If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you know that occasionally I’ll share a personal story, rather than a quick and easy recipe, a new room makeover, or the cute little dress that I just scored at Target.
Sometimes it’s because other’s request it or because I think my story may help others through a hard time.
Today, I’m sharing a personal side of things because JESUS told me to.
“I See You Lookin’ At Me”
Yesterday at church, my pastor gave a message that was absolutely incredible.
Watch the message from my pastor, Bryan Mills, HERE if you have 20 minutes. You won’t regret it.
Have you ever been to church, and literally feel like that message was created just for you, and that the pastor was giving you the “eye” throughout the entire message?
That was me yesterday.
The message was on hypocrisy. Now again, if you’ve been following me for some time, then you know that I want to be as real as I CAN be (and more later on why I emphasize “can”) here on the blog.
Honestly, your “thank you” messages to me, mean the WORLD when you say things like, “Thank you for being so real and honest about things.” It encourages me so much, and leads me to share more and more real life with you often.
BUT… those thank you messages aside, I can’t help but think that there are still others out there who have a totally different perception of me, and the blog that I call my business, my hobby and a big chunk of my heart.
Now, before I go on, and so we can connect on an even deeper level… can we just go ahead and take a moment and bring social media in to this perception too?
Social Media Can be a “No-Win” Situation
Take my blog out of the equation for a second. Most of us scroll on Facebook and Instagram in our daily lives and pass times, and more so than not, we can become consumed with how “perfect” the lives are, of so many that we see on the newsfeed. Let’s be honest, it’s not just in the “blogger world” that we perceive other’s having perfect lives, and being reminded that we don’t.
Although with this thought, I find myself saying, “Well if people DON’T share the good and pretty things… then we’d probably critcize them for sharing only the negative and depressing things. So really it’s a no-win situation.
BUT, I do think social media (and blogs) can be a place where hypocrisy can slip in, even unintentionally.
For instance, seeing quick posts from someone on your newsfeed like,
Selfie – Look at me, how pretty my hair is, my makeup technique, or how big my big ole muscles are in my muscle shirt from working out.
Look at my perfect kids hugging and loving on each other.
Here’s my beautiful home and bright white gourmet kitchen.
Date night! So thankful for this marriage and how good he/she is to me.
…only, the reality of the situation COULD be,
Look at me, I’m so proud of myself that I showered and put makeup on for the first time in 4 days… because before this, I was depressed and laying in bed with a major emotional struggle that you know nothing about.
Whew, glad I caught that cute moment on camera because little Johnny just beat the crap out of little Timmy right before this.
Here’s my beautiful home and clean kitchen. I’m so thankful that we still have a roof over our heads, because we’re actually behind 4 payments on it.
My marriage is the best I could ever ask for. Now, or course. After we went through that hilacious year when I found out that he/she was seeing someone else.
What’s the Full Story?
Blogs and social media can be a fun place to go for inspiration and to decompress from a tough day. But I think sometimes when we don’t share the FULL story of why we are sharing our good moments, it can come off as like we have it all together.
There’s Something You Should Know
Friends, I DON’T have it all together, and I never ever want the blog or my personal life to seem like I have it all together.
Why? Because there is so much beauty in seeing that others struggle (NOW wait a minute, I didn’t say “there’s so much beauty in SEEING other struggle.” I said, “seeing THAT others struggle.”
Because when we see that others struggle and don’t have a perfect life, it makes us realize that when we don’t have it all together too, that it’s ok. That maybe we aren’t doing something wrong. Or that maybe God wasn’t “picking on us” but not them.
Which is why I really want to address a couple of things.
When you visit the blog, or see a post from me on social media, I want it to be a happy, encouraging and pretty place for you to snag ideas or decompress from a tough day. I want the blog to be a place of beautiful, inspiring and pretty things that you love to come visit often.
So with that, comes very few, dark, tough, and ugly topics.
Usually by the time I’m sharing a story about a tough situation, I have already overcome it, and now I’m sharing how you can overcome it too.
That’s what I truly feel like I was born and put on this Earth to do; to inspire others, and to share stories and life hacks that I’ve learned along to way, to hopefully help make your life and journey a little better.
“It’s Time Jessica”
So while sitting in church last Sunday, and with the preacher lookin’ right at me (or so I felt), it hit me.
Jessica, are you being a hypocrite by mostly sharing the good, pretty and “overcome” victories in your life?
Why don’t you share more about the current struggles going on?
…and I literally felt God nudge me, and say,
It’s time to share that I’ve been struggling emotionally and physically for almost a year with a major part of my life.
For almost a year, I’ve wanted to share the ENTIRE story, the journey, the everything… but my hands have been tied and I wasn’t (and still not) allowed to do so. But I CAN share some of the emotional details of this journey, rather than stay completely quiet about everything.
So, Here We Go:
- I no longer live in my big beautiful home that I brought my baby boy home to, and created the beautiful home tour blog posts about.
- I actually laid in bed for weeks, not willing to get up to clean the house or make a meal for my family, because the depression had taken a toll.
- Arguing became a characteristic of my marriage, and became the new “normal” way of communication for us.
- Sudden weight loss became my new diet plan, because I was so ill and sick from stress.
- A ball cap and sunglasses became my new daily attire when I’d go grocery shopping in a far away town, just in case I didn’t make it far enough away trying to avoid seeing someone I knew.
There was so much of this that you didn’t see, when I shared a blog post about how to trick yourself in to getting things done or how to style a Hot Dog bar for your girlfriends. Why? Because my story wasn’t done, so I felt I had nothing to share yet, and because I wanted the blog to be a place full of beauty and happiness.
I Just Didn’t Talk About It
Now although I did stay true to myself and “real” when I wrote a blog post about different topics like those, not mentioning that I’m at rock bottom while writing organization how-to’s and styling parties, still feels deceitful. I never lied and said “my marriage is perfect, I still live in my big and beautiful home,” etc. … I just didn’t talk about it.
But I feel by NOT sharing that I was struggling, and still am struggling today, I could really be missing out on the opportunity to help someone else.
Let me also say this. Some things are just too personal to share with the entire world, some things aren’t “ready” to be shared, and some things are only meant for God’s ears.
My whole story isn’t ready to share.
But I at least wanted to give you the cliff notes of the emotional parts of my journey, and I think by doing this… those of you who look at my blog and life, can still look at it as a place of inspiration and fun, rather than a place of hypocrisy. I never want you to think I have it all together, and I never want you to think that I have a perfect life.
So if sharing with you that I don’t, and to let you know that you’re not alone living an imperfect life… then I shall remove the mask, because I feel that is what Jesus has called me to do.
Join the “Creating Your Happy” Group
So here’s something else you may want to know. I started a group on Facebook about a year or so ago, where we we talk about all sorts of celebrations and difficult things in life (like this one). It gets pretty “real” in there, so come prepared!
We’d love to have you in our group to chat about all the things. See you over there! Join it HERE!