(this photo cracks me up by the way...profile pic anyone? hahaha)
When all we see are posts about engagements, job promotions, babies, new houses and new cars, it can definitely leave us feeling depressed, jealous and/or unsatisfied after just a few minutes on Facebook. (see full article here at http://news.menshealth.com/facebook-self-esteem/2012/02/12/)
But I guarantee if you were to pick up the phone and talk to that friend or co-worker, a new puppy and a tropical vacation are not the only things going on in his/her life. They have crappy stuff going on just like you and I do.
Photos and status updates can skew our perspectives of our own reality and our friends realities. There's a quote from the movie Just Married that says "You never see the hard times in a photo album, but those are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next." THIS IS SO TRUE.
While you are conetmplating this, I want to share with you about "The Gaps".
(this is the Gap logo and I altered it just for this blog article, original photo credit goes to GAP.)
I attended a conference a couple years ago where the speaker ( I can't remember her name unfortunately) put forth the idea of "The Gaps" of life and it has stuck with me ever since. The premise is this:
We have a plan for our lives... a "script"...full of expectations and goals for ourselves that we think are surely the way things should be. We tend to treat God like an actor in the script we've written and tell Him how we think He should act and what He should do to fulfill His part in our story. (Dear God, Please do "abc" and make "xyz" happen. Amen) Our script, more often than not, is based on a collaboration of movies, fairy tales and unrealistic expectations and Jesus is an extra as needed. (You know the idea- college degree at 22, perfectly in shape and happily married at 25, at the top of my career in a job I love at 27, amazing house and dream car at 28, beautiful brilliant children and dog by 30 etc.)
(from The Joneses movie)
When God doesn't stick to our script a.k.a. life doesn't go as planned, we tend to not understand and be angry, depressed etc. We find ourselves stuck in the space between our desires and our reality and thus we are living in the GAP. And the thing that struck me most about this is...
The Gaps of our lives are Holy Places.
God is in the Gaps and His Grace is sufficient for us, His power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, rather than trying to push through or avoid the Gaps, if we embrace living in this place then Jesus can become our Hero...not just an "extra" in the Script of your life. For truly, He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith in the first place. He is writing the greatest story ever told.
So with all this in mind, I have been hesitant to post much on Facebook lately, and specifically I have held off on our pregnancy announcement because I wanted to share all these thoughts here first.
I know so many of us are living in The Gaps. I have friends that thought they would be married by now and aren't, that wan't to have children and can't, that had a career all planned out and are sitting home unemployed. We get lost in status updates about vacations, marriages, promotions and pregnancies while living in the GAPS of divorce, infertility, unemployment and loneliness. We have financial burdens, emotional heartaches and physical ailments that are hard, and real, and I just want to acknowledge these realities to you my friends that I know our lives ARE hard and they ARE real. My life is not perfect. I have been in scary, horrible Gaps of life and I thank God everyday He DID meet me in those places and carry me through. And Husband and I are grateful to be in a sweet chapter of our lives where by the grace of God we are healthy and our marriage is strong and we are expecting our first baby in the fall. But just know that if this is bittersweet for you because as much as you are happy for your friends joys, you feel so alone in a Gap that you never wanted to be your reality, my heart is with you, and my prayers are with you, and I can promise you, it won't always be this hard. Your story may end up looking different than you planned, but it has been filtered through God's hands