Life After Facebook
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands
So what happened, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask, but are curious why one would leave Facebook. No, I really didn’t spend a lot of time ON Facebook. But Facebook spent a lot of time rent free in my life. In my head (I wonder if so and so responded to…), in my conversations (did you see what I/he/she posted last week about…), and in what ultimately took me out… my time of worship.
Two weeks ago I went to see and hear Francis Chan at Bayside Church in Roseville, CA. Pretty sure I was about to hear a powerful, life changing message, my first reaction is to “check in”. Oh boy, second row. Post that. Look, he’s on the cover of the program, snap a photo of that. OH MY GOSH LINCOLN BREWSTER IS HERE LEADING WORSHIP HURRY HURRY PHOTO PHOTO! Oh that’s a good one! Post it. Description: “Lincoln Brewster is leading worship tonight!”
Now that was it… that was what did it. I’m standing, singing praises to my God, while snapping a photo of Lincoln Brewster when it hit me. Am I singing praises to my God? Or am I really bowing down in worship to my god. Not the god Lincoln, but the god Facebook. See, the photo wasn’t even about Lincoln. It came down to this…. would I even snap the photo if it weren’t for Facebook? For my prideful desires to show where I was, and with whom? I was crushed. Right there, in that moment, I was devastated in my spirit. My eyes were opened. Please forgive me, Father. I now know what I do.
Later that night I was reading my Bible. I came across a passage that spoke to me, and grabbed my iPad, ready to post it. Horrified that I had just laid this device on top of my Bible, I hucked it across the hotel room.
Monday morning, I was blessed with the opportunity to join in a breakfast with Frances Chan. Sitting at a table with eight others front and center, I was overwhelmed as he chose to share (which he rarely does), an emotional, honest, and important story of how the success of Crazy Love affected him. To my left I was distracted by two women, iPad’s out, snapping photos as he spoke. Tears in his eyes, he is relaying, I kid you not, how he has no privacy. How the immense acclaim and equally vast criticism drove emotions to fluctuate moment to moment between pride and suicide. <snap snap giggle tag upload>
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
All I could do was pray in that moment. “Please God, don’t let me be that girl. Save me.”
Then I heard it. Two words. “Get off”.
I’d heard those words before, but chose to ignore them. This time was different. He showed me what I had become, and I just kept thinking, God help me if I ever pull out my phone during worship again. Ever. God help me. God help me.
So I exited Facebook. Deleted my account to avoid temptation, and dedicated my days to rebuilding my home. A home that I hadn’t so much “neglected”, as just hadn’t been fully present. Actually, as I reread that sentence, let’s call it what it is. Neglect.
Have you ever been having a conversation, and struggled not to say, “wait, let me write that down, that is SO status worthy”. Well I have, and it was usually something my beautiful husband has said. In fact, I’ve had that thought more than once. Then, during the conversation, I’d try not to forget whatever line was said, and miss the rest. How incredibly rude. I have just placed 386 people, some of whom I don’t even know, in front of my husband, who I love, and is right in front of me.
I’d like to tell you though, that there is hope. I didn’t know the stronghold that was upon me until it was broken. I really didn’t. But now, I am free, and I am blown out of the water at the joy that is present in my home. Even as I type this, there is a fire in the fireplace that hasn’t been used for years. My family room is clean, and inviting. My dining table is clear, and ready for another enriching conversation. I sometimes wonder if my neighbors can hear us laughing across the vacant lot. There is music. We are playing catch on the front lawn. My husband and I have coffee alone together EVERY morning. Every single morning. Dinner is a family affair. Mt. Saint Laundry exists no longer. We go to the movies and take old fashioned photo booth photos that are only shared on the refrigerator I’ve had dates with my husband, and one on one with my kids. My son and I take a dance class together, and my daughter and I dance in the kitchen as I’m teaching her how to cook. I listen to my oldest son when he talks, and have noticed he’s smiling a whole lot more. Conversations are personal and confidential.
I’ve closed the wide open window into my private life. The one my family never asked for me to open, and have since relayed their relief at it’s being shut. I sense a new security in my home, a new intimacy with God and with my family, and the unspeakable joy Christ promises. Over and over it is confirmed: Ministry begins at home.