Monday, October 17, 2011

Buckle-Up. My Facebook Aha! Moment.

It's been 284 days. I feel like last night I had a major Facebook "aha moment." Oh God is good!

Buckle-up, because here goes...

I hope you stay with me until the end of this post. 

For those that have been following my journey since the beginning, you know I struggled with Facebook being the biggest time waster in my life. I felt I wasn't being productive with it, and I felt like the Lord was literally putting a check inside me enough to rid myself from it for 365 days and in the process to blog about my experience. Blogging was a complete unknown to me. On my final day on Facebook I actually posted asking my friends what blog site to use to begin this journey. 

Looking back, it's funny how I used the word time waster. I think that was my clever way in my mind of shifting the blame of my own lack of self-control and instead, acting as the victim in many ways and saying Facebook was responsible. Oh man I want to laugh and cry at the same time. For me it really took 284 days to truly grasp this understanding. I had no idea why I felt the need to make this change for an entire year, but now I know. God knew I wouldn't have fully understood this idea if I only dealt with it for a month, 3 months or even 6 months. wow. Once again, our God is good and He knows us better than we know ourselves. 

Okay, so back to this "aha moment." I realized this while I was in a class on counseling last night at my church. Funny that as I was learning about how to counsel others, I was being counseled myself. Humbling.  There was so much information in this class I will leave for an entirely new post, but here are a few things that contributed to this "aha moment."

I learned that in abstaining from what I felt was my "time waster" was actually more of a self-righteous act of sin management. That may sound harsh and you may be asking... what do I mean exactly? Well, let me give you a few examples that were given to me...

Say your husband has a problem with looking at pornography. While abstaining from it is a good thing hands down, it doesn't stop the deeper issue of lust and discontentment that drove him to fall into that in the first place.


Working out and eating healthy is good, but it won't stop you from dealing with insecurity. We will just find another thing about ourselves that we aren't satisfied with.

We make these checklists of "dos and don't" in order to keep our sin at bay. I know the word sin scares some people. Some people don't like to use the word. I don't really like it either. But I think that is normal. We are supposed to hate sin. ☺ Sin is the falling short of the glory of God that we all have in our lives. It's okay to talk about it! 

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:24.

So back to the aha moment...

Is it good that I have abstained? Absolutely. It has brought me much clarity.   

And for many things in life we should fully abstain from them because there is no good in them. But Facebook... while there are things that I don't love about it, that isn't so much the issue. I even knew that from day one when I explained that I know Facebook is not the devil. You can read about that here.

I realized in my first months of blogging that I did start to grasp the understanding that it wasn't about Facebook in general, it was about my heart. I knew that, but I still wasn't sure if I felt a change. The thing is, we can't make this change our-self.

You can't free yourself. It will only last a matter of time.
Rules can't free you.
Practical tactics can't free you.
Checklists can't free you.
Methods, techniques, and boundaries can't free you.
Different circumstances can't free you.
Wherever you go, there you are.

People and situations do not determine our behavior; they provide the occasion where our behavior reveals our hearts. - Paul Tripp

Only Jesus can. He already died on the cross bearing the burden of our sins. It is finished.

My pastor put it perfectly last night. You worship your way into sin, now we must worship our way out. Turning my heart back to God, focusing on God's promises, and believing God is who He said He is. We are called to repent, and not feel guilty about it! This is the road the Lord has shown to me. And guess what, he used other people to do so in the process. 

Looking back, this issue with self-control has been long time coming... I have dealt with drinking more than I should, to being addicted to ephedra {diet} pills..among other things. Once I "managed" those issues myself, my lack of self-control showed up in different ways. Facebook being one of them. I've heard myself say to people, "I have an addictive personality." I will not say that anymore. Who can that help? Not even myself. The truth is, I have an issue with self-control and I need to face it.

I have. With God's help. Not by my own doing. I am made new in Him.
{And I know I will always be a work in progress}

It comes down to this...

I don't want a life that is just about self improvement.  

I want a life that is about glorifying God because only there will I find true freedom. 

Now that is something to "like"

Right now that's what I truly feel in my heart. I feel free from the burden of self-control. I feel like I could get back on Facebook and with the Lord at my side I would be a different person. I guess that means in 81 more days I might have to change the name of my blog... hmm... I'll cross that bridge when I get there. 

I encourage you to think about things that you spend your most time on...are they becoming idols? Is it really a deeper issue? Check yourself and ask God if there is something He wants to show you... somewhere He wants to do a work in you. It's worth it. I promise. ♥

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

{Linking up here herehere, here, here. }


  1. What an incredible and honest post. Full of the TRUTH of God's word! We all struggle with self-control, the Lord knows I have! If we all had it already, it wouldn't be considered a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It can only come from HIM. How freeing and how humbling. I have to continually fall on His Grace and be led by His Spirit. Love your honesty and your reliance on God and not yourself :)

  2. wow. i have had to 'check' myself and motives SO many times with facebook, blogging, the computer in general, etc... so many things can replace God as our main focus. thank you for being so transparent and honest...and encouraging!
    blessings to you,

  3. wow, this is something i've been learning lately, it's almost exactly what our bible study was on last week. thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, that was such a great post. I felt like you were talking about me. I am always telling myself I need to stop going on the computer so much. I waste so much time on websites like Facebook and Pinterest. Pinterest is such a material website and I find I am only "wanting" more when I get off. It makes me feel like the things I have aren't enough and that's wrong...they're just things. I love what you just wrote. I pray that God will help me work on this "addiction" as well. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. That was so beautifully written! I "like" it :) Thank you for this post and being so open and honest. God is so good!!

