I began the day by going to church, happy to indulge in the process that is called “21 Days of Prayer + Fasting!” I’ve heard this term several times and been to church several times during the times of the year this process takes place, but I’ve never put myself up for the test of it! I think most times I’ve either given up soft drinks, chocolate, etc., which has been beneficial, of course, but obviously has not changed me as a person.
For weeks, I feel like I’ve had a sense of still waters in my life, like, the term “same ole, same ole.” And, the same ole, same ole, isn’t always fun, good, or developing. I want to live my life in a way that I’m never at still waters. I want to always be moving forward in some way. Either progressing in my relationships, progressing in hobbies such as blogging, exercising, whatever it may be. And the one that I feel like I always list but is the slowest moving one of them all, is progressing in my relationship with God. It’s easy for me to say, “I want to get closer to God this year,” but, what actions am I putting with that phrase? What am I going to physically DO that allows God to show me new life? What changes can I make to give God the room to take over my life to the fullest? In today’s busy world, it’s so easy to WANT to do something, but not have the time, motivation, or energy to actually DO it. But, you can do anything the moment you make your mind up to do it.
My choice for now is simple: 21 days of no social media. Apps deleted. Signing off!
While having a blog comes with of course a social media side, that isn’t the side that I feel like God called me to excel in when I pursued blogging. Without social media for 21 days, sure, I may lose a follower or two, but my goal for my blogging social media is not for people to follow me, but for people to be inspired to follow their dreams + God. As far as blogging, I want to pursue more writing and less Instagram, so I’ll keep writing on my website!
If you read my “New Year New Goals” post, I mentioned that one of the newest, biggest, and most important things I wanted to change in my life this year is being more in the moment. Being less in the screens and more in person. God didn’t create my life for me to be drowned in screens and screens and for the most part, media I’m not getting anything out of. I believe that it is so clear that the Lord is showing me that my way of being more in the moment is simply logging off. I’m not saying that social media is altogether “bad” in any way, because I do love to share all the fun, exciting, and inspirational things, but social media is so very consuming if you let it be.
It’s amazing to me how one simple decision in your life can affect not only one big area, but lots of others. Recently, I feel like so much of social media affects me in ways I wish it wouldn’t. It’s that feeling of seeing a photo or Snapchat or Instagram story of something you weren’t invited to, or reading words you didn’t want to read, or negativity, or promotions of lifestyles other than God. I think this goes hand in hand with the feeling I wrote about in my new year post of feeling like you have to be perfect. That CONSTANT comparison to others is directly from social media. Social media gives so many people the feeling that they have to constantly be doing SOMETHING, no matter what it is, and in my life, I feel like I get so much more out of days and experiences when I’m not doing anything I’m jumping to post. Reading a book, lunch with a friend, going on a run/walk, etc., all those things that you end up doing for 2+ hours and don’t even realize it. The things you forget to post because you were so in the moment. I’m itching for so many more of those times!
I believe that social media has become such a habit for me, and probably many other people, that when you think about it, sometimes it’s like you know you’re reading and seeing things you get zero joy out of, or like it even ruined your mood when you saw/read it. Yes, there’s so many good and happy and positive posts on social media, but what about books? What about the most simple and detailed things around us that we don’t pay attention to because we are always on our phones? Those moments you read about on Facebook where someone leads a stranger to God in a coffee shop, or pays it forward in the grocery store to help out someone in need? Being constantly engaged in an iPhone causes us to miss out on these moments. We don’t see them and we don’t see who’s around us and the many opportunities God gives us to be a servant of Him. It’s all one big habit, but it’s a habit I want to leave in the old year.
My life is so much more than social media, and now’s the time for me to spend more time in my relationships and the happening world around me than in my phone. In the next three weeks, I want God to show me life on the outside. Life off of the screen. How can I change my life and become a person of intention, a person who pays more attention to the actual people and things around me, and how can He use me in these moments?
In my worship notes from today’s service, here’s what I left with:
“Time to Make a Change”
1. It’s time to get closer to God.
2. It’s time to get honest with others and be held accountable. (hello, transparency)
3. It’s time to get in tune with my purpose and passions.
4. It’s time to get on doing something greater than myself. (showing others how to follow God, not follow me on Instagram)
5. I can’t go back and change the beginning, but I can start where I am and change the ending.
The truth comes from the phrase, “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” If I want God to change my life for the more intentional, meaningful, better, I’ve got to give up the social media and earthly distractions I am constantly fulfilled by. I cannot be the “king of my own kingdom” and I have to live for something bigger than myself every day. And lastly, from the message, joy does not come from money, sunny days, or good neighbors, but instead, joy comes from when you do something that matters. These next three weeks and further on into this year, I want to spend less time fixing my eyes on the social media posts that do not matter, and more time fixing my eyes on God and those around me. Again, from the church message, “I can’t start the next chapter of my life if I keep re-reading the last one,” so I’m ready to do something different. I believe that making changes such as this in my life will not only bring me closer to the Lord and show me a new way to walk in his path for my life, but make me a happier, more refreshed, more joyful, more intentional, and more in the moment person, because the moments on Earth matter more in my life than anything I could ever see or post on a screen.
I’m praying over the next three weeks for God to open my eyes to the things about Him, myself, and other people that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. My prayers are full of hope and trust in God that He will show me the difference for the better. I’m planning to read as many books as I can, spend the first three weeks of a new school semester with no social media study distractions, get more rest by not being on social media before bed, and enjoying life centered around how I can be the best version of myself and serving others!
I won’t be posting Instagram updates from when I post new blogs on my site, but you can always find my newest one on the home screen of my site :)