I am beyond honored to introduce guest author, Arrianna Arriaga. I first met this power house of a young woman on fire for God, in the beginning of 2014, when she participated in a women’s small group I was leading. She has since become such a precious friend of mine and I can’t help but see Jesus shining through her in all she does.
To be so young, she’s already a confident leader in women’s ministry in our church as a small group leader. God is doing great things through her. No doubt she’s a world-changer! Look out, world! I know you will be blessed by her post.
Thank you, precious friend for giving us your time and talents to Breath on Paper today. ~ Heather
I was twelve when the first social media page to hit the web was Myspace, when I was fourteen, Facebook, and when I was fifteen, Instagram. Slowly each site began to get more and more traffic, and sharing our thoughts, opinions, and actions became the social norm. I was consumed with the amount of people that would agree with my opinion. I took hundreds of pictures with different angles, searched through dozens of filters, came up with the wittiest caption I could think of, and finally I posted the one I thought was the most brilliant; and I would watch to see the amount of likes, comments, or followers I got. I took dozens of selfies, I edited my profiles nonstop, I stalked other pages for “inspiration,” when really I was just getting insecure. Social media slowly became a feasting ground for validation. I was always on my phone, even when I was out with friends or family. I was with them, but I was never really with them. I searched and searched for a hole in my heart to be filled by the validation of my peers. Somehow “social” media quit being social, and became about ME, and the more I made it about me, the more alone I felt.
I was seventeen when I made the decision to give up social media for three weeks during our Church’s corporate 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting. I prayed during those three weeks that God would help me break my addiction to social media.
I find it amazing how God can heal your heart in such a short span of time; how He can turn something that was once a crutch, into something that is now refreshing to let go of. It took me an entire year, and a second go round of fasting to get this revelation; social media isn’t social. Too many times I see families at the dinner table consumed in their online lives, connected to their “friends,” but disconnected from their family. It made me wonder how often I was looking down at my phone screen, rather than looking into the eyes of the people I loved.
Giving up social media, actually made me more social! Anytime I got the chance to meet up with my friends, I was much more eager to ask about them, to get to know everything that’s been going on in their lives. These conversations turned out to be the ones where a connection was formed not between our phones, but between our hearts. We shared laughs, and pains, and by the end of it my cheeks would hurt from smiling so much, a pain that pleasured me. These were conversations that could never happen over social media, because social media will always just be a place to scratch the surface, but never a place to dig deeper.
This is also true when it comes to our relationship with God. There was a time in my life when I would always complain, “I pray but God never answers me! Where is He? Why isn’t He doing anything?” If I could go back in time and smack some sense into myself, I would. How was I supposed to connect with God when I was always connected to the world? How was I supposed to see God in my life, if my eyes weren’t focused on Him? The voice of social media (the world) drowned out the voice of God. The DAY I disconnected from the world, was the day I heard God’s voice. Instead of being “social” online, I became social with Him, and everyday I can hear Him whisper to me, I feel Him guiding me, I never stop feeling his warm love surround me. I no longer feel a hole in my heart, I feel more connected than ever not only to my family and friends, but to my Father in Heaven.
Social media, isn’t social… it’s just media.
“…because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” ~ 1 John 4:4
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Your Turn: Is it time to unplug from social media and listen for the voice of your Father? What if you gave it a try…just for a few days and instead, spent that time connecting with Him….seeking Him. We challenge you to try it and see. We would love to hear how it works for you. ~ Arrianna