Fifteen years ago this February, I opened up an account on Facebook. It was probably a Friday night and one of my friends felt like I would fix all of my problems by finding friends on what was then called The Facebook.
Flash forward to 2011 and I decided to give up Facebook for Lent. I was living in Guatemala and I used the heck out of Facebook to stay connected to all of my friends and family back in Colorado. Forty some odd days off of Facebook was freeing. I stopped feeling the need to post my every thought. But I also felt like I lost contact with certain people and to a certain extent I don’t feel like I have ever reconnected with everyone. But I had wanted to give God my time that I typically gave Facebook.
I also wanted to make funny videos of my time away from Facebook (they used to be posted to this blog, but have since vanished). I think I wanted my time off Facebook to make me a popular blogger. Maybe my dream was for people to finally see all the awesome things I was writing about in Guatemala. Nine years later and I am still not sure if anyone is reading.
But I don’t blog so that I get found. At least not anymore. My goal for my blog and for everything I post is to help spread joy. In the past fifteen years, along with Facebook, I have joined Twitter and Instagram. Typically these networks are very positive elements in my life (I tend to stay away from harmful interactions). If I post a picture on Instagram, as I have for nearly every day over the past six years, it is meant to help people see something fun, beautiful, and joyful. When I blog I’m hoping to tell a story about God’s goodness in my life so that my readers (you amazing few) might see God in their own stories.
Yet tomorrow Lent starts and I want to shake up my life on social media. Lent, for me, is all about surrendering something to God so maybe when I crave what I surrendered I seek His comfort. I want to be hungry for Christ this Easter. I want all of me to long for him to be resurrected. So I am going to step away from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Posting a daily photo is a challenge for me because it forces me to look for joy and beauty so now I am going to have to find a way to see beauty without needing to take a picture and share it. I will have to trust that people will find joy and beauty without me.
As I write this I know it feels a little odd to be talking about how I am letting go of social media for Lent on a social media platform, but I want everyone to have an adventure and so I blog. Maybe by surrendering things I love I can find the freedom God has for me and inspire those around me to take a risk and trust God too.
So no story about how I saw God’s beauty in the trash or how I experienced Him in the wild, maybe those will come in my next blog. Tonight I want to leave you with a beautiful image of a door. I am going to open that door and seek out more of the beauty God has for me and I hope you do too.