This is Part 2 of My Social Media Freak Out. If you would like to read about my head popping off and revolving in a circle, click here to read Part 1.
So if you were wondering where I went, I was taking a little trip to Melt Down via Depression Way. That road is about as fun as Oregon’s Hwy 26 through the desert and into Nevada. It can be downright scary and, trust me, it ain’t pretty.
Within less than 24 hours I had regretted my mass exodus from the internet. My whole family watched me like I was a Tiger in the zoo. The middle children kept drawing me precious pictures and offering me heartfelt hugs. The oldest were making me treats and since now, one was driving, started taking everyone everywhere. Thanks to our great and wonderful God, she has not gotten sick of it yet. It is still a novelty.
My family tiptoed around me and, I am sorry to say, they were right to do so. The youngest two had no concept of my fragile state and continued to battle each other over everything, including whose mommy I was. Which, really in a way was good. Since I was so busy hating myself, it was nice to know someone, even if they were screaming and hitting about it, liked me.
You see, this time away, this time of quiet (and I mean relative quiet – remember I have eight going on nine children – there is no such thing as quiet in my house unless I wake up at 4 in the morning) allowed me to think. I started reading through my journal from the last two years and I was not happy with what I saw.
I wasn’t good enough for me. Within those pages I did nothing but complain and lament all my woes. I wallowed in my struggles with friendships, homeschooling, with being a wife and mom, and, yes, even God.
So I closed that journal and shoved it under my bed, headed down to the bookstore with my eldest and she helped me pick out a new journal. It is a warm blue – calm, peaceful. I tried to focus on finding joy. When I prayed, I didn’t just sit there and list all my woes and beat my chest. There was no lamenting to God to make me better or to make me worthy. I literally sat there and breathed. I listened for God.
Instead of focusing on the things I could not control and my lack of self worth, I let God do His work in my heart, my mind, and my soul.
I looked around and saw that my house was weighed down. I had been trying too hard! Ugh! That was a hard pill to swallow. I literally would have things fall on my head when I opened my closet… that is, when I could open my closet. So I purged. I sold books online and what didn’t sell went to Goodwill. I still am not done with that! Artwork and such, too much for my ranch style home – gone.
And every morning I continued to do a few exercises my midwife told me to do and then I sat and I listened. I breathed and I listened. Some people would call this mediation and basically it was, but my focus was on God and what God was trying to do in my inner most soul. I read His Word. I opened up a teeny tiny Facebook, which was only family and one dear friend who was helping me through all my junk. A friend I had lost for awhile because I was so lost in the mire, but came back just when I needed her a year ago.
For this last year she would call just in the right moment. She would force my introverted soul to go to coffee and lunch. And she listened. She is an angel sent from a God.
I slowly added people I had been very close to over the years, including a couple other friends I had lost in my quest to be perfect.
It has been so hard to keep my Facebook small. I wanted to friend everyone again. I am so afraid that I have hurt people. Who knows, maybe they didn’t even notice! But if I had learned anything from my social media freak out, it was that I needed to start over. I needed to refresh.
Some things I was able to recover. One that I was not able to recover was my Instagram and that has really sucked. That was a lot of pictures! But it was God’s will.
Which led me to blogging. Do you hear that dun dun dun music playing in the background? Yeah, me too. I thought I would start a new blog. I would focus only on the simple things. Would only share joy. That was when I got a message from a blogging buddy wanting to know what happened to my blog. That led me to get back on and open Knit Together. I had to undelete it first, which was, luckily an option.
You see, a lot of those things that I deleted involved a lot of love. Sounds weird doesn’t it? Sometimes the things that can overwhelm us can hold a lot of the best of us too. As I looked through the blog I realized there were some things I ought to delete and some things that made me so happy to see again... memories so filled with joy and love that I was ashamed to have tried to delete them.
All those Instagram pictures and blog posts about the adventures my family has had are very powerful and meaningful. They were a reflection of love. The posts where I tried to be the perfect Catholic mom were not a reflection of that love. They were a reflection of my insecurity.
Did you hear me swallow that pill? Yeah, ouch.
But it was ok. You see the night before I went through my blog I saw this:
The author Renee Swope posted it in on her Facebook wall. It pierced my soul. I even said that in the comments and then she lovingly posted beneath me this prayer, “Jesus, you know Amy's needs and how weak she feels. Please give her the power of your peace, your comfort, your strength and grace. Amen.”
In my weakness, God revealed to me what I needed to do. I had to let it go. Sorry, really didn’t mean to get the Frozen song stuck in your head. I seriously wonder if anyone will ever be able to say, “let it go” without that song being sung loudly in the general vacinaty. Great Disney music aside, I had to let go. Not completely, just enough to let Jesus catch me.
It wasn’t easy. It hurt. There were tears and struggles. But in those quiet moments of listening to God, I actually heard His voice. I heard His voice in all the places I was the most blind and deaf. I found them on Facebook, when I shrunk it. I found it in the voice of a friend I thought I had lost. I found it in my blog in all the precious memories that I had encapsulated there.
Summer is almost here. The sun is shinning already, there is a robin busily working outside my window, and the grapes are starting to grow on the vines. Today, I ate the first blueberry of the season off our bushes. I am still working on making my focus about being good enough for God alone, knowing that is the only way I will be who He wants me to be. That in His love I will be enough for all those around me. There is hope, love, and joy and His name is Jesus Christ.
“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve,
for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
~ Nehemiah 8:10