Monday, May 26, 2014

what two weeks off instagram reminded me about life.

I took a two week break from instaworld. It was first sparked by the fact that Shaun was in Panama for a week and didn't have wifi so I didn't need to check instagram for his updates. It was confirmed by my wandering heart's struggle with desiring things that I don't have, or worse, can't have. I decided I needed to get hungry, not physically, but in my spirit. I realized that I don't hunger for God when I'm already full on other stuff- kind of like I am not hungry for a salad when I have already eaten my weight in nacho flavored Pop Chips, the kind that taste like Doritos but claim to be better for you, so naturally I eat a million. Its not very profound reality but its true, if I am already "full" from your photos, and my filters, and their cute kid, and her adorable house, and those great outfits, I don't crave the "living water" and "bread of life" that Jesus calls Himself in the gospels. 

So it was time to get hungry. 
And I did. 
I got hungry. 
And I got filled. 

And now my two weeks is over.

So I was driving home this weekend trying to put words to how this 2 weeks has affected me, because even though it was a relatively small thing, I know it did something significant in my soul. 

For one thing, I know for sure it helped me with my Spanish. Because whenever I got tempted to go on Instagram I would get on Duolingo instead... which was everyday. Thank goodness for these two weeks, now I know how to confidently tell you in Spanish that "your skirt is on your table". Niiiiice.

But actually I should back up a couple weeks to help you understand where I was at when I started this "insta-fast". Then it will make more sense. I was aching. Really. The vast disconnect I felt between the joy I communicated through my photos, and even just through who I am outwardly, and the emptiness I felt inside of me, was a daily struggle. Swirling with questions about whether or not there was real joy and real beauty on this side of heaven, or if everything was about choosing to stay positive and grateful, exaggerating simple things through filters and emojis and enthusiastic captions, until we die, and then finally experience the goodness I was longing for. 

Sorry homies, I know that's pretty intense, but I'm trying to stay real over here. 

So as i was processing all this while driving the other day, I got interrupted by a glimpse of a fiery unfiltered sunset. I didn't take a photo of it... and honestly I don't think I even breathed. I just soaked it up, and let it heal me. That's when the words came... 
These past two weeks reminded the deepest parts of me that our God is a God of joy. Real joy. Not filtered. Not exaggerated. He is a magnificent artist. The Maker of Heaven and earth. He is the Creator, giving us poetry and peonies and color and sparkle and butterflies in our stomachs and first loves and hot lattes and that satisfying feeling we get when we give to someone else, or serve a person in need. He is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him. He is committed to us, even when we are not committed to Him. He is jealous for us, even when we are zealous for this world. He is the Lover of our souls, bent on taking us from one glory to the next. He provides us unwavering hope, anchoring us in shifty waters. He is the Prince of Peace, covering our minds the way a mother covers a newborn while breastfeeding, quietly nourishing us in ways that only He can. He is glorious, beyond our wildest imagination and desires to meet us in ways we can't fathom. These 2 weeks have been exactly what my heart needed and even though I'll be back on my insta-game starting today, just in time for us to leave for Spain tonight, I pray I'll stay hungry. Because there really is nothing on earth that can satisfy me the way He can. 

Before I go shower and finish packing, here are some of the things that went on these past 2 weeks. I threw a goodbye party for Carrie and an engagement party for Meredith and David. Shaun got back from Panama. Janelle accidentally launched her skateboard through her back windshield while putting the seat up... which was hilarious and slightly unfortunate. Kaylee served us fondue at one of our MFC leaders meetings. My peonies bloomed! (Ps. I squealed with delight literally everyday watching it happen... and took photo evidence of the whole process... it was magical.) I at a breakfast burrito while watching Emily play in a volleyball tournament on the beach. And finally that last photo is from the engagement party I mentioned before. How incredible that so many people would come together to celebrate my sister and her fiancĂ©! We are seriously rich in friendships and I am soooooo grateful for it. 

That's all for now! See you on instagram! 

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