“It’s amazing how much more breathable my insides feel.”
I’ve said this to John, in various forms, a handful of times since stepping back from Instagram and Facebook.
It’s the best word I’ve found to describe the change inside since taking those outlets off my mental and habitual plates.
I didn’t expect to treasure said breathability so much and then begin resisting anything that threatens to clutter it unnecessarily. Something interesting happened with I wasn’t tempted to scroll these platforms anymore. I wasn’t tempted to continuously be picking up my phone either. Removing the habit of checking Instagram every downtime minute also made me realize how I’d lost how the ability to let the moment be what it is. I didn’t realize how restless I operated until the temptation was removed entirely.
I love being encouraged and I love learning, so I’m a professional at filling the time with spiritual content, i.e. listening to a podcast while driving around town or folding laundry, reading a book or a few articles while Anna naps or jumps on the trampoline.
Turns out, though I’m not fielding the stories and photos of others on social media, lately other “extra” content has felt stifling, not inspiring. Noisy, not refreshing. I’ve been compelled in a way I could not ignore to simply let it be quiet. To allow myself to just be.
Choosing to prioritize this breathability more often and resisting the FOMO on a new podcast release or the pressure of “being more productive” by reading books or keeping my phone on me so I can respond immediately to a friend’s text is changing me.
It’s making my insides more spacious, making room to ask God questions and hear what He might say, making room to absorb beautiful moments with my family as they come and go so quickly, making room to feel what I feel instead of burying it under distraction, making room to pray for those in my life going through difficult circumstances.
I think it’s making me more steadfast. Which, comically but not at all uncharacteristic of the Lord, is my prayer for this year. He is teaching me how practice steadfastness in the present, finding strength and beauty in the super simple things that easily go overlooked, standing steady looking at His face when I’d rather crumple inward, and so much more.
It’s changing my capacity to handle a trying hour with Anna, a 36-weeks-pregnant-kind-of-long day or the anxiety, insecurity or discontentment that Satan throws at me. And I think that’s because I’m not using my phone to distract or numb or escape a moment. I’m allowing the moment to be what it is, pleasant or painful. Certainly not easy. But it’s my moment, ordained by a good God who can be trusted and promises to never leave.
I’m giving myself (and others) permission to be as they are. Be bored, be ordinary, be grateful, be happy, be nervous. To be with God as I am. And ask Him to shepherd me through — through the moment, through my thoughts, through my feelings. To trust that He is enough, that He is God, that He loves me, that He knows.
It’s timely, as I’m nervous about going into the unfamiliar territory of being a mom of two, and while it’s not a cake walk, I’m grateful for the transformation slowly happening.
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