What You Can’t See On Social Media

Most of us are on social media to some extent. Some of us share much of our life there, some offer little. No matter how much is shared in the course of a day, it is only a mere snapshot. We all know that, but I think we forget.

After receiving many messages from friends, family, and readers that it appeared we were adjusting well to our recent move, I felt the need to address that what you see online is the tiniest, tiniest glimpse into our lives.

I’m transparent, a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of gal. But as my kids have gotten older, I’ve needed to guard their lives and our moments tighter in what I share. My writing isn’t the same as it was a few short years ago. When they were little, I shared the sweet, or not so sweet, things they said to me- how these impacted my life. I shared the moments God used parenting to refine all of us. But now- not as much.

First, their lives are their stories primarily. Yes, our lives are intertwined. But do I have the right to post about a child’s heart struggle? Do I have a right to share the things he might write or whisper to me in the secret spaces? When he leaves me a tender message, my heart swells and the moment is beautiful, but shouldn’t I keep that moment between us? When he lashes out in a moment of weakness only to come back repentant as we watch restoration give birth- as much as that could possibly encourage another parent, do I have a right to post that? When my kids lose it (and I want to), do I have a right to vent online about how they wear me out? Would my sons be ok with it at this stage of life?

At this age, the answer is no. No they are not ok with it. Even if they were ok with me sharing more of our stories, their online image will follow them for life, far beyond the age they are right now. What I share could be used against them by ones who mean harm.

This is THE reason I’ve shared little about our move.

If Steve and I didn’t have children, the transition would be hard, but not this hard. We love change, we love adventure. And in our past moves, our kids were so young, it barely impacted them. Plus we were still close enough to family and friends that our move didn’t significantly alter our lives.

But this move has taken us 15-17 hours away from friends and family. That isn’t a car ride many are willing to make or a plane ride that some could make.

God is good. His hand has been on us, and we have seen miracle after miracle. Everything in me wants to shout from the rooftops what we’ve seen God do. But there is another part of me that is cautious right now. Mainly because our family has been in an intense spiritual battle since arriving in Omaha.

Something amazing is happening in this city. A revival happening and more on the horizon. Churches in Omaha have locked arms and are operating in unity for one purpose- to make the gospel known. The churches aren’t boasting in their numbers and programs. Pastors are coming together to pray for this city. It’s amazing.

For reasons I don’t know, I believe with everything in me, God sent us to Omaha. Not long after arrival, the enemy’s darts began. How I wish I could share with you some of the battles we’ve faced. No matter how fiery the arrows have been, God is our shield and our strength. He is strengthening us in the battle. He’s teaching us how to war with love and grace.

We’ve faced attacks on our health. We’ve faced attacks of the heart. We’ve faced bizarre attacks sent straight from the pit of hell. We’ve had attacks on many fronts. But we stand on solid rock. We know who we are in Christ. We are children of God. Nothing can pluck us from His hand. We are covered by the blood of Jesus.

I have felt the presence of evil, and I do not fear because God, who is in me, is greater than the one in the world. Satan is a liar, accuser, and a thief.

Since moving, God has taught us how to pray in a way to shatter enemy strongholds and to stand firm in the stronghold of God. How to use praise as a secret weapon the enemy can’t stand against.

We know a little about why these attacks have been what they’ve been. I can’t share for the sake of the privacy of others. But what I can say is God revealed to us something unknown and hidden to us that opened up eternity in Heaven for a soul. That stronghold came crashing down. Then God revealed something to Steve and I that needed to come into the light. That stronghold came crashing down. Then we saw another soul go from bondage of sin to freedom in Christ. Praise God! That stronghold came crashing down. Our lives, mixed with the lives of others, through prayer, petition, and praise have been riding the ups and downs from storm to calm waters, storm to calm waters. But God is faithful. He is true. He is love.

One day I may be granted permission to share the beautiful stories of God’s miraculous power. But for now I wanted to simply update you all and thank you for your prayers. Our family feels so loved and covered by the prayers you are praying for us.

What you see online is the beauty I see in my day. Or it’s a joyous moment, something funny or unique about my kids, something God has shown me in my day, something I’ve read that I want to pass along. When you put these snapshots together, it appears my life is beating to nothing but beauty. But the truth is we struggle just like you do.

I’m not attempting to portray a life that is not genuine or authentic. I’m simply sharing the moments of my day that are beautiful, joyful, restful, peaceful, encouraging, or humorous.

We have homesick hearts. We miss relationships deeply. We miss our ministries. We are still grieving what we left. BUT. God is good and faithful. We are not discouraged. We know with no doubt that God will bless us with deep and lasting relationships again. He is a relational God and desires us to come together with others in ways that glorify Him. Of course, He will do this.

If you are in a season of pain, struggle, or heartache, and scrolling social media is painful, maybe it’s time to retreat away from the online world and hide under His wings. Maybe it’s time to curl into Him and let Him tenderly care for you quietly, secretly. It’s beautiful in His shadow and under His wings.  Tuck in, hold fast and tight to Him alone. He will never leave you. He is the giver of good gifts, but sometimes His best gifts come packaged in a way we don’t expect. Be open to Him in new ways. He’s surprising and delightful.