I’ve been thinking a lot about social media lately. Isn’t it funny how as millennials, we are obsessed with documenting our lives, but we only include the good parts? I am definitely guilty of only sharing my highlight reel.
When I started having health issues a month ago, I didn’t want anyone to know. If you looked at my Insta or Facebook right now you definitely wouldn’t see someone who is sick. You’d see someone who just spent their 21st birthday in New York City-not the reality of someone traveling with a portable Pulse Oximeter who can’t catch her breath after walking to the subway.
But I looked in the mirror today, saw my heart monitor hooked up to my chest and felt the tears start to build. Because the truth is, I am sick. In the past five weeks, I’ve been to the ER twice and the doctor multiple times to figure out what’s wrong with my heart. I’ve been having sharp pain in my chest every day, and tachycardia episodes a few times a week. I’m now wearing a heart monitor for a month.
I know it might seem trivial to some of you facing worse physical illnesses. I do not want to come across whiny or selfish, but I’m merely trying to be transparent. Because I don’t have it all together all the time. And I’m learning to be okay with it. I’m still in a season of waiting. Of hoping. Of praying for answers.
And I laugh because the Lord has been trying to get me to slow down for months now, and this illness has caused me to do just that. To be still. To try and rest in His truth. To trust. (still working on that one)
Before I had my heart monitor, my illness was invisible. I’d be in pain, discreetly check my pulse and hope no one noticed. To be honest, as shallow and superficial as it sounds, I was scared of being seen as “different.” Being noticed gives me anxiety. Now that I’m hooked up to wires and carrying a monitor with me, I’ve had to swallow all of that pride. There’s nothing like a heart monitor to teach you humility!
This experience has shown me how much social media is a lie. It’s a mask. We can put any picture up and pretend it’s our life, when we’re actually crumbling. But I don’t want to live that way anymore. Because in the messy, in the break downs, in the midst of our brokenness-that’s where Jesus shows up. That’s where we can be transparent and honest. It’s in the midst of pain and illness that we can begin to rebuild.
It would be easy for me to go on social media and pretend my life is perfect. But I think I’ll choose not to. Because there’s so much joy in living an authentic life. And I truly believe God ordains all things, good and bad, so He has a purpose and a plan for this pain. He has a purpose and a plan for your pain.