I have a dear friend who shared with me that a “study” has been done that states “…people our age post on Facebook because they need to be validated.”
I disagree on some level but also appreciate the statement. I think the younger generation could perhaps be “trapped” into this form of validation much more than mine. Yet I had to ask myself why I write heartfelt post on Facebook. I suppose there is a need for validation although I do not get “my mattering” from such validation.
For me, honestly, writing my story on Facebook isn’t about validation as much as it is me “penning my memoirs as I go.” I enjoy writing. I believe that while we are in the daily battle (yes, I said battle because when you are “hurting hard” you are a warrior) of life and in the midst of hard times when we need encouragement or just to share a happy moment is not a cry for validation. I want to share things WHEN I am going through them and the dust hasn’t settled yet and uncertainty is flying at me like a bullet or perhaps I have had a great victory or a glimpse of Heavenly Joy…that is why I “do” Facebook.
The great Corrie ten Boom who survived a Nazi concentration camp for hiding Jewish people in her home says, “If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.” Some of us have needed seriously strong shoes in life. Some not as much perhaps but no one is untouched by “strong paths.”
You might say, I have NEVER suffered the ways Corrie ten Boom did. That is so true and a truth for which I thank God every day. However, I have known suffering and suffering in all forms cannot, should not be minimized. My battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis does not define me but it has been a “strong path” that has required God’s gift of “strong shoes.” A path that I have not traveled alone because of a husband filled with unselfish love. As well my two beautiful and sweet-hearted daughters, parents, brothers, friends, counselors, and even doctors who have lifted me up all along the way but let me be clear that my pain is mine alone. I need “strong shoes” daily.
So where is this post going? It is going to this…I want to be real about my frailty, my struggles, my doubts, my beliefs, my strengths so that if it connects me to another human being that may be in the midst of their own “bullet flying, dust choking battle” or in a season of “pure joy” they might feel like they can make it one more day in that hard place or that I celebrate their joy with them.
Of course, it is RIDICULOUS to say that Facebook post can provide much depth. This type of life support must be, has to be done relational and skin to skin in the long-term but what if just one word on one post helps someone reach out for help or not feel alone or they call me or message me? That is not for my validation…that is the joy of living friends!
So cheers to a Facebook post…May it validate you and me. May it play a very small part in helping all of us to carry on when we are sent on our “strong paths” …may those around us help us put on our “strong shoes” even when we cannot…