Don’t Make Someone’s Snapshot Their Story

It’s often a wonderful thing to look back in time. Well, sometimes.  There’s those moments that I regret looking back on because it just makes me cringe. Like, let’s just forget that happened. You know, one of those weeks. One of those days. The day that I wasn’t so patient with my students. The day that I just had a bad attitude for no apparent reason at all. The week that went by where I hardly acknowledged the Lord’s presence as I carried on with the tasks that needed to be completed. That conversation that I turned and made it all about me. UHG. WHY?! Or the time that I was in tears describing a particular situation (complaining might actually be more accurate) to dear friends as I doubted the Lord’s promises in my life.

And what I found to be even worse was when people I just met or hardly knew walked in on these moments. My weakest moments. My often sinful moments. These weak and sinful snapshots of my life.

Like, what happened to that girl who is vibrant, full of life, confident and ready to make a difference for Jesus? The girl that experienced the Lord so powerfully that she couldn’t ever be the same? Why couldn’t they have walked in on those moments?

Pix1And in one instant, I’ve briefly lost sight of all of the Lord’s faithfulness in my life. My pride and the stride for perfection sets in immediately – and I become consumed with these weak areas. I pray selfishly – but so sincerely, “Oh, God please don’t let this be their view of me.”

But it doesn’t stop there. On the flip side, there are people in my life that I admire for what it appears to be – them ALWAYS being amazing. Generally speaking, I am not best friends with these people (or else I would know better), but I see them enough to be constantly reminded of why I seem to admire them so much. I see the snapshots of their life. The always-seemingly kind words. Their always perfectly manicured nails. Their well-kept home. Their thriving ministry. Just fill in the blank. I see these snapshots and what swells up inside of me is not so much jealousy (although that has often been there) – but more of, “Umm, how do they do it ALL? And so well?!”

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In yet another instant, I’ve “compared my behind-the-scenes to [their] highlight reel” (Pastor Steven Furtick). My mess has been compared to their success, which has undoubtedly created a false reality that these snapshots equal their story, their life.

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So here we are. I want to invite you into the details of my heart as I openly share what Jesus has taught me in all of this as I know I cannot be alone. This is not something mastered, but simply a journey where progress (HALLELUJAH!) has been made through His amazing grace.

  • People “walking in” on our weaker moments – weaker seasons of life even – is bound to happen. We cannot control what other people think (and we’re not meant to). So in the wise words of Elsa from Frozen, just “Let it go!” Be confident in who you are in the Lord despite how you feel. Don’t be discouraged as He will often use these moments to teach us humility as He gently reminds us to have a complete reliance on Him.
  • Likewise, we will also be walking in on other people’s weaker moments or snapshots. Don’t allow this window of time to give you any room to define their story as your head blows up with pride. Just like we don’t want anyone to define us through our snapshots, let’s not define theirs.
  • On a practical note, the ones that genuinely see the whole picture are our closest friends and ultimately Jesus. Let’s not let the disease to please every single person we come across consume us.
  • People that you admire for their constant “awesomeness” are just like you. They have battles, snapshots of weaknesses, and sin just like you. It may be in different areas or it may be in similar areas – but it is there nonetheless. I promise.
  • If you still find yourself comparing and feeling discouraged, than most likely you simply just don’t know them well enough. Perhaps you follow them on social media or perhaps they are someone you see at work or at school. Perhaps it is another mother on your son’s soccer team. Perhaps it is the leader of a ministry you’ve been blessed by. Whoever it is, don’t let these perfect snapshots become their story as if they are not human just like you.

And lastly but most importantly…. know that there is hope if you read any of this and thought, “that’s me.” Real and true HOPE that comes from Jesus alone. Invite Him in and expect wonderful transformation within.

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TRUTHS to pray

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” -Galations 1:10 (NIV)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” -Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”-2nd Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

“But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects;  a father’s delight is behind all this.” – Proverbs 3:11 (MSG)

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26 thoughts on “Don’t Make Someone’s Snapshot Their Story

  1. Anna,

    I am thrilled to see your new blog and how “REAL” and True you are. I am really excited to see how many others you will touch thru your beauty inside and out via your blog. God bless you and continue to be real when this world has soo many imposters or otherwise known as wolves in sheeps clothing. Love ya Girl!!!!
    Elizabeth Brown
    Colonial Heights,VA

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    1. Thank you SO much for your kind words, your encouragement, and for following along…it means a lot! And YES! That is my prayer exactly…that this can play some small role for the Kingdom! thank you!!!! xx – LOVE Anna

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  2. “I compared my behind-the-scenes to [their] highlight reel.” This is such a great line, and I know I’ve been guilty of this. I’m learning that messy is normal, and to avoid comparisons. Yet, it’s still easy to fall into this trap at times. It’s good to be reminded that others struggle, just like I do. Thank you for this encouraging and hopeful post–It was a encouraging way to start my morning 🙂

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    1. I am so glad that you are filled with hope and encouragement this morning…that is what it’s all about! And “Messy is normal” couldn’t be more true! Agreed 🙂 WELCOME to my blog & thanks so much for sharing – xx Anna

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  3. Well written – yes it is so easy to make up our minds and opinions on just a few moments, a couple of facts. But people change, sometimes hourly. Compassion is being about to roll with the good and the bad in life and still loving people.

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  4. Very true. The opposite is true too. We shouldn’t be wanting what they have when we just see the good things because inside they could be a mess.

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  5. Finally I can leave a comment! I visited this lovely blog you have Anna.
    This is a beautiful post and a gentle reminder. There will be weak moments but when we give more grace we hold dear friendships together.
    Many Blessings to you

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    1. I am so sorry about that! All fixed now 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words! And I couldn’t have said it any better…friendships are definitely strengthened! Thanks again. – xx Anna

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  6. This is such a great point. We all have bad moments. We also have good moments even when we are doing a lot of bad. Great food for thought. We should be careful not to judge.

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