In a world where we are able to constantly whine and complain about the atrocities of life and put those complaints straight out into cyber world at the touch of a button, we sure do love ourselves an awful lot. We tweet, post, and message every thought that comes into our pretty little heads (most of the time while being grammatically and politically incorrect) without blinking an eye. We assume that anyone and everyone actually cares what we look like while we are taking our “car selfies” and hope that our newest snapchat filter gets a bazillion likes. This is where we are at. Don’t even try to deny it. The reality is that through all these new forms of social media, our main goal is to gain approval. I’m not exactly sure whose approval we are seeking, but if we get more hearts and smiley faces I think that’s supposed to be a good thing. I do it too. I desperately want validation from the Internet land for my divorcedyetdevoted Instagram posts (see how I snuck in that ad for my Instagram?)and when I post on my personal account I spend a fair amount of time trying to find the filter that will make me look like a skinny goddess while also hiding my acne and wrinkles.
But it’s more than social media. We blame social media, because poor ole social media is the easy scapegoat. We are searching for glory. Personal glory. Personal satisfaction. We are seeking personal happiness. Fair enough. Who doesn’t want to be happy? But what is the barometer for happy? Are we looking at our neighbor or co-worker or friend or relative and trying to attain the level of happiness we perceive them to be at? Do we have a goal in mind for ourselves? If we complete a check-list of five major accomplishments, does that equal happy? Will 100 likes on Facebook help us obtain “happy?” What about 200 likes? 300? What if we only get 50 likes? Does that mean we fail? Anything below 40 likes basically means you have no friends and no one likes you and you are destined for gloom and despair for the rest of your days. Are those the rules now?
This is perhaps (I said perhaps, which means I may be wrong) my biggest personal mountain to climb. I am beyond guilty of seeking a fulfilling existence by selfishly striving to accomplish MY individual set of life goals. I strive to erase the failures I feel from my divorce by being my version of the perfect girlfriend, daughter, actress, friend, etc. I have my own set of rules for what is “right” and if I check all the boxes, then maybe, just maybe I will be able to wash away this scarlet letter from my past. I find myself troubleshooting possible problems in all of my relationships just so I don’t fail again. I am seeking acceptance from those who already love me. I am seeking approval from the world. I am seeking validation that the woman I am is a perfectly fine woman to be.
When did I stop seeking God’s glory? When did that stop being first and foremost the desire of my heart? How did I fall so far from the very truth that has kept me moving forward for the past three years? My terrible confession is that I stopped believing that God had a plan for me. I thought that he had saved me from a disastrous time in my life and I suppose that’s all I deserved. Other people deserve to feel safe and beautiful and loved and secure. I wasn’t allowed to wish for anything more because God had already done so much for me. I had run out of pixie dust. It would be selfish to ask for more.
And then, about 4 days ago (Thank you, Jane) I was reminded to keep seeking HIS glory above all else. I sat in front of a desk in a little cottage I am living in during my time in Missouri and held out my hands as I wept. What a fool I am. A woman who writes a blog about God’s overwhelming grace…who had so quickly forgotten how God’s grace works. I know I am strong. I know I am smart. I know I am brave. But I also know I am nothing without God’s grace. His magnificent grace. When did I start to allow anyone else to attach a worth to my soul? The answer in how to get through this beautiful life we have been given is not to “double tap” random moments, but to allow God’s grace to rain all around you. By learning to seek HIS glory first and foremost, we simply step into grace.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”