Authenticity Killers: My Instagram Caption Is Having a Great Day (But I’m Not)

My love affair with words started young. In most homes, silence from a toddler means trouble. But in ours, a quiet two-year-old was a studious one. Hours would go by while I sat tucked in a corner, quietly rustling pages. And that was before I could read.

Words are so versatile: they craft narratives, paint pictures, & build bridges. Words are the vehicle to knowing & being known. Even after years of writing, the feel of pen to paper (or fingertips to keys) sparks something in my soul. I can build anything with these syllables turned sentences turned stories. My hand is embarrassingly raised as I admit that from time to time, the power to create hasn’t been handled so well.

I’ve been guilty of twisting those stories I tell until they work in my favor. How like the broken parts of me to use a gift given to connect as a tool to deceive. I’ll give a glowing recommendation about the condition of my heart, all the while knowing pieces of it are struggling. I’ll craft the perfect Instagram caption that casts a free spirited / glamorous / profound shadow over my filtered photography. (You know, whichever one is necessary.) But if I’m honest, whether I’m hiding from sin or holding up self, stories that are less than true always feel empty at the end of the day. That timeless adage, “We can only be loved to the extent that we are known,” feels more real than ever as I work to call lies into the light. I refuse to use my words to mask unaddressed sin, to shy away from community, to spin exaggerations that need a swift kick back to reality.

So, I’m firing deception as author & editor of the words that bounce around in my mind — and of the ones that come spilling out of my mouth. My words need to be employed by the truth, not my agenda. Agenda keeps us from being honest. And dishonesty is the fastest road away from authenticity we could ever travel.

Lay down the deception. It’s an awfully heavy weight to carry. Walking toward the truth, even in the little things, will bring a lighter heart. And right behind that lifted weight, community is waiting.

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