  6. AMEN! i'm so guilty of this same thing... already. quitting facebook is pointless if i jut redirect my "addiction" and time wasting in another direction. thank you thank you thank you for the reminder to stay focused!

  7. Hey there!
    I just found your blog, and I love it!
    I followed you :)
    Check out my blog, It’s a Love Story and follow me! Please :)

  8. Coming from Ashley's Heart Therapy linky...
    Great post! And way to go on your journey!

  9. I agree such an honest post. I think I spend too much time on blogs and agree that I have the same self-control issues.

  10. Great post and so true. We have to do the hard work of looking deeper as to why we are doing things and what we are escaping from. I am going to high lite this on my facebook of all things:) Thanks for linking up!

  11. Love this post! I mean I "like" it! You hit the nail on the head when you went a little deeper than it's not just a time waster. I'm guilty of it too. Not wanting to change my heart, but trying to change the act. And while that helps, it doesn't solve the problem!
    Nice to "meet" you! I'm stopping by from Call me Blessed.

  12. I'm a mom without facebook too! I've given in a few times and gotten on, but every time I do I get this sick feeling in me...knowing that I shouldn't be on there. I don't know if it will be forever or just for a while, but right now I don't want facebook. To me it is a time waster, but then again ITS MORE THAN THAT. It gets in the way of other things - family time, my relationship with God, and other things. If if it gets in the way of those things...I do believe that it is sin because you are putting it above God. Those are my thoughts. Thanks for writing this!

  13. Wow, I am honored to read all of your responses. I must say this post was one that was harder to push "PUBLISH" than most of my posts.

    @Kassie - well said. I agree.

    If we have any other "gods" before Him we are breaking the very first commandment! That's why we have to be so careful about the things we spend our most time on.. they can easily become idols. Even if they are good things. Sometimes hard to grasp, but I'm starting to get it!

    Thank you ALL for your encouragement and glad to know I'm not alone. Phew. ☺

  14. So, so good. You are putting a few exclamation points on some thoughts I've been having lately about some issues I've been obsessing over. I really want to be a Spirit-filled follower of Jesus who demonstrates the fruit of His Spirit in my life...not limited to, but definitely including self-control. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I loathe FB! hah. but I can't get off of it... it's too much of a networking tool.

    Awhile back I had my AHA moment on Facebook. I was using it (as others are/were) as a way to put negative energy into the world "the lover's not doing this" "the lover said this" "the kids are driving me nuts"... and all the status' i was reading were the same! people complaining about their life, their partners, their children. it was in that moment, i realized FB needs to be a positive outlet, i've hid or deleted all the people that constantly post negative things or are the drama starters. and it's been such a relief! i try not to post negative things, and i surely will not feed into anyone elses negative comments/status'.

    When I was posting negative things about my life... friends on FB were feeding into my negativity, tell me I was right for being negative, which just made me a big ball of hateful. But when I stopped, and started posting nothing but positive things, I was treated to people encouraging the positivity, wanting to be a part of the positivity. And my outlook changed, I was no longer focusing on the bad, but focusing on the good in life.

    Thanks for putting a perspective on FB and sharing your story!!!

  16. LOVED this! Your aha moment is going to change lives, so thank you for sharing! Every single person can relate to this (whether it be facebook or something else that they spend far too much time on) and I know I definitely want to put as much time into my relationship with God as I do my fb and bloggy friends :)

    p.s. Your family is GORGEOUS!

  17. You words are inspiring Heather. Glad you are my friend :)

  18. Heather, this is soooo good!! I love it!! You are awesome!

  19. Thank you so much for this post! I really appreciate your honesty in taking responsibility for your own actions, and relying on the glory of God for anything He can do for His glory.:)

  20. Great post! I don't have a facebook either for similar reasons. I prefer not having one. Found you from the thankful thursday link up.
    -Mackenzie @

  21. this was such a great post. a fabulous aha moment indeed. i have recently been doing some counseling training at our church as well... and it is intense... same as you, every time i leave, i feel like i have uncovered another huge revelation into my heart. and trust me, some of it is NOT pretty. i have learned a lot about how selfish my motives often are and simply how prideful i am. thanks so much for sharing and for linking up to thankful thursday this week... your aha moment is definitely worth being very thankful for:)

  22. I deleted Facebook finally just last week! Love this!

  23. Hands down-I'm following you. Thank you for sharing your heart! I feel like I'm going through the worlds-longest-transition in life and reading this has simply brought some revelation. Also new to the modern/creative blogging hobby, I'm winding my way through these discoveries.
    Again. Thank you :)

  24. So funny I somehow stumbled upon this post as I just inactivated my FB account 2 days ago!! no, really!! I was wasting time on it, and realized I wasn't even that close with 95% of the peeps on my "friend" list. I feel sort of relieved and have more time to work on my blog... which I truly enjoy! And following other blogs :)


I'm blessed by your sweet words!

They inspire and encourage me to keep sharing my story...

Thank you.