The other night, I found myself unable to sleep at 3 am.
You might be wondering why. I know I was wondering why the other night as I stared defiantly at the alarm clock, watching the minutes press on towards the inevitable 6:30 am summons to get up and get Alex ready for school.
The reason why, and I admit it’s a stupid one, is that I was upset about Twitter.
Specifically, I was upset because last week I was picked by the News Sentinel (one of Fort Wayne’s biggest newspapers) as one of the top High School Football tweeters. While this sounds like an honor, and believe me I am honored to be chosen, in my twisted mind I had worked this entire tweet-capade into something entirely other than what it was ever intended to be. (By the way, do you like my new word I just made up—tweet-capade? It’s kind of a mash-up of ‘tweeting’ and ‘escapade’. I really think it’s going to catch on!)
If you have read my blog for any length of time greater than three minutes, it may surprise you to learn that I actually write about football in addition to music, wacky news, and other stuff. I report on the New Haven High School Bulldog’s football games every week, writing feature stories about the team, their families, and other stories related to the Bulldogs for www.newhavenbulletin.com. I also tweet updates live from the games under my Twitter handle, @SpinTheBlog. My tweets are always re-tweeted by Indiana’s News Center, @INCNOW (Fort Wayne’s premier sports television show), the Journal Gazette’s Prep Sports (the News Sentinel’s sister newspaper), and of course, the News Sentinel.
I’m no Erin Andrews, but not too shabby nonetheless for me being ‘just a girl’ (at least, that’s what I’ve been told.)
Yet In my mind, my 3 am negative self-talk began to erode the good feelings I should have about my fledgling success as a sportswriter. I started to pick apart my tweets to try and figure out why I might have been picked as a top tweeter last week.
After all, I’ve been doing this for 8 weeks.
Why last week?
Maybe it was because the weather was so bad no one was even at many of the games? I mean, I wasn’t even at the New Haven/East Noble game. I watched it live online via the www.newhavenbulletin.com stream and tweeted from the dry warmth and comfort of my Laura Ashley recliner. (In my defense, I’m nursing a broken foot so my doctor said I was absolutely not allowed to be traipsing up and down the bleachers and all over the field. That excuse only worked for one week, however; tonight I’ll be back at it at Homestead!)
Maybe it was because they needed to pick a girl as some sort of equal rights thing.
Then again, maybe the editors just drew names out of a hat to determine the winner, and since I never win anything ever, the probability theory finally materialized.
I began to wind myself up tighter and tighter into an emotional frenzy over tweeting.
Looking up at the ceiling, I told myself to just let it go and give it to God.
This was not an important issue.
As I started to relax, and only as I started to relax, did it occur to me that probably the reason why my tweets were picked last week was because it was the first week I had used the #nsfootball hashtag required to be considered for the contest.
Mentally, I slapped myself on the forehead and said “Duh!” to myself.
This whole thing made me think…how many times in our everyday lives do we live out this kind of scenario? Of course, it’s not usually going to be about tweeting high school football, but the premise remains the same; we are constantly tweeting self-messages to ourselves all day, every day, and sometimes, even all night.
I’m willing to bet that for many of us, these self-tweets aren’t what you would consider positive and uplifting.
Perhaps instead of focusing on our own negative self-tweets, we should instead focus on some God-inspired messages to us taken directly from His word in 140 characters or less:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Now that’s what I call perspective.
Even though I’m frequently a sinful mess, wreaking havoc on my own self-esteem and sleep pattern, God loves me in spite of me. In fact, He loves me so much that He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to cover my deep inadequacies and inherent flaws.
The ‘I’ in the middle of sin—well, I think that is definitely referring to me.
The knowledge that I’m a top high school football tweeter doesn’t really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. Who knows why I was picked, and honestly, who really cares why? In my opinion, it’s a much bigger deal that I’m a child of God. One of the most awesome things about being a child of God is the fact that I won’t be staying up all night trying to figure out why He picked me. Instead, when I focus on the truth that He has chosen me and He does love me, the only thing I will be doing at night is resting well in the tender peace only He provides.
If you’re tweeting negative self- messages to yourself, I want to encourage you to give it up to God just like I did in this instance. Whatever your situation is, no matter how unworthy or unlovable you may feel at times, I promise you that you are far more precious to Him than you can imagine in even your wildest dreams.
Let Him come into your heart and heal your hurts.
Let Him tweet you messages from His word about what you are really worth in His eyes.
Let Him bring you the peace and grace and mercy you have been looking for all your life but never been able to find.
Let Him love you.
“May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is” (Ephesians 3:17, 18).