Are you for real?

are you for real

Social media has a bad reputation. It gets accused of being shallow and showing the world only the best and most exciting parts of a person’s life. That it breeds narcissism, selfishness and egotism. You can after all, at any moment, show the world your OOTD*, what you ate for breakfast and give your critique of the movie you watched all while sitting on the toilet taking a dump.

These types of bed head pics don’t usually make the cut, unless of course you’re ok with people seeing morning eye crusties:

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Usually, we post the perfectly filtered profile picture ready ones like these:

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As much as I’d love to peg Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media site as the scapegoat I know the real problem isn’t the media being used, but the person using it.

I don’t think social media is the problem. As much as my dad may disagree. I think the issue of shallow relationships, selective sharing and spotlighting achievements has been happening since before the Internet was even invented. Before electricity even. You see, from the beginning, humanity has been trying to cover up the undesirable parts. (If you want an explanation on that, check out my post “Showering Naked & Other Fears”.)

I assure you, I agree there is a problem. I guess I’m just more frustrated with people who ask, “How are you doing?” and then look at you like you just rained on their parade when you give them an honest response. I understand there are certain social norms that dictate that the “appropriate” response is “fine” or “good”, but I can’t bring myself to lie if that isn’t how I’m feeling. I’ve found my honesty is unwarranted most of the time, but I figure they’ll think twice before asking me again.

I also understand that not everyone is meant to be in the “inner circle” of your life. That some people are strangers, others are acquaintances, others are going to get ice cream friends and others still are sitting by your hospital bed companions. There’s this relationship hierarchy and with each level comes higher responsibility, deeper commitment and vulnerability. There’s wisdom in boundaries, to a certain extent.

Here’s the thing: Genuine relationship is rooted in honest dialogue.

And sometimes honest dialogue comes when someone finds out, “Hey! I do that too” or “I’ve felt like that”. So even though I might not want people to know certain things, sharing those things can make a connection. And I believe, ultimately it will bring freedom and relief to know I’m not alone, but someone can relate.

It’s not easy and everything inside is screaming: DON’T SHARE THAT! THEY WON’T ACCEPT YOU ANYMORE! THEY WON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE. THEY’LL LOOK AT YOU DIFFERENTLY! But that’s just the enemy trying to keep you isolated. Some people may look at you differently, but for others you may just be the breath of fresh air they’ve been gasping for.

That’s one of the reasons why I write this blog. If someone, even ONE person can connect with my struggle, my story, and find some kind of freedom, some kind of Life for their weary bones than its all worth it to me.

*For those of you who don’t know what this acronym stands for, let me help you out. Outfit Of The Day. Yup. It’s a thing. I promise.

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From the Wreckage

Wreckage

While in the Drive-Thru of my local McD’s I noticed a sign in the window that read: “We will be closed March 15-May 15 due to renovations. Sorry for the inconvenience.” It IS an inconvenience, McDonald’s. Do you expect me to make my own breakfast? Gosh.

It’s been closed a few weeks now, and I drove by it on my way to the grocery store…to get food to make my own breakfast when I noticed something startling. Apparently, when they used the word “renovation” they should have used the words demolish, overhaul, REBUILD. All of those would have been more appropriate than renovate, which makes us think of new paint colors on the wall and an updated Ronald statue in the entrance. Instead, there were some piles of rubble, a few full dumpsters and that was it. Nothing remained of the old building. Nothing.

I’m a simple kid and I keep a simple kind of faith. I pray simple prayers and say simple things like “Jesus, do what you want with my life. I am yours.” That simple, dangerous statement Jesus has taken very seriously much to my surprise.

As I mentioned is my previous post Jesus is interested in doing an overhaul– not just a surface cleaning of my heart. But from where I stand, all I can see, is wreckage. “I asked for this.” I mumble to myself as I look around at the debris…the brokenness. I see Jesus running the bulldozer. His yellow hard hat standing out in a sea of grey. He smiles and gives me a thumbs up. I muster a slight smile as a tear stumbles down my cheek.

Everything is shattered.

Nothing has gone untouched.

I’m often told by those who love me, and who also love Jesus, that this is a GOOD place to be. I’ve taken their word for it because nothing feels GOOD about this. It hurts. And sometimes, I’m very angry about all of it. My prayer life has been more like a steady stream of comment cards in Jesus’ suggestion box. I tell Him how I’d like things done. The timeline I’d like them done in. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolate. He softly reminds me He didn’t ask for my suggestions and He doesn’t need my help. He has sent the chocolate though.

So, what do I do? I go back to the basics. God loves me. God is good. God’s grace is sufficient. God is made perfect in my weakness. God is my provider. God is my healer. God hasn’t abandoned me. Each Truth just enough to swallow in one bite.

I’ll leave you with this excerpt from Brothers McClurg’s song “You shine through”, which has been an encouragement to my soul:

You shine brighter when we’re broken

With our hearts stretched out upon the floor

In our weakness and our failures,

Your light shines beauty to this world

From our broken hearts, we’re crying out

Through the cracks in all of us,

Through the fractures and through the dust,

You shine through, You shine through

In the darkness, you’re the dawn,

Blazing like the morning sun,

You shine through, You shine through.

Jesus, from the wreckage I ask that your glory would shine bright, that your love would flow free and your grace would be in abundance.