When It Feels Like No One Understands

When It Feels Like No One Understands

 One thing I’ve learned from Facebook, is that all of us are going through a lot of similar things.  When one mom complains of her child not napping, 5 more moms are there to say, “Mine too!”  When someone mentions her frustration with all the laundry piling up, we all do a cyber nod in agreement.  And when another complains of headaches, someone is there to say “I’ve been there and here’s what helped me.”

We all have common struggles with husbands, children, our work and stress load and just living life on planet earth.

But…

Our puzzles are all different.

One woman has a child with special needs while another is raising a gifted child.

One woman has a romantic, sensitive husband while another has a husband who has anger issues and he screams and yells at everyone in the house.

One woman struggles to make ends meet while another is going on her third vacation of the year.

One woman has a husband who doesn’t work while another is married to a workaholic.

One woman has a traveling husband who calls everyday while another woman has a husband who is off the grid for military reasons for weeks on end.

One woman is running a marathon while another suffers from a debilitating disease.

Our puzzles are different.

And here’s the key…don’t think for one moment that the woman with the Prada purse on her shoulder – who is on her third vacation this year has less problems than anyone else.  Her purse still holds junk–secret pain and dissatisfaction.

We’ve seen it on television –famous music, television and movie stars commit suicide. Why?  They have it ALL!  Because life is hard and we all have struggles that beat us down and  fame, fortune, power, and even health and wealth can’t fill that empty void that God has placed inside of us that only he can fill.

All of our lives are riddled with trials, hardships and circumstances that truly no one else can understand.  I’ve even contemplated that my husband, who shares the same house, kids, marriage and trials as me, does not really understand — because he’s not married to himself! lol!  He’s married to me…and that makes his puzzle different.

But Jesus…He sees and He knows.

Jesus understands.

He can sympathize with our struggles because He was born to die for us. It is hard for me to  imagine the struggles Jesus faced…because when I’m tempted, often times I just give in. For example, when my kids drive me nuts –I yell. Then I apologize.

Jesus felt temptation to the fullest degree because He did not give in. He suffered deeply –for us.  We serve a God who understands.

Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

Our God is not a distant God –He came near by dying on the cross for our sins and after he rose from the dead –before he ascended into heaven, his last words were that he would send the Holy Spirit –the ultimate comforter to be with his children.

You do not walk this road alone.  You are a child of the King!  He is with you every step of the way.

Somedays it may feel like no one understands…until you hop onto facebook or a blog with a writer you relate to.  Often times I breathe a sigh of relief to find that my marriage is normal or my kids are normal!  My Christian sisters have helped me through some of my greatest common struggles…but it’s through my deep study of God’s word and through prayer that I’ve found comfort in my individual struggles.

And so I urge you, draw near to God in his word and prayer.  Open to the gospels, breathe in his love and truth and exhale all your burdens.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

He already knows your burdens.  You need rest…you might as well set down that burden and talk to Him about it.  I can guarantee you –He FULLY understands.

 Walk with the King,

Are you desperate to find joy in your walk with God, marriage, parenting and home…

I wrote this book for you:

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Social Media and Our Friendships


I LOVE social media because I love to be social!   I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of my friends in new ways through their daily status updates, links to things they find interesting, verses they post, pictures from their daily life and interaction in my comments.  I have connected with strangers on Facebook and Twitter, and those strangers – turned friends - have become real life meaningful friendships off-line!  I  LOVE that!

 To be honest, it has nearly eliminated all my phone time in the home.  If I have something to say to a friend, I hop onto Facebook and Twitter to “chat”.  I miss my friends who are not on Facebook (but respect their reasons) simply because I feel like I have less access to them.  I have to remember to be sensitive to their feelings of being “left out”.   I have gotten closer to some of my acquaintances who are regulars on Facebook and Twitter – cause that’s where I hang out when I need a break from cleaning, homeschooling or parenting lol!


But it comes with some dangers.

1.   Hurt feelings – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a comment and have thought “What does she mean?  Is she mad at me?  Is she joking around?  Am I being too sensitive?”  Facebook comments are dangerous – beware and think before you type!  I am sure that I am guilty of this too!  Proverbs 26:18,19 says  “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”  Beware of comments that are sarcastic – you could lose a friendship over it!


2.  Judging
- I have friends who have quit Facebook because they struggled with the status updates of friends who they thought lived one way but they discovered lived a very different way.  This is where sin and matters of liberty and conscience come into play.  We must call sin - sin but give grace to our friends on matters of liberty.  I will admit that when I see a swear word pop up – it mars my dear friend!  Oh and those bikini photos – I’ll never understand…do you see how ugly those thoughts are that ooze so easily out of me.  I must admit - I struggle at times.  I have to continually consider – is it worth confronting or will I let it go – let it completely go.  I am not on Facebook to be everyones Holy Spirit!  That’s a really quick friendship killer!  Which Satan thoroughly enjoys!  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Satan would love to use social media to destroy our friendships – but Jesus came to give us an abundant life.  Do not let sinful judgement of friends destroy your friendships.  Remember, we are all human on the journey toward sanctification and we are all in different places on our journey.


