there. i said it. i care too much about what people think of me, even complete strangers. even the cowardly, hateful, anonymous newpaper commenters.
well, recently, friends, i've discovered i've endured the ultimate rejection. i mean, it doesn't get much worse than this. are you ready for it? i can barely get it out.......
i've been defriended on facebook. yep, you read it right. by at least four or five people over the past few months. you know how i know? because the first time i noticed i was no longer friends with one certain person, i "friended" them again, thinking that maybe it was an accident or facebook problem or something. it can happen, right? so the second time i noticed i wasn't friends anymore with this person, i finally got it. and folks, i am not even a natural blonde. :)
ouch. this kind of rejection is something even the apostles did not have to experience.
ok, i'm totally kidding here.
but seriously, defriended? so i have chosen to write an open letter to these former facebook friends. here we go:
dear former facebook friends,
but we went to high school or college together, doesn't that count for something? even if i haven't actually seen you in, like, 15 years? defriended and not just blocked from your newsfeed? you know, there's an app for that. defriending makes me feel like i'm back in high school or something and i didn't say "hi" to you as we passed in the hallway.
considering that we don't really know each other anymore (a lot happens in 15 or so years), you are either defriending me because of (1.) the person i was in high school or early college (don't worry, i'd defriend me, too, for that) or (2.) the person who i've become, all wrapped up in a tidy package on the "about me" page on facebook, saying that my name is lauren, i'm married to greg, and we have a 2 year old and a 40-minute old, who's in heaven. oh, and that my religious and political views are both "christian."
i'm pretty sure my status updates could not be offending to you. i don't quote scripture in them. i don't even quote quotes about scripture, God, or Jesus. maybe you are offended or annoyed that i was excited a few months ago when my baby girl went #2 on the potty for the first time ever.
oh, but there was that "note" i wrote about our baby boy's diagnosis back in june. and how we were choosing to continue the pregnancy and relying on God for strength. oh, and there were the pictures of me, pregnant and smiling in my profile picture. perhaps that was offending to you, that i would choose life instead of abortion. oh, and there was a lot of status updating going on in october when my baby was born. and died. and maybe there was some more talk about God and Jesus at that time. i know that Jesus is an especially offensive topic to some.
here's the thing: of course, i am only making an assumption as to why you defriended me. but in case you didn't know, for almost a year now, i have walked a very difficult journey of faith and trust. it has been a journey that, if i didn't have faith, i might be dead right now, at least spiritually and emotionally. it's been a journey that has forced me out of the proverbial closet as a christian, because our suffering was so public. people watched us make difficult choices and react to the circumstances we'd been given. yet, the biggest choice i had to make was made in private: whether or not to truly trust the God of the bible. the faith i had as a child was not good enough for this journey, yet i considered it "good enough" for me until this past year. you see, i could have my comfortable faith and yet no one would label me as a "Jesus freak" or anything else considered unpopular in this culture. i'm embarrassed to admit to that. it's not lost on me that perhaps God knew it would take suffering of this magnitude to move me out of my faith comfort zone.
so thank you, former facebook friends, for confirming my status as an unpopular Jesus freak. i now take it as a compliment. it's true, my faith has become a huge part of my identity, instead of being just a small subcategory of my life. and while i would never preach at you, throw scripture in your face, judge you, or defriend you for not being a christian, i would say to you: don't knock it till you try it. you might even like it.
however, i don't apologize if i offended you in any way. i'm more sorry you did not stick around to see what my faith, my God, has done for me and my family in the midst of devastation. i think you would be surprised. perhaps intrigued. perhaps you would wonder from where we got our strength to make it through. perhaps you would wonder what you might do in our situation, or in some other kind of suffering you might face. because one day, inevitably, we all will experience suffering.
and i would tell you, i got my strength at the foot of the cross. and there is room there for you too.