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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Not You, It's Me

That's what I said to Facebook when I deactivated my account a few months ago.

It really was doing nothing but highlighting my worst faults.  I don't condemn or judge anyone who uses Facebook for the fun socializing tool it can be.  I just couldn't handle it. I'll confess the details only in hopes that my kids won't make the same mistake, not that it does my heart good to put it in writing.

There were several factors converging at once to give Facebook the power it had over me for a time.  The biggest is that I was lonely.  Plenty busy at home, mind you, but not a lot of one-on-one grown up interaction. It started out as a way to get out without getting out.

It was also feeding my pride: what can I say this time that will generate even more comments? And then, I'd check my computer every (you don't want to know how often) to see if anyone commented. Brian used the term "addicted" in all seriousness.  And, he doesn't use such finger-pointing words very often. That's when I really started thinking about it.  It did feed my spirit (I hate to write "ego" even though that's probably more accurate) to get comments, to leave comments and get more comments back.  Seemed like lots of interaction.

Then envy kicked in.  There's irony all over this part, because I LOVE MY LIFE!  Before FB, I couldn't have named three things I wanted to change about my ENTIRE life.  But I found myself giving a good "hmf" when I saw an old high school buddy was going to spend the day lounging beside her in-ground pool while her kids were at school. A twinge when girls I knew would talk about how they had such a good time last night or lunch the day before and clearly no one called me. A little heart ache to see moms talk about their kids' birthday parties that my kids weren't invited to. 

All of those examples are so real and so silly!  I wouldn't trade home schooling for a YEAR by any pool. I've never really needed a lot of girl time and it's not like we let OUR kids have big birthday parties! And yet there they were...seeds of discontent.

This is the kicker:  I realized that one of my good friends talks the same way to all her other friends as she does to me.  You see, before FB, I didn't have access to such interactions. I was actually a little hurt that I have a friend who is just as nice, sweet, loving, welcoming and caring to her other friends as she is to me. Is that not the MOST ridiculous thing you've EVER heard?

Without sounding too pitiful, I started to take stock in the phone calls that came in or knocks on the door.  Would you sing for this event? Would you teach this class? Would you happen to have this I can borrow? Would you keep my kids a while? Not a lot of "let's go out" or "tell me how you are."

Then I heard a teacher suggest that parents who give their kids cell phones with texting might be giving themselves the illusion of control.  And immediately the thought came to my mind that Facebook was giving me the illusion of relationship.  I don't want to live under any illusions...reality is hard enough, so I deactivated it.  And, not surprisingly, my email inbox was sparse from then on.

It was kind of a hard time, because it's not like this is the kind of thing you can talk to your friends about without sounding -- heaven forbid -- needy.  I am NOT the needy friend. Because of that, I could feel an even bigger lesson coming.

What I ultimately realized is that I don't have a need to be needed.  I've got plenty of people of who need me and (most of the time) I'm happy to serve and help people any way I can.  (So, I'll probably always watch your kids, teach the preschoolers and let you borrow anything I have.) What I realized is that I want to be wanted.  You know, just for me.  For who I am, not what I can do.

No hurt comes senselessly, so it wasn't long before I was off the computer long enough to remember that that's what God wants from us: to love Him for who He is.  He's done plenty to be deserving of our love, that's for sure.  Blessings, near misses, abundant grace despite our many screw ups. But to realize that He just loves us because of who we are, certainly not because of what we've done.  

Makes me think of that Casting Crowns song:

Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours. 


Funny, it took the FB experience to help me see that it's enough for me to know that God hears when I call and I am His.

So, you see Facebook, you are fun and cool and hip and a great way to share photos and connect perfectly normal, sweet friends.  I, on the other hand, am prone to envy and arrogance and I don't need anything else to plant false seeds of discontent. 

Really. It's not you, it's me.


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4 comments:

  1. My goodness, I am so glad to know you! There's a line in a Superchick song that immediately pops into my head about you right now: "I am confidence in insecurity". It has become my own mantra over the last few months. I, like you, LOVE MY LIFE (other than I wish I had more hair and a basement!), but I used to have similar notions while reading all the "traffic" on FB. But, I've decided that it's going to be a place for me to share life moments, not live life moments or long for a life not my own. If I get response: Great! If not, no big! It's funny b/c FB presented me with a reason to reassess where I am in my relationships. Coupled with a bible study lesson on our "meantimes", I have really arrived at a peaceful place with what my purpose was/is in most of them. Some are done. Some are evolving. Some are for specific needs. Some are to keep in touch from a distance. And, some are to get closer. Others, like family, will always be the roller coaster they've always been! ;-)

    That sense of peace has come only from God and my growing relationship with Him. I have that same Casting Crowns' chorus line painted on a canvas in my office. I see it every day. Read it every day. Give thanks for it every day. I'm so thankful that it's not about me, but about Him.

    You are a blessing to me. Even though we don't have a lot of face time ourselves, I always admire and appreciate your authenticity and honesty.

    Love ya!

    Jill

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  2. Honor Logsdon Roth likes this.

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  3. Hmmm, just read this blog for the first time in a couple of months. Think I need to read it more often. Definitely some challenges from God in reading this as well as other entries. Thanks!

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  4. Honor cracked me up. I'm so glad you'll still let me borrow things. Facebook sometimes drives me crazy, and sometimes I think it is what keeps me from GOING crazy. Same with Scott. And food. Yeah, I may have issues.

    I love your deep thinking. But I still think you should go check my status from 1/16 at about 7:45pm

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