I’ve been on a break from Instagram since mid-June.
Social Media and I keep getting into spats. I know it has pros, but I find it so very noisy! It’s a poor match for my INFJ personality. I deleted my personal Facebook account over two years ago now and really haven’t missed it at all. I entertained the thought of doing the same with IG but decided to just stop using it for a while.
After doing that though, I felt quite lost on what to do with all things Hey Sister. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do anything creative like bible journaling. I felt very inept. It was actually quite depressing and I considered just shutting down the blog and everything else. But then God showed me that this break was very purposeful.
I couldn’t do because I needed to be still.
To just stop everything and listen for His direction. He used that time to draw me nearer, and refocus my mind and heart for His purposes. Here are five things I learned.
1. Know your why
Why am I doing this? What is the point of it? I knew my Why – to encourage others. Yet, it was starting to feel like work. I started thinking about how short life is. How little time I actually have with my kids. How do I want to spend it? What example am I showing my kids on how to live this life following Jesus? Is what I’m doing – creating to share, instead of sharing what’s created – worthwhile? Yes, it’s to encourage, which is all good, but is it being effective in the fast-paced world of social media?
Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.Goethe
God showed me that my Why was incomplete. It was detached from my ultimate purpose as a follower of Christ which is to make disciples. To partner with God in His redemption of souls. We do this out of love; for God and His people. Spreading the Good News is vital and urgent! We have to teach our children. Encourage our friends. Love our neighbour. Wherever we are right now is where God needs us. We have to show up, TODAY.
2. Embrace your weaknesses
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9
God is glorified when we embrace our weaknesses. Where we are weak, He is strong. I thought I had a handle on my feed and usage. I already had most notifications turned off (except for comments because I want to reply to people promptly). Yet, I found myself checking my feed several times a day because I didn’t want to miss anything important. Essentially, this is FOMO, but I felt like it was my responsibility to be there for the people I followed. What if they posted something and I wasn’t there to encourage and support them?! Welcome to my brain – it’s a fun and wacky place. Anyway, I’ve now embraced the JOMO; I rely on God to prompt me and lead me in my engagement.
3. Don’t quit out of discouragement
God does not require that we be successful only that we be faithful.Mother Teresa
I can’t tell you how many times I considered quitting Hey Sister in the short time it’s existed. Not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I just couldn’t accomplish as much as I wanted. I didn’t have the time because life at home with kids is busy. When I had the time, I felt too drained. But what God reminded me during my break is that it’s good to fail. Failure makes us humble. It reminds us of our need for grace. When he sends us, we have to remember that it is He who accomplishes it. We just need to be faithful to show up and use those gifts He gave us for His glory!
4. Be constantly listening
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.John 10:27
If I got nothing else out of this break, the time spent listening would be enough. I started waking early each morning to watch the sunrise and sit in the quiet, just listening. This is separate from my devotional (bible reading) time. I don’t pray, I just listen for the most part, sometimes asking a question as led. And then I write everything that comes to mind in a journal for further reflection. As we go, doing the works He’s prepared for us to do, we must be listening to discern His leading in it. Our world right now is very noisy, so we have to listen to follow. My usage now, as led by Him, will result in less noise so that I’m able to hear Him more clearly.
5. Lastly, be open and authentic
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16
I love to share what God teaches me because I think that it’s helpful to others and also because I think it’s God’s story not mine. But, frankly, I’m a very private person. I don’t like being on the internet. However, He’s showing me that I need to share what He tells me. I need to be open and authentic about the struggles I face and how I find hope in Him. These stories demonstrate my very real relationship with Him. How we live our day-to-day lives tells a far more relatable story than any words we could compose. I hope to do more of that on here, and on other platforms, wherever I am placed, like I did in my very first post.
So, lots of lessons learned is such a short time. Lots of growing. I will be returning to IG soon and there will be some changes coming to Hey Sister in the near future. I’m just going to have fun with it!
Have you faced a similar struggle with social media? How did you grow through it?
Joy & Peace, Sister!