A couple weeks after we closed LifePoint, I decided to deactivate my Facebook. In fact, it may still be deactivated if it hadn’t been for my uncle’s accident… after which I reactivated my Facebook to get more frequent and more thorough updates about the explosion. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE social media. I think it has MANY benefits and positive aspects – but as part of this Oxygen Mask time, I needed to pull back. I needed my circle – close friends and family who loved us through that hard time (still loving us through). I can tell you that because of that a gap that was filled that had been a gaping hole for a while – and I didn’t even realize it. Sure, interaction on social media is great – it’s a SUPER way to get 100s of friends to pray about something urgent, celebrate something wonderful or just to be a part of people’s lives 1000s of miles away. But, there’s nothing like a girls’ night out for supper to laugh, cry and chow together – an hour at a coffeehouse with a friend just to chat – a live phone call where you can cry for several minutes together and be laughing hysterically before you hang up. And even an encouraging text message – which is so much more personal than FB/Twittter/IG interaction. Because I couldn’t even receive messages when my Facebook was deactivated, I received phone calls, texts and even visits that I wouldn’t have if someone could’ve just shot me a message. It filled that gap I was previously unaware had formed.
See – here’s the thing. God didn’t create us to go it alone. In fact He created us to depend on HIM and to depend on OTHERS. We. Need. Each Other. Last summer in Bible Study, we were studying Galatians 6, and came up with the term “God’s Math”: When you have a load of crap (spiritual word for stuff you’re dealing with) and your friend has a load of crap (see definition above) and you bear each other’s loads of crap – instead of having twice as much crap, you walk away with a half a load of crap or less. And that, friends, is what we learned in Galatians 6.
That being said – there’s a few things I learned during my somewhat sabbatical from Facebook:
Make it Personal – Live phone call. Hand written note. An invitation to spend time together (coffee, a walk, lunch). Nothing says, “I care” more than personal connections.
Be Intentional – SCHEDULE something. Yes, we’re all busy – but we are dying a slow relational death when we do not connect with others. This Summer I did a Bible Study eaaaarrrrrrllllllyyyy on Tuesday mornings, but what I looked forward to as much as the study, was the time with that group of girls. Fellowship. Schedule it.
Leave Margin – What is margin? Margin is not packing your calendar so full of stuff you don’t have any room for scheduling connect times or better yet, doing something spontaneous. This is VERY challenging at my stage of life (three busy, active kiddos, full-time job and previously (and maybe someday again) ministry) – but it is a MUST. If you’re chained to a calendar – schedule margin. Do whatcha gotta do!!
Let me close with this… if you’re a Christian, please get connected in/with a church. We (the Grubbies) could’ve been so tempted to NOT go to church indefinitely after closing LP. As Beth Moore pointed out in her teaching on Revelation – God not only loves the church – all those that profess Christ as Savior – but He loves and is passionate about “churches.” He has a purpose and a plan for uniting bodies of believers together as a church. Again, we need God and we need each other. Heb. 10:24-25 – check it out.