Ok, so apologies… The last few weeks in blogging world have been a tad emotional… Because, well, I’ve been a tad emotional.
And I said I’d blog this journey of healing I’m on… Even when the going gets tough… And it’s feels a bit backwards.
But today I had to make a major, MAJOR life change that has shocked me back into humorous writing mode… Are you ready? Sitting down, really ready?
Ok. Here goes.
I had to create a Facebook page.
And I mean ‘had to’, in all utter and complete honesty.
Some of you who don’t know me well will be saying things like, ‘What’s the big deal?’, or ‘Didn’t you have a Facebook already you weirdo?’
Well, I used to have a Facebook. I deleted it back in 2010 after being majorly challenged/rebuked by God on it/the way I used it/the reasons why. And I have lived happily-ever-Facebook-free-after since then. In fact, I’ve actually preached at a fair few conferences on how other people should have seasons of fasting from social media.
Actually, the pressure has been building since I returned from Japan and informed my UK-based friends that I would be moving back on a more permanent basis. They said that if I insisted on moving halfway across the planet, I could at least have the courteousy of making myself more ‘available’ online. I get their point.
And then today I paid my tuition fees for language school (yep, it’s really happening!) Language school that uses Facebook to coordinate a good deal of the events that I’m going to need to be involved in come January. That they recommend I have. And I was then emailing a church near my language school. A church that uses Facebook to organise most of their weekly house groups and events.
Finally, one of the organisations I met with in Tokyo this summer wanted to use Facebook to coordinate some events in their network… And I had to sit back and think that my reasons for not wanting Facebook were suddenly becoming really prohibitive.
Ok, ok… you’re getting the picture here….
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still not a fan of Facebook. I think you can get sucked into it, end up in a perpetual conversation with other people instead of God, and spend your time comparing yourself to others in a kind of fake-virtual-demoralising world. I think it can fuel gossip and procrastination and a lot of really bad fruit. But I guess, it can also just be a really practical tool of helping me get into a good church in Japan…
I’m not exaggerating when I say this is a decision I had to wrestle with… Seriously. I’m not super intense, I just remember how strongly God told me to step back from this form of social media in the first place. I remember why. I found the page in my journal where I wrote what God was saying at the time. This is where I felt God get brutal in 2010:
‘Your addiction (yep. He said addiction) to media (Facebook) is coming from a deep place of loneliness that you’re not allowing me to satisfy. It numbs you, and it numbs you to the point where you can’t hear me. You can’t hear me weeping over you and your situation. But instead of drinking from broken cisterns, you need to let my Holy Spirit fill you. To not give yourself to that in order to be filled with the glory of the Lord. Let nothing move you more than my Spirit’.
I deleted my Facebook that very day. And God was right. I had been in a place of deep loneliness. And I had been ‘coping’ instead of listening to His voice of wisdom and gentleness and kindness. I had been keeping God at arms-length because the painful reality of what was going on for me was too much. I had been hiding. And I didn’t realise that when I would finally lay down everything and let Him in, He would speak of freedom and healing in a way that took me through and out of the place I was in.
But now is a new day.
I know what it is to hear God weeping over my dull heart and I know what it is to run to Him in pain and not away from Him. I have learnt and changed more in the last 3 years than I can really articulate.
And so… Today I created a Facebook page. I don’t anticipate using it much until I go to Japan. I still advocate that people should have periods of fasting social media, or TV, or movies, or secular music, or texting (whatever your ‘thing’ is) in order to pray and seek God and hear His voice. And I still will. Keep me accountable if you want… Most definiately do!
But if you’re a friend, feel free to add me 😉 And if I can ever figure out how to use the thing… I’ll accept.
Oh and did you get the exciting news? I paid for language school today! And I sorted all my internal flights. So, at 3pm on 27th January I will land in Sapporo and begin some of the most intense months of language exposure I can cram into my brain.
Which is… A bit mad really.
I’m glad we follow a God who holds this whole journey together! Let the adventures begin 🙂
(I thought posting a photo of a facebook sign would be really boring… So instead, please have a laugh at a slightly-oldschool shot that my friend Laura so-kindly tagged me in… THIS is where THAT mug came from :))