Retreating from social media is one way to manage stress.
Taking breaks from Facebook in particular has become a necessity in my life, though I will be honest I probably didn’t do it soon enough this time:
The age old:
I don’t want to miss interacting with so and so
People look for encouragement in Him on my morning posts
God in His patient, loving voice told me to get over myself.
He knew my heart was getting confused, not about Him but about priorities.
With the recent acceptance to Liberty University, our sons’ recent health challenges (Braedon is scheduled to have four wisdom teeth out, Jackson saw a rheumatologist and is being referred for physical therapy), the class I was leading and the class I am taking along with the usual job stress for my husband … my ears were listening to all kinds of new information. All kinds of uncharted territory converged here in the Dibble household.
Facebook put me over the edge.
For every Godly meme, there are one or two sarcastic posts.
For every emotional confession, there are two or three complaints, accusations, or not-so-hidden agendas.
For every request of prayer, there are many believers who come around to pray. Such goodness of the Lord. I still need to thank everyone who prayed for my hiatus.
But when prayer is not enough to keep me centered on social media, I knew I had to go straight to the Lord, something was definitely off spiritually.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentations 3:25-26).
Seeking the Lord shall not always mean you are seeking something from Him.
Seeking Him is entering His presence, focusing on Him alone.
When your heart is confused about priorities or when you just simply feel overwhelmed, enter into the presence of the Lord.
It is just like God to exceed our expectations when we carve out time and climb into His lap.
I received peace, the peace that you cannot buy or contrive. Peace deep down in the well of my soul.
I heard Him whisper, my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
For several days, I narrowed my focus to each hour as it stood before me.
What of me, Lord?
I wasn’t ask much asking Him for answers as I was being reassured again He is with me.
In His Way, all things began to fall into place WITHOUT me carrying a heavy weight:
~When I took Braedon to the dentist, I inquired about the medical necessity of taking all four wisdom teeth out. Promptly, the hygenist did a panoramic x-ray. God provided a clear visual of how his teeth are angled, causing others to shift. Praise God!
~Jackson has been taking the anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed by the rheumatologist. Most importantly, that boy has been praying! When I was at class all day yesterday, I texted both boys at the lunch break to see how they were doing. Jackson said, “Yes, I talked to God this morning about my disease and believing in Him more and trusting Him that everything will be ok, and He helped me get a lot off my chest”. Still praising Him for this!
~In the class I am taking, I have written two papers. So far, God gave me an A on one of the papers (still waiting for the other). It was encouragement I needed as I embark on this Mdiv journey, an affirmation that if I wrestle with Him, pursuing Him when theology is not clear, He will honor that and bring me through. Two more papers are due in two weeks. That will conclude this class. The Mdiv journey begins August 24th.
The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. But it actually means being delivered in adversity (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).
~After I got home from class yesterday, there was snail mail for me! Who doesn’t love snail mail? My dear sister Bettie sent me hand-written encouragement and a list of Scripture put out by Chronic Joy Pond about joy in suffering.
Sisters and brothers, His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We can desire things to be different. We can pray day after day for this Covid to go away. We can hop in and out of Facebook with the hope of Jesus Christ and want our actions to be fruitful.
His grace is sufficient for us. We can rest in His Sovereignty.
We need to be still and know He is on the throne.
We need to appreciate the manna He provides daily and stop complaining for more.
We need to seek His Kingdom first every hour, not just when we are spiritually overwhelmed.
So what did I expect on a social media hiatus? Less stress. A fresh look at priorities.
God in His abundant grace gave me so much more.
This morning I was the guest speaker at Newberrytown Church of God. Pastor Jonathan Bowers is on vacation. This is the third time I have been asked to speak at this particular church. Though I am familiar with some of the faces, I was a bit nervous. My husband was home sleeping after night shift. The message God gave me was the same one I gave a couple weeks ago, but He revised it as He often does. Most importantly, I prayed to obey Him, leave myself out of it and offer myself as a vessel for the Holy Spirit.
As I sat in the pew, hands sweaty, waiting not-so-patiently for the singing to begin, in walks a sister with her boyfriend, both of whom go to church with me elsewhere.
God is so incredibly good. His grace flows amidst sweat from anxiety, through others’ smiles, through a pen, paper and mail, through the Spirit who unites us as the family of God.
After the service, several people confirmed Holy Spirit worked. Comments like “you were speaking to me today”, “thank you, this was thought-provoking”, “thank you, I always like it when you come”, “do you give hugs in Covid?”. Again in His grace, God let me know I obeyed Him. He is not required to do that 🙂
But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain … (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Paul goes on to say he works hard and preached along with others that they believed.
I pray His grace carries me to this very thing Paul is talking about.
For this moment, though, by the grace of God, I am what I am, and I will not let His amazing grace toward me to be in vain.
Thank you so much for joining me here.
If you feel stress building, take some time to pray and get a management plan in place quickly. Stress is not good for our physical, mental, or spiritual health. God knows we get stressed. He doesn’t condemn but rather meets us right where we are.
Let me know if I can pray for you. You may comment here or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First three photos in this post are from Pixabay, the last two are taken this morning at Newberrytown Church of God.
Love in Christ,