you.
I genuinely care about your crisis, your online business, your milestones, and I especially worry about what you think of me.
None of this is bad, but when it all piles on in 30 minutes (which easily becomes two hours), it makes my heart feel a lot heavier when I finally x out.
The tape in my mind starts playing on repeat, “People are hurting. They are offended. They need to sell just a little bit more. There is a birthday, an anniversary and more.” As the tape continues to play, I worry did I miss someone’s birthday? Did I say enough? Should I comment? I don’t even know which emoji to add because I am not even sure how I feel. The pressure builds and it is overwhelming at times.
I worry about myself.
I wonder if I said enough, or did I say too much. Now that I have teenagers, they read what I post and they don’t always like the pictures I share of them so I am more sensitive to their eyes and hearts. I start to doubt my calling and it slows me down. I see others celebrating huge victories and I am thrilled for them! It encourages me at first, but then comparison creeps in, followed by insecurity and ultimately I am filled with doubt. I worry about what I think of myself.
The tape in my mind starts taunting, “Did God really say? It will never happen for you. Why bother? Who do you think you are?” Am I saying enough? Am I doing enough? It is too much?
But there is One…
When I was able to escape the awkward high school halls of social media for a bit, I was able to pause in His Presence. It was there that I discovered this truth:
There is only One whose opinion of me matters. Just one: Jesus
My word for the year is Joy, and the verse is Psalm 16:11:
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
Taking a break from Social Media helped me to see the Bigger Truth in that verse.
Joy will come in His Presence. He will make known to me the path of life in His Presence.
When I am in His Presence I am fully aware of who He says I am, and what He has called me to do. I am fully aware of His strength, His power and His healing.
When I am in His Presence, it is not about me.
In His Presence, I believe all things are possible. Doubt, panic, worry and anxiety wither away in the fullness of His Glory.
When I reached day 21, I put my little toe back in the waters of social media and I quickly retreated. I wasn’t ready. So I took a few more days and I waited a bit longer. When I went in, I stayed in the shallow end for a bit but it didn’t take long for the waters to rise and the tapes to start playing.
So, I am stepping away again.
I have tasted. I have seen. I believe.
He will show me MY path and fill ME with joy in His Presence.
I want to be intentional to meet Him there. Join me?
For he alone is my safe place.
His wrap-around presence always protects me
as my champion defender.
There’s no risk of failure with God!
So why would I let worry paralyze me,
even when troubles multiply around me?
God’s glory is all around me!
His wrap-around presence is all I need,
for the Lord is my Savior, my hero, and my life-giving strength.
Join me, everyone! Trust only in God every moment!
Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to him.
Believe me when I tell you—he will help you!
Pause in his presence