I’m scrolling down my Facebook news-feed.
Images begin to rattle my heart.
A friend looking sexy in her bikini.
A birthday party I wasn’t invited to.
Pinterest perfect meals I could never recreate.
A mother with her kids enjoying Disneyland, ice-cream cone smiles on the children’s faces.
A voice in my head spins these pictures back at me saying…
“You aren’t beautiful.”
“You’re not accepted.”
“You are a bad wife.”
“You’re an unloving mom.”
These images aren’t really directed at me, yet sometimes there’s a voice in my head that tells me otherwise.
These days, I often have to run from the negative voice in my head to the voice of Truth in my life. The voice who tells me who I really am.
“You are beautiful the way you are.” (Psalm 139:14)
“You are worthy and valued beyond what others think of you.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
“You may not be a gourmet chef, but you know how to watch over the affairs of your household well enough to be considered noble of character.” (Proverbs 31:27)
“You are loved.” (Romans 8:38-39)
There can be many good things that can come from this little social media site. Yet those ways are seemingly few for me these days.
I long for more connections with friends over coffee or a play-date in the park with kids. I long for the connections with friends from afar through Skype since this builds a one-on-one relationship similar to being there in person. I long for connections with more depth than the shallowness I feel through knowing a person’s “highlight” real of their life without really knowing how they are doing.
It’s been told we are only capable of a certain number of close friendships in our lives. Robin Dunbar’s study of friendship sounds pretty accurate. He narrows down our closest friendships to 5 people. After that our next circle of friendships amount to 50—people we would invite to a group dinner. Next is our circle of 150—people we would invite to a large party (say a wedding). After that our social depth capacity is maxed out, therefore the others in our network become acquaintances we are rarely in contact with. These friendship circles can flux and change over time. One friend that was part of my group of 50 one day can become part of my core of 5, or visa versa. Therefore, I cannot possibly be as close and intimate with every person on my Facebook account no matter how hard I try (unless I only had 5).
For me this is refreshing to know.
I often have the felt need to be EVERYONE’S friend. I want everyone to feel loved, appreciated, valued, and cherished, the way I desire to be. I desire closeness with others in the same way I desire their closeness with me. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by the inevitable barrier that comes by being unable to invest in each relationship I come in contact with. Perhaps I care too much about others.
While this isn’t a bad thing to love people and care about others, my expectations of the depth I’m capable of having with others has been unrealistic at times. I am just not capable of investing into all the people I desire to invest my time into. In the same way, many others cannot possibly invest their time and love into me fully even if they do truly care about me.
Facebook makes you feel like you can achieve this. And it becomes a disappointment. At least to me.
I know I’ve unintentionally hurt others through pictures I’ve posted on Facebook of the daily things I do with my kids, or friends I’ve hung out with which perhaps didn’t include someone, or parties I’ve thrown which I’ve had to narrow the invite list down to a select few. My intention is not to cause hurt. Unfortunately I’m just not capable of loving everyone fully.
But God can. He does love us fully.
That is the uniqueness of His character. He can be completely intimate with each and every one of us. He can heal those broken areas of our hearts. We just have to invite Him in.
I am able to filter out the lies I’m bombarded with from Facebook more and more these days. By seeking my identity in the One true friend who loves me, believes in me, and values me beyond what anyone else is capable of, I’m able to filter out the lies of the world.
I am able to joyfully laugh now with a freedom chuckle in my soul.