The Grown Up "Time Out" You Might Need
As some of you may know, I recently took a break from social media. I just didn't share why. After nagging my girlfriend, Kristen, for a while about what to do about a situation in my life, she shared with assurance, "I think you need to fast, Michelle." Ugh...for real tho, Kris? But she was right, my world had gotten so clouded to the point that there was so much noise. I needed to disengage with something in my life for a bit and use that time to intentionally seek God's voice because quite frankly, a sister just wasn't hearing Him speak.
MY plan was to take just two weeks because your girl felt that would be sufficient (and truth be told, I really love being on social media so in my controlling kind of way, a 2-week hiatus felt like plenty...lol). Being connected to others via digital technology had become a part of my rhythm. My intentions were good because with limited time as I juggle working for a corporation about 40 hours a week, being a business owner and spreading my life out in my roles as a wife, mom, friend and so much more....social media helps me stay connected quickly with a broad range of family and friends. BUUUT....there's that other side. When I think about my routines, it's typically been how I start my mornings. Now the "church girl" in me wants to tell you that my mornings started with a devotional, a Bible passage, or heck even prayer. But nah...all of that came second because really social media had become my primary "Bible" of sorts. It had become such a daily cadence that even while I wasn't thinking about it, I'd automatically reach for it and scroll to my apps of choice. Whether Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest or Twitter (here and there), all of these things had quietly crept into my life and were some of my greatest influences. Be it a follow or have mercy a "like" from someone I admired or checking repeatedly to see who was liking what I said...it's hook in me while seeming small was actually very influential in my decisions, behaviors, thoughts and life. So the journey began.
The process...because I love a plan... First, I shared online that I'd be back in August. Next, I deleted all of my apps and changed some settings in my phone so that my notifications didn't tempt me. It was actually very freeing to turn off thousands of voices from all the different places. Then Kris reminded me to be sure to get in my Bible during that time. I started a devotional through the Bible app called Without Rival by Lisa Bevere. Girl...so timely! Then my sweet girlfriend, Carmen Jones, sent this message called "Mind Your Power" via a group text and it blew me away. That video led me to this video called "A Crumb for A Crisis". Whew!...from that video I decided to shift my music to only reflect true worship...not asking God for anything....just thanking Him for who He is and has been in my life. Then my girlfriend Rashida Banks sent this message to our accountABILITY group called "Nothing Can Stop You Child of God". My prayer life began to shift and I began to ask God not for the everyday but big, bold supernatural things and literally in 12 hours, the one thing I asked for boldly in prayer with my husband as i was headed to work was that my son receive a scholarship for his freshman year at UMES and it would be so done in such a way that people knew it was God who did it. Around 5:30pm that same day, I got word that Thurgood Marshall surpassed what I thought they'd give him and granted him a scholarship for $6,200 for the academic year. But y'all God hadn't stop speaking yet and I'm literally in tears writing this as I recall all that has happened in this short time. Because then on a day when I really needed to hear it, this video affirmation landed my way and I knew God was affirming my identity in Him without rival as Lisa Bevere had reminded in that devotion. There have been scriptures that have jumped off the page during this time and spoke to my soul. Answers I've wanted clarity on became clear. Things that I didn't want to do anymore, I've submitted to God's will to continue in it and I have grace and revelation of how He's using some of those situations I asked for relief from for a bigger purpose. I've been able to withstand some major challenges in life that should have me in a fetal position because my peace feels different. And, I've had more quality time to spend with my family and work on my business to gain greater clarity because of the amount of time and distraction that social media had become. Y'all, it's been so beautiful, so rewarding and so refreshing that just like a great vacation, I kind of don't want to go back but I know that I need to because God wants me to use those platforms but responsibly.
So here I am...back from my timeout. Renewed and most of all, ready to serve you in fresh and meaningful ways.
When's the last time you took a timeout for yourself...whether a fast, a little getaway, or whatever you needed for some self-care? If it's been too long, what's been holding you back?