March 15th was my anniversary of my year without Facebook. Our break up was a bit brutal, and at the time, I was so grateful to finally let go. I needed a break, and I was tired of the constant distraction. I wanted to focus more on the people in front of me. I wanted my time back.
Shortly after the split, our daughter was born, and I found myself with even more time than I had anticipated. Her natural breech delivery left me almost bedridden for a few weeks, and as the days and nights flowed seamlessly into one another, I found myself in quietude with my newborn for hours on end. I remembered how I would sit for hours staring at my firstborn, completely in awe of this new person who had once lived inside me and would now be a part of me forever.
I looked down at my newborn and just soaked her in, her little fingers and nails, her tiny toes, dark hair, and hazel eyes. I spent hours just looking at her, wanting to remember this time that I knew would go by way too quickly. I prayed over her and her siblings; I blessed her, and I enjoyed her.
My four-year-old daughter came often to visit me in my bedroom where I sat in a rocking chair much of the time. She played beside me, imitating me with tiny dolls held close to her chest. “She’s drinking milk, Mommy!” she’d say, as she changed diapers and clothes on the ottoman. I sang to her, watched her, and relished my moments with her.
Our son kept his distance much of the time, but every now and then would stroll in to show me his latest creations, art projects, and Lego structures. I’d listen to his stories and his adventures and would just stare and wonder how the time had managed to slip so quickly through my fingers. He was about to be seven and just seemed so tall and grown up to me.
I enjoyed my slower life without excessive distractions, the talks with my husband, who kept our home afloat during my struggles and sleepless nights. I cherished my family, the visits from friends, my real friends. I found that I discovered who my friends truly were during that time, the ones who took the time to call or text, the ones who made it a point to visit me or bring a meal. We became more intentional, and I found that I had more face-to-face conversations with many of my friends during this year than I had ever had in the years prior.
It was a bit painful at times, though, when I discovered that certain friends disappeared from my life once my account came down. I wanted so badly to hold on to what once was, but then I realized that our friendship had served its purpose, and it was okay to let go . . . until next time.
Midnight hours were spent reading, listening to sermons from my pastor, singing to my infant, and praying. It was a time of rest, despite the lack of sleep, and I found myself at peace. My heart grew for others, and I was able to embrace their love more readily.
The months that followed included a move, homeschooling, and the many responsibilities that come with taking care of little ones. It’s been a whirlwind, but I’ve been “in the moment” much more than ever before. And that’s something that I do not want to ever lose.
I did miss a few things though. I missed the good parts of Facebook, the parts that were edifying and uplifting, the parts that inspired and encouraged me. Toward the end of the year, I began reading Facebook posts by my favorite bloggers, the kind that made me want to pray more and be a better person. I read some with fun and engaging activities that I was able to enjoy with our children; I read others that gave me decorating ideas for our new home. I missed the community of sharing ideas and soon found myself struggling with the thought of opening a new account once again.
I prayed about it, toggled back and forth in my mind, and asked friends along the way. I knew I didn’t want to go back to the constant distractions; I also knew that I didn’t want to be bombarded with media posts that hurt my soul. I wanted that which was lovely, true, and good, like the posts I sought out when I searched for something to read all those nights I held my little one and did all that I could to stay awake.
I then realized that I had to step forward in faith. I had to be a part of that which was lovely, true, and good. I had to share what was edifying, inspiring, and uplifting. I had to share what could help others and what could serve as an encouragement. For, this was a part of my ministry.
When I left Facebook, I left with the words, “It’s not you–really–it’s me.” And I meant it. I needed this year. I needed the time to reflect on what was truly important. I needed this time to grow spiritually, to read my Bible more, to know God’s purpose for my life. I also needed to get my house in order, to figure out how to homeschool with an infant and how to keep my ministry to my family at the forefront of my priorities. I needed to find balance.
No, I have not “arrived,” for life is a journey, and I am being sanctified each and every day. But I can say that I’m ready to step out and share what’s happening in my life, the books I’m reading, the articles that speak to my heart. I’m ready to share my questions and ponderings, the quotes and scriptures that touch my soul and speak of goodness and Truth.
I don’t intend on keeping up with a personal page because I want to make sure to stay focused and balanced. I realize that Facebook may not share much of what I write on my blog page, but what I write and share will be there for anyone who is interested to see. It’ll be my little nook in the web, a safe place where I can reach out to those who, too, are facing their own upstream journeys. As “iron sharpens iron,” it’ll be where we can share together, grow together, and swim upstream together– all for God’s glory.
And then maybe,
together, we can turn the tide.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
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