3.  Public embarrassment -
I will raise my hand first and say I’ve embarrassed myself publically on many occassions because of my loose lips.  In the moment, a status update or comment feels right – but sometimes the next day I wonder – what in the world was I thinking?  Words carry power – and I feel like it’s been a learning and maturing process on what to say publically and what not to say publically.  Proverbs 10:19 says “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”


4.  Jealousy –
The comparison trap is just that – a trap!   Pictures of vacations, new homes, new cars, or fun nights out with friends are a breeding ground for jealousy.  There are two sides to this coin.  First there’s the person putting the information out there.  Is it wrong to show your vacation or fun night out?  NO…but can we be sensitive to those who weren’t invited or who can’t afford a vacation this year.  We don’t have to post every picture or every night out.  Philippians 2:4 says ” Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  This is one reason why I did not post my pictures from our Myrtle Beach trip or Willliamsburg trip this year on the blog.  I want to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone will be happy to see those pictures. 

On the flip side, jealousy is all throughout the Bible and we see how deadly it is to all friendships.  Remember Cain and Abel, Joseph and the coat of many colors, Haman and Mordecai, Sarah and Hagar, Saul and David,  the Pharisees and Jesus.  These are just to name a few, if we looked into it further we’d find many more relationships in the Bible that were ruined by jealousy.  Jealousy comes when we take our eyes off of Jesus. 

When I feel discouraged by things happening in the social media world I always come to a point of realizing…I have taken my eyes off of Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2,3 are some of my FAVORITE verses and they say, “Let us  fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”


5.  Inappropriate Relationships with men. 
I am in NO way suggesting that women cannot have healthy relationships with men.  But for me – (again I am just saying this as my personal conviction) I have decided to not have friends on facebook who are male.  I wrote an entire blog post here about this decision if you are interested.

One rule of thumb I follow for the words I type on the internet is this:

If your pastor put all the words you said on-line this week, up on a screen for your entire church to view…is there anything you’d be embarrassed of?  If something comes to mind…delete it…and remember Proverbs  10:19 “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

Social Media has GREATLY impacted my women friendships.    We were created for relationship.  God created Eve because it was not good for Adam to be alone.  Outside of our husbands, we long for deeper friendships with women but sin has entered our relationships simply because we are all sinners.   Some women hide behind the computer and chat all day on-line but never make real life friendships.  I do it the opposite way.  I take my on-line friendships and go deeper with them by having women into my home for bible study, creating Good Morning Girls groups where we email each other daily about the deeper things of God, I skype my on-line friends who are too far away to get together.  I pursue real life friendship through Girls Night Outs and playdates in my home.  My life is fuller because of my women friendships.  I encourage you to pursue taking your on-line friendships off-line.

Now it’s your turn – tell me – how has social media affected your friendships?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below. (if for some reason the code is not working for you – please – right click – save as – the Media Mondays button and link it to this post)

2.If you are not a blogger, join the discussion in the comment section! I look foward to hearing your thoughts.

3. If you use Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser on your status update and ask your friends to join the discussion.

Walk with the King!

Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account

During the year of 2010, 250 million NEW people joined Facebook bringing the total users on Facebook at the end of 2010 to 600 million! Facebook is growing and the pressure to be there is not going away.  It’s the new front porch.Last summer I went on evening runs through my new neighborhood and it was the dogs, crickets and me outside.  Everyone else seemed to be inside enjoying their family, air conditioning, computers, and televisions.  I thought – I know my friends on Facebook, blogland and twitterville better than my next door neighbors!

So let me preface all that I am about to say about Facebook with this statement: Technology is neutral.  It can be used for good or bad.  We, the sinners, determine whether we are going to use it for good or evil.
I personally enjoy Facebook but for those who regularly participate we can find secret sins creeping in – or worse – our sinful heart is revealed for all to see. And I wonder if we should PAUSE and do some spring cleaning in this area of our lives.

 

I Timothy 5:13 warns young women about becoming  “idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips andbusybodies, saying what they should not.” ESV   

Facebook is an easy place for women to become idle and busy bodies.  So Let’s Ask Ourselves:

Am I using Facebook to complain about my husband, children, the weather etc?

Am I measuring my worth based on how many friends I have?

Am I portraying a fake reality?

Am I addicted to checking my page every 30 minutes?

Have I used a sharp tongue toward someone and need to apologize?

Do I have some bikini shots up from 5 years ago that need deleted? (read my modesty post here)

Am I married and flirting with a guy (other than my husband) on Facebook?

Am I married and developing a deep emotional connection with a man other than my husband on Facebook (read my post about this here)?

Am I ignoring my children or husband to hang out on the front porch?

