Growing your faith when you’re semi-housebound – by our newest #digidisciple @jacksdavie

The role of social media

I spend a lot of my time inside because of ill health and a lack of energy in general. I’ve used Facebook for a while to interact with my friends. Sometimes I’ve posted Bible verses or asked for prayer. This week I did something I thought I’d never do. I joined Twitter. When you often don’t feel well it’s hard to concentrate on anything. What I very quickly loved about Twitter is the short bursts of bible verses from organisations I was following. This is a constant but manageable source of encouragement which points me back to Jesus keeping my focus on Him, instead of on my circumstances. Of course, this is similar on Facebook, but it’s nice to have another, quicker way of seeing it. Often the only interaction I have in the day (not including carers) is with friends on social media. I am very fortunate to have loyal Godly friends but they lead busy lives, and the effort of going to see them can be massive. I need to find other ways in the meantime, of finding friendship and encouragement, and just as importantly, encouraging others.

My first re-tweet

I listen to Christian radio, which is brilliant to have but my concentration dips in and out. I heard one of the presenters this week praying for people who struggle with things others take for granted. I immediately took to Twitter to thank them. UCB media immediately re-tweeted my comment – my first re-tweet! It really encouraged me that day when someone I don’t know saw the re-tweet, followed me and sent me encouraging words. I’m welling up as I write. This person has continued to do that almost every day since. My friend Bryony blogs regularly and recently posted here on Big Bible about the #prayforMuamba hashtag on twitter. I agree with her comments about sharing your faith online. If you are going to share your faith it must be genuine, the ups and the downs. This is what can attract people to it. I have seen this for myself, as many of my carers regularly ask me questions about my faith. It seems natural for this to transfer to online spaces.

An anti-dote to fear

The other thing about social media is that I use it to find people and situations to pray for whether it be requests on UCB media’s “prayerline” page or a link from one page to another. Yesterday, via John Piper’s Twitter feed there was a link to another blog asking people to pray from someone called Ian who has brain injury. Their blog is all about Hope. It’s the one thing they have that they can give to others, even though they have lost much. Their blog was such an encouragement to me and praying for them brings me out of my own situation and focused on prayer instead. Without social media I wouldn’t have any of this, but with it I am reminded of the God who wants to hear our prayers and have constant scripture to focus on. I also have the encouragement of friends and a way of encouraging others, in between the hospital appointments and the naps. For me, the other important thing is it offers an antidote to some of the blogs and tweets out there. The disability lobby is incredibly important and I wouldn’t have the Disability Living Allowance without them. I learn a lot of news and helpful hints. However, there can be a lot of negativity. In my opinion, that comes from an understandable fear of what’s happening now and many people are also fearful of the future. However, interacting with others on Twitter and Facebook reminds me I have Hope, and freedom from fear in Jesus. This is an often quoted verse but is entirely appropriate and one I am still aspiring to:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” – Romans 12:12

That isn’t to say I don’t worry like everyone else, or have my bad days, I have plenty. I hadn’t written a blog for a long time but I hope this will be another way of reaching out to and encouraging others in a similar situation. Not only that, but I hope it will encourage other people to reach out to those they know in a similar situation.

About jacksdavie

Am enthusiastic about sharing my faith and have plenty opportunties to do this throughout my my week in person or online. I use three different sets of wheels to get around, most often my electric wheelchair and am also chronically ill. By God's grace I am carving out a ministry in the midst of it all between hospital appointments and naps.