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Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Highlight Reel

I think the problem with our generation is that we compare ourselves to the façade that others have laid out before us via social media posts. Is it possible that we compare ourselves not to an individual at their core, but instead to their highlight reel. As viewers we see the flawless pictures and positive posts, but we fail to see the hurt they endure and the wounds that are hidden beneath the surface. One of the greatest misconceptions is that how someone represents themselves on social media is a true representation of how they truly are.

Personally, I am the type of person who refuses to post my annoyances or issues on social media. I feel that Facebook is not a place to “face” my problems. Yet, somehow people feel that because I shy away from blasting my feelings on a social media site for the world to see that my life is somehow perfect, or that problems never arise in my life.

I have come to the realization that we must view social media as a highlight reel. We cannot compare our everyday, often mundane lives to someone else’s highlight reel.

Over the course of the past two or three months, I felt God speak very clearly to me about becoming more vulnerable. I have always been the type of person to shield my emotions in an attempt to save myself from hurt or rejection. I’ve always had this obsession with being this enigma, this girl who nobody really knew but everybody knows.  Over time, I have come to the conclusion that this obsession stems from my belief that being vulnerable is a weakness, that somehow showing feeling and allowing people to see my open wounds would damage me more than I could afford. Recently, however, I felt this desire to truly be vulnerable. Vulnerability is one of the most frightening things in the entire world. Allowing people to see my weaknesses is something that I will always struggle with, yet, how can I minister and speak into the lives of people dealing with hurt, pain and rejection if I cannot relate to them. This is the conclusion that I came to. I have realized that there must be a reason that thousands of people from dozens of different countries read this blog. Vulnerability. That is the key.

Time after time I have poured my heart out on this blog. I believe that is the reason that so many read it. I’d like to think that maybe I’m a decent writer, but perhaps you’re reading this simply because you feel a connection, perhaps you relate to the things that I write about. Those of you who read this, you are the people who truly know me. You know my heart and who I truly am at my core.

Earnest Hemmingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”. My thoughts exactly.

If you get nothing else from this post, aside from my very apparent appreciation to you all, understand that my life via social media is indeed a highlight reel. Perfect lives do not exist. Understand that between each flawless post there will always be moments of hurt, pain and rejection. Understand that social media is a façade, it is not, nor will ever be reality. Social media has been one of the greatest tools, personally, to make friends across the country, and around the world, however, remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

If I could encourage you to do anything I would simply encourage you to be vulnerable. Whether it’s on social media or in person, remember that you cannot allow yourself to be so removed or so “cool” that you don’t allow people to hear about the goodness of Jesus. I deal with certain issues that maybe you do not, but there are trials that God has allowed you to go through that I will never face. Be vulnerable. I promise you, by allowing people to see you at your core, in your rawest form, God will then give you power to minister like never before. Just over a week ago, on the flight home from Oklahoma City, a woman in her late fifties, poured her heart out to me. The conversation began with small talk, but transitioned quickly into something much deeper. This woman, worth millions, began, with tears streaming down her face, to tell me her story. Yet, if I hadn’t been vulnerable with her, God never would have opened the door for me to minister to her. Vulnerability can be your greatest asset. Take it from me, being an enigma gets old quickly. Remember that social media is simply a highlight reel. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and authentic and you will see God work through your life in ways that you never imagined.

“For My strength is made perfect in weakness”



PS: Do yourself a favor and go purchase my friend, Justin Michael’s Song “Exposed” on Itunes. Its phenomenal.