I’ll be honest. I don’t love social media. By no means, am I “anti-social media,” it’s just not my favorite way to spend my free time. I do love keeping up with family and friends who don’t live near me, though. I love seeing all the pictures of their kids and fun things that they’re doing! I’m typically on Facebook on Saturday mornings, when I’m sipping my coffee, after Pete has left to be with clients for the day. I rarely check my Facebook messages (to me, it’s like email, and I can’t even keep up with my real email). I’m never on Twitter anymore, but I do scroll instagram pretty regularly. Again, it’s about the pictures for me. The truth is, if it weren’t for my job, I’d probably be an instagrammer and once a month Facebooker, but that’s about it. And not that you care about my social media habits, but I wanted to paint an accurate picture of what my usage is. I don’t live on social media. And I’m not one to have FOMO or wish I was living someone else’s life. To be sure, I have my “issues” but envy on social media is not one of them.
With all this said, a few weekends ago, I got caught up (FOR HOURS) scrolling through many of my high school friend’s pages. Something interesting happened and it really surprised me. The insecure, striving, Jr. High School girl that I once knew, made an appearance. I’m sure there’s an official name for this phenomenon, but for our purposes, I’ll just call it “Ewwww.”
Here’s what I mean: I wasn’t the most popular girl in high school by any means, but I did have a solid group of friends, and was friends with a lot of different groups of people. I don’t know about you, but we had categories. The uber populars, the preps, the rednecks, the nerds, the head bangers, etc. Happily, I had friends in each category. But, let’s be real. There were ALWAYS *those* kids that everybody wanted to be friends with. And with lots of these kids, I feel like I fell into the category of “being allowed in the room with them, but not quite invited to sit at the table with them” so to speak. It wasn’t like I wasn’t on their radar; I was. I just wasn’t in the holy of holies, had backstage passes, you know what I mean… in the inner, inner-circle.
And this is exactly what happened on my half a day+, long walk back down the halls of my high school the other day, figuratively speaking, of course. I started looking at who had liked what, who had commented, who had commented back, and who had liked the comments of the comments back. Oh, I was in the room again with them, because we are “Facebook friends!” BUT, I started noticing who never liked any of my pictures, who never commented on my pictures, who never liked my comments on their pictures, but they sure were liking all the comments above and below me. If this last statement sounds super whiney, immature, and irrational, WELP, that’s exactly how I was feeling at the time! And then it hit me…. “Carmen, you are about to be 46 – yes 46! – years old, and you are feeling all those same feelings you felt when you were 16. Get a grip!” It was the craziest thing! I finally (thank the Lord) closed my laptop, and moved on about my day. But here’s the thing, those feelings washed over me for the next several days.
And here’s the worst part: I even found myself going and commenting on a few folks pictures, a few days later, just to see if I could get any kind of response. Can you believe that?!! Part of me doesn’t even want to put that in print. But, it’s the truth. You see, all of these old feelings of insecurity and striving had made their way back to the surface all these years later. And here I am a grown woman! With a husband! And two grown daughters! How in the world could I be my 16 year old self again?
But here’s what I’ve learned in my (almost) 46 years. Satan is going to take the very thing that has a shred of truth to it, and then he’ll set about to confirm it. This is how he demoralizes us, and aims for our JOY. For example, he’s not going to try and convince me that I’m a prostitute or a drug addict. I will never believe that lie. But, he’ll try and convince me that I’m not good enough. Or that I don’t belong with the “cool kids” or that I’m a poser. Or that I might be a solid B-lister. But I could never make the A-list. He’ll bring back up all of those old hurts. Like the time a friend of mine looked me up and down and in front of a big group of people and said, “She’s got her Sedgefields on today, which means she’ll have on her Levi’s tomorrow.” I was in the 6th grade, and I wanted to die. My face turned hot red, and I wanted to melt into the floor. She had out’ed me. It was true. I only had 2 pairs of jeans at the time, and I rotated wearing them every other day. That moment is branded into my memory, and was a defining moment on the view I had on my (unworthy) self for years and years to come. Strive. Prove. Strive. Prove.
But, my sweet sister friends, it’s all just a bunch of bunk. It’s such a lie, and we don’t need to slurp it up with a spoon anymore!! I shouldn’t have back then, and I certainly don’t have to now. And we have to make every effort to make sure our daughters and younger sisters don’t believe these same things. We are ALREADY enough. We are ALREADY on God’s A list. God has ALREADY liked us. He has ALREADY commented on our pictures. And He has ALREADY liked our comments back to Him. 🙂 Oh, and we are ALREADY dressed cute in our jeans, or Lulus or whatever it is that we are currently wearing!
If you’ve experienced moments of insecurity lately, or if social media has you comparing your life to others, or you have a group of women that you are striving to sit at the table with, can I give you some sisterly advice? Give it up. Walk away. Take a break. Go hang out with Jesus for a while. Go talk to the women who really want to be your friend. Know and BELIEVE that you are ALREADY enough.
A friend of mine made these little frames at the end of one our bible studies years ago. I keep it on my nightstand. Maybe this coming weekend you could do a little arts & crafts project and make one for yourself and the women and girls in your life that you love most. It’s a nice tangible reminder of who we truly are.
PS: Yes, the picture above is my 18 year old Senior picture. But, it was the quickest one I could find. It’s close enough to my 16 year old self. Hair was just as high, and make-up was just as heavy.