Yesterday my social media feeds were full of friends fearlessly sharing their stories about mental illness. I say fearlessly with intentionality: it doesn’t mean they weren’t afraid to speak up, but they did it anyway. It was beautiful to see people open up about their battles, sharing their journeys & encouraging others to do the same because feeling alone in the fight is one of the worst effects mental illness can impose on people.
I’ve spent the last few years using this little corner of the internet to connect with people. I’ve chosen to incorporate social media into my business & from a girl who used to wish all social media would cease to exist (lololol) let me tell you, it has been one of the coolest things to explore.
I share stories about other people’s lives, telling the world about these kind, wholehearted, all-in humans I have the privilege of meeting. They’re the ones the world thinks crazy for choosing greatness over comfort, for making life about something bigger than themselves, for refusing to settle into mediocrity. They’re the ones I call generation changers, working to bring the Kingdom into every moment of their daily lives.
I also share a lot about my life here. It’s mostly about how the Lord is working in my heart, how knowing Jesus in a personal way influences my daily life, how other people have been incredible conduits to learning about listening to the Holy Spirit. It’s not all golden moments, but it’s making me more like gold.
Here are my general rules when posting to social media about my life:
- Have I talked to God about it?
- Have I told my people about it? The ones that hear the nitty gritty that comes from being in the arena of life, y’all. Is it honouring to share this information online before sharing in person?
(By in person I mean directly from me to them, whether that’s a text or a phone call or a FaceTime or a coffee date. My people live across the country, so we do what we gotta do to make it work!)
- Is this a story to share or something to show off?
If the moment makes it through those things I post it. If not, or if life is moving along at a pace that doesn’t warrant sharing everything, that’s okay. Most of my life isn’t online. And most of yours shouldn’t be, either. Some things are only meant for you & God to share, some things are best kept between you & your friends or your spouse or your family.
(Here’s what I’ve been waiting to say this whole post you guyssssss can you feel the anticipation)
There’s an incredible chance for connection when we do share our stories.
When we say, “Ya know what, this is a lesson I learned & it’s messy/beautiful but it’s part of my story now either way. Odds are good I’m not alone in learning this lesson, in experiencing this thing, so let me tell people about it. Let me tell people about the ache/the hope/the excitement/the sadness. Let me bring the world a little closer together because of this shared thing.”
I’ve seen it again & again, especially yesterday for #BellLetsTalk: Magic happens when we lean into vulnerability and dare to let people in on our lives.
In person first, always! If in doubt about what to post, check my rules above again.
The Internet is a real thing that ain’t going anywhere, y’all. Social media can be life sucking if we keep scrolling to distract & numb ourselves when we should be sitting in uncomfortable silence or reaching for friends instead, I get that.
It can connect us.
If every post we shared was made with intentionality – the goal of connection in mind – I think social media would be a much more gracious & life-giving place of communication.
It’s probably helpful to remember that this heart of mine doesn’t like surface level anything. I love parties but small talk is draining. If you ask me how I am odds are good I’m legitimately going to tell you with more than a one word answer. This post was supposed to go on Instagram and it got too long for the allowed character limit sooo…
Let’s sit over a beer & talk about the nuances of God’s presence in our lives. Tell me how Jesus has changed your life while we let our coffees go cold. I want to listen to understand, not necessarily reply, to what’s going on in your life.
Connection is the best antidote to loneliness I know. And I know loneliness well.
We live in a culture where the internet is part of our daily lives. If we know the power of connection, the power of sharing our testimonies about how Jesus has & is constantly changing our lives, why not go to where the people are?
It may be scary or uncomfortable to share in a public way, especially at first when you’re trying to figure out how to get what happened in your heart to your head to your hands in real words, but in the time I’ve spent doing just that there’s one thing I’ve always come back to:
Life’s golden moments happen when you allow yourself to be fearless.