Friday, November 13, 2015

Overwhelmed



Prior to Ashley passing away this last April we had many discussions about the impact of social media; both negative and positive. I remember one such conversation being late at night after several posts were made on her account by a “hacker” insinuating that Ashley was pro-suicide for those suffering from terminal illnesses. Ashley always told me that at some point I was going to feel strongly that I needed a break from social media and that whether it was immediate or far into the future, I would know without a doubt that God was calling me into a closer relationship with him.

It has been a little over six months since my best friend (little sister) left this world and went into the arms of Jesus. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and long for those late night conversations, but more importantly I love when our conversations come up as reminders of when I face new life decisions. Directly following Ashley’s death social media, texts, emails, and even the frequency of cards arriving in the mail became overwhelming. I struggled with the decision of whether or not to take a break from the social media, but did not feel the huge push as I knew that people needed to see the impact that Ashley’s final words, life, and joy brought into our lives. I knew that our original mission for Ashley’s Facebook Page: Praying for Ashley Sult needed to be finished. She had already asked that her personal Facebook page be deleted as soon as possible after saving pictures for Oaklen. I honored her wishes and did this as quickly as I could with tears in my eyes over the beauty of the life she had captured in such beautiful pictures.

A couple of months after things had settled down I made the decision to keep the Praying for Ashley Sult page open, but to change the name to Family and Friends of Ashley Sult so that we could utilize the platform as a way to communicate prayer requests for other LMS fighters and update those interested in our advocacy for cancer cures.

Recently I hit the point of OVERWHELMED. Perhaps it is because I can no longer pretend that Ashley is on a trip, maybe it is because I am realizing that God desires a stronger relationship with me, or maybe it is because no one can possibly be “close” friends with over 400 people, but I decided that November would be my month of No Facebook. This is an extremely interesting month for me to called to this task as it also International Prematurity Awareness month and I normally use this month to share facts about prematurity and our NICU awareness, but friends and God reminded me that those that actually follow my page know our story at least to some extent and would support me whether I share 30 days of facts with them or not. I also don’t think it is mandatory to share my #thirtydaysofthankfulness either. 

As soon as I made the decision to physically delete the Facebook app from my phone I knew that I needed to make an active plan how to make the next 30 (or more) days count. Here is what I came up with:

  • Create a quiet time with God both morning and night when I would normally be checking my friends’ status updates.
  •  Journal more
  • Blog more
  • Leave electronic devices at home when going out on dates or participating in family activities (use the camera that I want to learn how to better use)
  • Make phone calls to those that I care about or simply send them a card in the mail letting them know how thankful I am for their impact in my life.
  • Create times throughout the month that allow for face to face time with my family and friends
  •   Allow myself to “just be.” This includes having nights when I change into my pajamas directly after work and snuggle on the couch with Bronson while watching entirely too much TV.

In my next post I will share what has been happening to my heart in just the last five days of my Facebook Fast…

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