Smiling faces, beautiful places, happy couples, happy babies, besties hanging out, amazing looking food, and the list goes on and on. That is the majority of what we see of each other on social media. It makes sense. Why would you want to showcase anything but the happy and good stuff in your life for all to see. It isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t a bad thing at all until you start looking at everybody else’s pictures and thinking that there is nothing past the happy photographs.
We all have issues. Hey, there’s a song about that! Ok wow, back to what I was saying. Behind every Instagram account there is a real person. A real person who has incredible days, sucky days, mundane days, good news, bad news, you get it. So many people have started writing about this topic and thank goodness. It is so refreshing and helpful to see people being vulnerable and real in this day and age of social media. Thankfully more and more people are pouring out their heart and their stories and it benefits so many people to see more than just a happy photograph. You never know who you are helping or who can relate to you when you share your struggles. I am not saying everybody has to put out the worst of the worst for all to see but let’s be real with each other as much as possible.
What you don’t see in my feed are pictures relating to my constant reproductive health issues- for instance the 8×8 inch ovarian cyst that is currently very uncomfortably filling up my abdomen and being surgically removed next week. Or the time I bled for 6 months straight due to uterine polyps. You don’t hear about how tight our finances are while my husband is back in school working his butt off to get his PhD and I’m doing my best to work as much as possible while staying at home with our daughter. You don’t see me being impatient with my daughter or rolling my eyes at my husband when we aren’t agreeing on something. You don’t hear about how my daughter is often the grumpy/unfriendly baby when I take her to playdates (she’s starting to get better, hallelujah!) You don’t see pictures that depict my insecurities and occasional self-doubt. And that’s ok. You don’t have to know about all of that all the time. But what you do have to know is that we are all REAL people with REAL life struggles and issues. Don’t you dare look at somebody’s happy Instagram feed and assume their life is all unicorns and rainbows while you are struggling and things aren’t going as well as you’d like. We are all struggling in one way or another. I am certain there is someone on this earth dealing with the exact same difficult thing you are dealing with at the moment and how nice is it to know you are not alone.
I hope this is a small encouragement to A) not compare your life or your situation to other peoples (preaching to myself because this is hard) and B) when you are tempted to compare and be sad and sit in your own suffering- bring it to the Lord! He cares, oh he cares about you so much. He gave you a beautiful story no matter what chapter you are in. So yes, you see the happy Instagram feeds, you see the success, you see the smiles, but friend, don’t hold up your own life to that .That is a highlight reel of someone else’s life. You have your own highlight reel and the person who’s Instagram feed you are looking at, well, they have their own very real and difficult struggles. Your story is just as exciting especially when you understand it is being written by an all knowing, almighty God. He loves you. He cares about you. He is gracious enough to give us all “Instagram worthy” moments and he is gracious enough to let us struggle so that we can be reminded how much we need him and how fulfilling it is to experience his love and care in the hardest moments.