Do I feel excluded from some of my friends when they post pictures together and get jealous?

Am I feeling envious of someone’s house, car, clothes, friendships, status, looks etc?

Am I distracted in my daily life by a Facebook debate?

Am I malicious when I respond to someone with thoughts that oppose mine?

Am I using my status updates to brag?

Am I using the information I’ve read on Facebook to gossip with friends in real life about a friend on Facebook?

Look at this extensive list of dangers that exist each time we log onto Facebook!  Did you realize all the temptations that Facebook opens up for you?  I honestly did not the first time I created my account.  Yet – as I sat down to write this post these thoughts came pouring out of my mind in rapid fire.  Why?  Because I’ve either participated in the above sins or have been troubled as I have watched Christian sisters pulled into these danger zones.

Dear Christian sisters – we are followers of Christ – our Facebook accounts must reflect this!  We are the salt and light of the world – our Facebook updates must look different from the rest of the worlds.

I’m not saying that every status update must be a Bible verse or hymn.  BUT I am saying that our lives are not our own.  We belong to Jesus and so our finger tapping must reflect his heart – not ours.  Let’s let Jesus permeate everything we do – from loving our husbands and children to hanging out on the front porch.  Pray for your friends, encourage them, be bold and share what you read in your quiet time, respond to friends in crisis, connect with missionaries and encourage them, pass on a blog link to a blog post you read today (hint hint lol!!!), or a youtube that speaks truth into your friend’s lives.

And a good rule of thumb to follow is – no Facebook until you’ve read THE BOOK and have had some face to face time with your Heavenly Father.  You will need to be saturated in his truth to handle the onslaught of temptation and ministry that is presented to you everyday on Facebook.  I’m praying for you sisters!  Let’s make a difference for the glory of God on Facebook!

Walk with the King!

Facebook and Inappropriate Relationships

I have been a Facebook user for over 2 years. I thoroughly enjoy connecting with everyone and daily I visit Facebook to catch up on what is happening in the life of family, friends, followers and other partners in ministry.

Facebook in and of itself is amoral. But because we live in a fallen world, every single user of Facebook is a sinner and therefore Facebook is sin filled. There are pitfalls at every turn that we must guard ourselves against.

We must guard against gossip, slander, and complaining spirits. We must guard against judgemental attitudes and being a busy body.

But today’s post is about the biggest pitfall of all – inappropriate relationships.

Within 5 days of being a Facebook user, old high school and college friends had found me and were befriending me. Old names from the past and memories that I had not pondered in 15 years flooded my mind. Some of the people from the past, I had close friendships with and others I barely even knew. But when the “friendship request” came in I felt badly to “decline” anyone a friendship.

So I accepted everyone who requested a friendship for fear that they would know I declined them. I also accepted some friends because I was very curious to see what had happened in their lives in the last 15 years. So I had friendships with both men and women on Facebook…and there were some very awkward moments.

There were moments when men I never talk to at church would start commenting on my status – it felt weird but it’s Facebook and this is what people do so I accepted it and moved on. It wasn’t until I began to hear of marriages being broken and destroyed by these “innocent” Facebook friendships that I began to question “why in the world am I friends with guys on Facebook?”

After a good discussion with my husband about this (who is not a user of Facebook and was not thrilled that I was “friends” with guys – but was too kind to “forbid” it) we decided it was best that I delete every single guy from my friendship list (who were not relatives).

Why did I unfriend my guy friends?  Was I doing something inappropriate? NO, I did not have any inappropriate friendships with men on Facebook BUT I know that “Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8) and I am fresh meat he’d just love to get his hands on! And I want to be “alert” and “on guard“. I am aware that I am a sinful human who is capable of being tempted and falling. I do not want to leave any known cracks in my life where he can sneak in.

Do I think you should delete your Facebook guy friends?  NO, I am not the Holy Spirit. I can not say what is God’s will for your life.  This was right for me.  But I will say, we must be wise and on guard because I know that Satan would love to get a foothold in your life too.

My daily followers know that I adore the “Love and Respect” book by Dr.Emerson Eggerich. His daughter, Joy Eggerich made this video below addressing Facebook and emotional affairs. It speaks my heart so I want to share it with you.

Let’s use Facebook to glorify God! My heart has been filled with joy as I have watched my Christian sisters in Christ love on one another, share verses, encouragement, prayer requests and life. God is using Facebook to spread his truth and gospel and I want us all to be a part of God’s work.

If you are questioning any of your friendships or anything you have said on Facebook as to whether it is right or wrong…let me help you sort it out right now.

Ask yourself:

If the pastor of my church put up on a large screen for the whole church to see – my friends, status updates, comments, and photos – is there anything I would be embarrassed of?

 

There’s your answer – now go and delete whatever came to mind!

Walk with the King!


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Today’s post is a part of the “Put Your House In Order” Series. Please visit the ladies below!