BY SHILA ANDERSON
I have a confession. I never wanted to be on social media. I decided to join the social media world only when my husband and I started leading our church’s youth group, and we needed a way to “connect” with the teenagers. Teenagers don’t use email, so I really had no choice.
So why didn’t I want to be on social media? Was it the fear of putting my children’s pictures out there where they could be found by predators? Or, was it the old school mentality of not wanting to connect with people online when I could just call them or meet them for lunch? Maybe I’m just a private person and don’t want to share my life with the world? Well, it was a little bit of all of that, but most importantly, I was nervous about reconnecting with people from my past. You see, I’m not the same person I used to be.
I grew up a Christian. My mom brought me to church every week, but I really didn’t understand what being a Christian truly meant or how to live a Christian life. I was very self-conscious, had low self-esteem, and was a tad bit selfish. So, I didn’t always portray Christianity in the best light.
Joining the social media world opened me up to reconnecting with people that knew me back then. What would they think of me now that I am a God-serving, Jesus-loving, ministry-leading Christian? Would they think I was a hypocrite? Would my old friends realize that I was a new person – that my old life was gone and a new life begun? Or would they judge me for how I used to be?
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Thankfully, God brought an old friend back into my life to show me the truth. I was speaking at a conference near my home town and recognized her beautiful face from across the room. I am so blessed to have seen her and to have been able to catch up with her. I admitted to her that I didn’t keep in touch with anyone from high school, and we agreed that we all have changed since then. It was such a blessing to see someone and realize that I was hiding for no reason.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? – Isaiah 43:18-19
Not only do I need to forget the former things and not dwell on the past, but I need to not worry about the past either. I believe God brought this friend back into my life to show me that I can move forward, without worrying what my old friends will think of me.
I’m not scared of being myself on social media and reconnecting with those old friends now. I’m excited to share with them about what God has done in my life. In fact, I’m praying that God will use me to share His love for others and to show that through Christ, all things are possible. He can change us, give us confidence, and make us better people.
What do you say ladies? Will you forget the past with me? Remember, we are a walking, talking testimony of God’s amazing grace. Let’s not hide that. Let’s allow God’s love to shine through us for everyone we meet - past, present, and future!