When my Mom heard that I had given up Facebook for Lent, she asked "Now why is a Southern Baptist girl observing Lent?".
I chuckled a bit to myself and told her that I didn't really see it so much as me observing Lent as me giving up something for a time that was coming in between me and God. I don't typically observe Lent, but as the season approached, I heard people talking about what they were going to give up. I did a little bit of reading on the internet about Lent and what it is and while I was researching, I just felt God put Facebook on my heart.
You see, I was spending HOURS a day wasting time on there. I know Facebook is good in some ways in that it helps you reconnect with old friends and stay in touch with loved ones, but in my case it had clearly become an addiction. I tried to deny it for awhile, but my husband started making a few innocent comments about me being on it so much. I realized it was true and it was wrong.
It was wrong because I was guilty of putting it before keeping my home up, spending time with my husband and kids, and most importantly--and what God wanted me to see--I was putting it before Him. I realized that logging onto it was the first thing I thought of in the morning and the last thing I did before going to bed at night. So when I felt God sort of nudge me while I was reading about Lent, I got the message loud and clear. I promised Him I would fast from Facebook at least during Lent.
I can't tell you how many gasps of shock I got from people when they found out why I was all of a sudden absent from Facebook. And it sort of scared me initially! I thought "Oh my gosh, what have I done? Have I promised God I would do something I really can't follow through with?!" But can I tell you that it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I gradually began to spend more time with my family and with God. And the relationships in my home clearly benefitted from my decision. But the best part of this has been that I HEAR from God more. Because I was hearing so much from Him, I started to jot down the things He was putting on my heart. And when I saw it with my own two eyes, how much and how often He was speaking to me, I felt ashamed for letting my Facebook addiction rob me of that precious communication with Him. I mean, what else compares to that? Nothing.
So I asked Him one day, "Would you tell me what else keeps me from hearing from you? What else is a distraction?" And I realized that I have gotten too accustomed to "background" noise. When I'm at home alone, I have the TV going regardless of whether or not I am in the same room. When I am in my car, I have the radio playing. So I decided to turn those things off as much as possible. And that has been a blessing to me as well. In fact, some of my best times of prayer recently have been spent in my car, usually on the way back home from dropping the kids off at school or on the way to pick them up in the afternoons.
God has impressed me with so many things since I started this break from Facebook, I have decided I want to share more about it on my blog. I've thought about shutting this one down and starting a fresh, new blog and I've also considered just just changing this one up a bit. Who knows? We'll have to wait and see what happens.
I encourage you to find out what things in your life keep you from hearing more from God. I guarantee if you ask Him, He'll reveal it to you because His will is for you to have a deeper relationship with Him. And you'll be amazed when you find out how often He wants to talk to you!
"Life knows no greater joy than you will find in converse and companionship with Me." ~ from God Calling, March 17