The last four consecutive photos I have posted on Instagram have included me mid-smile and mid-laugh. Coincidence? Maybe. But probably not. Here’s why:
When I look at these four photos lined up together, I see so much happiness. I see so much of a good life lived. I feel the happy heart and the happy thoughts. I feel the genuine company surrounding me in three out of four photos. I see a girl who has more confidence in herself than she has all her life. I see so much happy that it is contagious. It makes me think about the fantastic life that I have been given and to never, ever take that for granted.
From the outside, they may just seem like cute, “artsy” (I hate that word) or staged photos, but I assure you they are not. They are solidified proof that a confidence and freedom in Jesus Christ will give you more happiness, more laughter, more smiles, and less stress than you have ever felt in your life.
A lot of the time I think that from an outsider’s perspective on social media, we think “Oh wow this girl is SUPER happy, her pictures are SO cute” — without even thinking that maybe there is that slight chance that her Instagram feed isn’t as perfect or happy as her real life. We want to show our best side to the world but I think that we often forget that we are human. We are an imperfect, ugly, sinful people who have been given the perfect love, redemption and mercy of a Savior in Jesus Christ.
Life is not always perfect, we face hardships, we go through break ups, we lose friends, we go through our parents’ divorce. Life isn’t easy. There is no reason that the world can’t see that. Someone out there somewhere can relate. Someone can pour into your life and maybe you can do the same to them.
I am a big believer in that life is full of learning. We go through experiences to learn and mature because God intends for us to do so. There is no situation too tough, no situation too heart breaking, that He does not have a purpose for. He sees the light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t.
What I’m getting at here, and what I am encouraging you to do — is to be yourself. Show your sins, your heartbreaks, your troubles, your hard times, your struggles. No one’s life is as perfect as their Instagram feed. In between my last four photos, there have been moments of weakness, moments of hatred and frustration, but because my God is so so much bigger than all of those things, I can sit there on the boat dock watching the sun set drinking an Ale 8 with my best girl and share it with my followers. I can share what I am going through on social media, and I can definitely share gospel truth.
Social media is SUCH an important outlet of our lives to minister and to be the light of Christ — so do it! Be bold. Be forward. Be willing to share bits and pieces of your life. But most of all, yearn for that happiness and fulfillment you can only find through Jesus.