Recently I was reading a blog by a mom who had been having a not so great day. It was one of those days in which the children were cranky, they couldn’t get anywhere on time, things got spilled and diapers leaked. And yet this mom admitted that she snapped some very precious Instagram pictures at the absolutely best times of the day. Then she shared them with her friends. That night as she was looking through her social media feeds she realized that people taking a peek into her life would have thought that she had had a perfect day.
I have read numerous blogs over the past few years saying the same thing. I’ve probably even written some myself. There are enormous benefits to social media, but it can become an incomplete substitution for real life community. Especially, when we only share the good stuff. The kind of community that God calls us to is a shared life. And we should share everything. But we are often so afraid of being judged that we hold back. And when everyone holds back we start to feel like our life is an even bigger mess because everyone else’s life seems so perfect.
So a few Saturdays ago I was at home with the kids. We had all been sick. The house was a mess. We watched a lot of TV instead of playing. And I spent WAY to much time on my phone checking my Facebook feed. And at one point during the day I asked, “God is it too much to ask for us to get better and have a good day?”
As soon as I thought that question I regretted it. Even though logically I knew that not everyone of my friends was having a great day that day it had gotten to me somehow. Somehow, because I had been looking at happy status updates and beautiful vacation pictures I had started to feel like I deserved more. I deserved more than a day in my house with my kids and husband with medicine and food to eat.
I realized then that life is life. Something spectacular doesn’t happen everyday. Sometimes days go by without picture perfect moments. Life is hard. And not being authentic with one another makes it even harder. So I have been thinking about how I can be an encourager. How can I open my imperfect life to others? How can I share my bad days in an attempt to make other people feel better?
I don’t ever want anyone to look at the outside of my life and say, “Wow, she’s got it all doesn’t she?” I would much rather for people to see the inside and say, “I’m glad to know she struggles with the same things I do.”