There’s a reason that you may leave your time on Facebook feeling sad, annoyed, jealous or lonely…
In 2015, Christian women were studied and the result found that many women felt worse about themselves after using social media- whether lonely, envious or angry. Any of these ever go through your mind?
“Why does her life look so perfect?”
“Everything on social media is so fake.”
“If I had (that job, money, spouse or house) I’d be happy, too.”
Guess what? I’ve said these things at times as well.
Many of you know that this is a difficult time of my life. For me and perhaps some of you, seeing photos of date nights, weddings and, anniversaries are tough. Maybe you struggle with seeing pregnancy announcements or engagement photos. You try not to care, but that little voice inside whispers “It’s not fair” and you shake your head and release a few tears as you agree.
When we see other people getting what we want, it’s tough. But what do we do – other than silently raging, getting depressed, or deleting our Facebook page?
There’s some helpful wisdom that I cling to these days: “Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 NLT)
This wisdom is a reminder that we must ride the ups and downs of life together, even when we’re not getting what we want, but others are. When we celebrate with each other and cry with each other, our togetherness is what helps us to heal and handle the hardships of life.
IMPORTANT: Celebrating others doesn’t mean that you go to the baby shower if you’re battling painful feelings of infertility. Or, I declined a bachelorette party a few weeks ago because while I loved my friend, my heart was too tender, but I celebrated big time at her wedding.
Celebrating means that we are grateful for God’s blessing in others’ lives. We can post “Congratulations!” or “Happy for you!” when they share 1000 pictures of the person or thing that we wanted, too – like the new kitchen, new car, great spouse, behaving kids with awards, or weight loss – we can be happy and that gratitude keeps joy, not jealously flowing through our lives.
This is why I ask my friends to not hide their anniversary pictures or date night photos. I can be 1000% happy for them even as I’m sad about my situation. It’s like learning to walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s possible if you want to figure it out.
When we surround our hurting friends and weep with them, we are Jesus’ arms of hope. Weeping needs no words. Our presence – and maybe an iced coffee or pint of ice cream with two spoons is enough. When we weep with our friends, we are reminded that it is pain, not pleasure that draws us together. If you’re hurting today, reach out to a friend that is hurting, too. For the love, don’t try to fix them, give advice or “at least” them. Sit with them. Cry with them. Let them talk it out or not say a word. When you leave you’ll find that your sadness is lessened. Helping someone helps our sadness doesn’t makes sense, but it’s totally true.
In the end, when I celebrate others, I’m reminded that my day to celebrate will come, too. And when I weep with others, I’m reminded to not be so wrapped up in my own stuff.
That wisdom of riding the ups and downs of life with others has been a lifeline for me. I hope that these words encourage you. 💕