Cleaning out my fridge is like traveling through a museum of shattered dreams. Granted, it’s a bit more smelly than your average museum. But it’s educational, nonetheless.
Ah, there’s the moldy kale I once dreamed of making into healthy breakfast smoothies. Remember how it was gonna cure my psoriasis, stabilize my mood disorder and ramp up my sex drive? TRASH.
Oh, here we have some clumped-together, foul-stenching flax seed. Remember when I was gonna sprinkle it atop all my organic, free-range, Paleo meals? TRASH.
Why do I have so many varieties of beets? TRASH.
I don’t even know what this thing is. But I better wear gloves to scrape it off the shelf.
My fridge is not Instagram-worthy. I don’t voila! my quinoa. I don’t humble braggage about my cabbage.
But still, I keep buying stuff I’m never gonna eat because I want abs like FabFitWonderMom8675 on Instagram. #NoExcuses #Fit4Life #IHateMyself
Just kidding. I don’t want a six pack. I like rolls. Rolls are squishy and comfy. Rolls don’t have hard edges. Kids like to pinch rolls. Husbands, too. Rolls are warm and soft. Rolls taste good with butter. Wait. Wrong rolls.
OMG, that was a Dad joke.
Come to think of it, nothing in my life is Instagram worthy. It cracks me up when people caption their Instagram post: “Just keeping it real” and their kitchen has maybe ONE dirty dish in the sink. Or when Christians talk about their “messy, broken” lives because one time they told their kid to shut up.
If somebody’s life looks like a gorgeous Instagram feed, they are trying to sell you something. Telling you they’re “broken” is just part of their brand.
The thing is, living a life of obedience to Christ doesn’t look pretty. In fact, it can look downright boring. It can look like drudgery. That’s why so few people choose it. Because the life of a Christian is not glamorous (at least, it’s not supposed to be). Christ is our treasure, not our social media reach.
About 99.9% of my life is not Insta-worthy. This actually gives me great hope. It reassures me that my goal is not to have a pretty, picture-perfect Instagram life. My goal is to live a life worthy of my calling, my goal is to delight in God’s will—and that usually doesn’t look awesome, even with a pretty filter on top.
God’s will for me when I am dealing with my illness means lying in bed, trying to breathe through crushing despair and stumbling through my Rosary. My brain is broken. There’s nothing Instagram-worthy about it. A lot of my days are spent in bed staring up at the ceiling. Nobody wants to see pictures of my ceiling.
People who are truly broken—those of us who are chronically ill, or bankrupt, or wounded from a divorce, or worried about our errant adult children, or wrangling with addiction—we don’t go around staging our life for Instagram.
Because our lives aren’t stage-able. Our lives look the opposite of staged. We’re too busy trying to survive to worry about impressing strangers on the Internet.
But here’s the thing: we really need each other’s REAL broken stories and not the fake ones. I’m no longer ashamed of showing you my broken brain because, well, what do I have to lose? I’ve already hit rock bottom. There is true freedom in rock bottom. So, I show you my brokenness with my words. And in the end, these aren’t shattered dreams.
This is the real life God has called me to live and I’m living it.