Struggling to balance social media’s utility versus it’s pitfalls is a treacherous battle we all face today. Personally, it can be heart wrenching to watch the lives that some women live compared to my own.
I know better. I know the dangers of comparison. I know comparison stirs up division, discontent, and depression. Yet I am easily drawn in.
When I find I’m in the pit of comparison, I tend to isolate myself completely.
The drawback is that I miss out on life. It’s inevitable. Because of this, I recently decided to reframe my perspective.
Instead of focusing on all the drawbacks of social media, I decided to consider all the advantages. At my fingertips are countless opportunities to connect with others. Why not use this for good?
In the past I’ve shared glimpses of my life by writing a blog post here and there. But I’m usually paralyzed by trepidation.
Recent events have made me reconsider writing and posting on social media more consistently.
One of these events was the sudden passing of Chronically Jaquie (YouTuber). After her death, I realized what an impact she had on me. Watching Jaquie document her struggles with many of the same chronic illnesses I have has brought me validation and comfort.
One important lesson I learned from her is that adapting to my circumstances doesn’t mean I’ve given up the fight. I’m a part-time wheelchair user. That doesn’t make me less of a “chronic illness warrior”, yet I struggle with feeling that way.
Taking on a social media presence with a purpose means allowing others to see me at some of my most vulnerable times, if I so choose.
This is the opposite of how I’ve tried to live. Hiding pain and sickness has always been a way of life for me. Now I’m going to expose myself in my weakest, ugliest moments. Have I lost my mind?
I think I’m ready for this, at least ready to try. But I’m terrified at the same time. To help me in this endeavor, I’ve attempted to define my purpose. The purpose in sharing my journey is threefold:
1) Connect with able-bodied people to bring a better understanding of what it’s like to be disabled.
By sharing my life with you, I want you to have a deeper sense of what my daily life is like. This does not mean that I want your sympathy. On the other hand, I don’t want to be forgotten.
2) Connect with the disabled, the “souls in solitude”. These are people who often feel isolated due to their disability. It also includes family members and caretakers of the chronically ill.
3) Connect everyone to the Gospel. At the heart of my journey is Jesus. Without knowing Him, I would have no hope …none.
Jesus is the only one who sustains me.
My health will fail, relationships will fail, abilities will fail, all else fails except the love of Jesus. Why wouldn’t I want to share the most beautiful part of my life with you?
Think about the time when Jesus called Matthew (Levi) to be one of his disciples. Matthew invited Jesus to a meal at his house. In attendance were some of the worst sinners one could find. This had the religious leaders in distress, but Jesus responded (Matthew 9:12):
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
Of course, Jesus was referring to the spiritually sick. But what about the physically sick?
Take time to reflect on this passage. Consider the effects that physical sickness can have on a person’s spiritual health.
Physical sickness has the potential to bring us to a deeper reliance on Jesus. If you are suffering right now, I hope you realize that you are never isolated from Jesus once you’re saved. He has given you a unique opportunity to walk out your faith. How are you going to do it?