Real Life Versus A Facebook Image

Everything looks so great on her Facebook page.  She had moved, lost weight, cut her hair, and was posting pictures of her kids going to college.  I was envious.  I want to move, I am trying to lose weight, and my hair doesn’t look that cute.

My kids are moving on in their lives, like her’s, but I don’t feel as happy about it as she looks.  She is posting about how many miles she runs, and I am trying to learn how to exercise in a way that fits in with my arthritis diagnosis.

She is smiling and happy.  Yeah, I am so happy you are a grandparent.  I might be one day too, but right now my life is just about yucky transition and overcoming challenges.

I wish my life was like yours.  You just look so happy.

At lunch today, however, I learned the truth.  I learned about what her real life is like.  Her weight loss and running routine is one of her successes.  She is proud of her kids getting married and going to college, but she is also struggling.  She is struggling just like me.

In fact she has been down like I have.  Her grandchild saved her.  Brought renewal to her life.  Yet the reality of an impending empty nest, and the changes associated with parenting adult children is difficult.  For her, and for me.

We are both unhappy with where we are in our jobs, and understand that we are facing a time in our life where we need to re create ourselves, and our lives.  It’s mid-life, it’s empty nest, and it’s hard.

I never got any of that from her Face book page.  I just saw the smiles, and the miles and figured she was living a dream.  She is living reality just like me.

We have lost something in relying on social media updates to stay connected to people we care about.  Had I just picked up the phone and called her I would have learned that she was dealing with life just like me.  Had I just driven to see her I would have been able to connect with her in a real way, and learn what was really going on with her.

Let’s remember that people are hurting. Pictures don’t tell the whole story, and neither do Facebook page updates.  Perhaps we are starving each other of what we need the most.  Friendship, companionship, and care.  I am ashamed to think that my friend has struggled and that I was not there to help her because I decided to judge her life based off her FB posts.  What has happened to me?  What has happened to us?

God says to love others, and meet their needs.  After today I am going to take that to mean that we need to connect with people in real ways to do that.  I am not loving others by reading their updates.  I need to love them by being a part of their lives, and having a real relationship with them.

Please like and share.  I want to reach more people and hope to help others who are living this thing called the Christian life.  Thank you for reading this.  I hope you have a great day.

Lessons from life,

Marcy Pedersen


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