Pastor's Wife, Mom, Writer & Imperfect Seeker of Jesus
The Beautiful Side of Facebook
July 30, 2016
For several years now, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. On the one hand, I absolutely love the ability to stay in touch with the “kids” (now in their 20’s and 30’s) from our various youth groups we led over a 13 year period; to watch them grow up, get married and have children and careers of their own. On the other hand, I detest all of the negativity, online bickering, people bashing and the treating of social media like a personal diary. Simply put, social media can drag you down, beat you up or wear you out.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 HCSB) Let’s be honest though. That’s pretty hard to do if you spend a lot of time on social media. But the good has outweighed the bad JUST ENOUGH, that I’ve hung with it all these years.
But now…I LOVE IT!
You see, I’m a neat freak. I love to organize, purge and rearrange rooms, drawers, computer files and even social media. So that’s exactly what I was doing a couple weeks ago with my Facebook pages when I decided to see if I could find a few people from college. If you’ve ever done this, you know how it goes.
First you look up just a few names. Then those names lead to other names. And then you notice people who you share a number of mutual friends with, so you click on that person to figure out who it is. And, oh my goodness, it’s someone you have completely forgotten about from your past!! That begins opening up the floodgates of memory and now names are popping up on your computer screen (or phone) and popping up in your head faster than you can keep up.
One minute I was a newlywed back at Johnson Bible College making married couple friends for the first time, and the next minute I was in elementary school dancing to “Footloose” in Girl Scouts with Brooke and Samala. Then I was sitting behind Mark in high school Social Studies getting in trouble because he always made me laugh or remembering “that guy” who I had a total crush on in middle school.
From there I found myself teaching 3rd grade in the little country school in Tennessee, but was soon whisked away to the glamour of the Mary Kay national seminar stage in Dallas, Texas. I went to four school systems growing up, lived on two college campuses (including where Ryan went) and have served with Ryan in three different churches in two different states, so my mind was in a whirlwind.
I found people who loved me. People who hurt me. People who made me laugh. People who broke my heart. BUT IT WAS ALL BEAUTIFUL!
Why? Because it hit me how it has taken these HUNDREDS of people and all the colors of emotions and experiences in my life to make me who I am today. God as the Potter has used every single one of them to shape me and mold me in some way to prepare me for what He needs from me this day.
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT)
I discovered people who maybe weren’t the nicest to me when we were young but are now going through a tough time, and I found myself praying for them. (Because let’s be real: We were ALL once stupid kids who said or did stupid things without realizing the consequences.)
Several people are now police officers or married to a police officer, and I prayed a special layer of protection over them. Some folks are still wandering a bit aimlessly in life, so rather than judge (which is hard not to do sometimes, I know), I found myself praying for the Lord’s direction in their lives.
So Facebook has now become my prayer list! When I don’t really know what to pray about, rather than just aimlessly scroll through the Newsfeed, I scroll through my Friends list and just start praying. When I’m having a pity-party for something in my own little life, I bring up that list again and am overwhelmed at the sheer number of lives and situations that are so much bigger than my own little thing.
And so I lift them up to the Father and thank Him for the beautiful tapestry that has woven so many lives into mine. And I look forward to watching that tapestry grow.
I pray that you too can have those moments when you get to see the amazing and intricate design that God has woven into your own life through your past, and maybe, just maybe, He might even use social media to do it for you too. Happy connecting!