21 Day Fast: Letting go of Instagram for 7 days

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photos by Brittany Wood

The irony that we’re only 29 days into the new year and I feel as though my word of the year is challenging me in so many aspects of my life is not lost on me.  Where once fear and anxiety would rein, rather than giving voice to it, I’m working on giving it to Jesus. It sounds so easy, until you find yourself up against something that you would normally want to run from. I’m a work in progress, but I’m determined to be Fearless this year! Two weeks ago our church began a 21 day fast. It was our first week back from Franklin, TN, and our pastor was talking about the fast starting and giving us tools for fighting temptation in the midst of it.

I sat in the back of the church and I remember thinking, good for all those people who are fasting for 21 days. In that moment I remember thinking that there was nothing that I wanted to give up. If you can figure out what’s wrong with that sentence, then we can all giggle about it together. That afternoon on my Facebook feed it seemed as though all the church goer’s I knew were participating in the 21 day fast, and like doing the whole 30 in January, I decided that I would fast the fast.

I found myself rebelling against the fasting trend for January, much like I roll my eyes at all those who start the Whole 30 on January 1. Week two of church, I sat in church listening, but distracted. I might’ve even scrolled through my Instagram feed looking for photo of myself and a friend of mine whose birthday was that day. I wanted to make sure I got a ‘happy birthday’ up on my Instagram stories and I was struggling to find the photo I was looking for.

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Last week, I found myself caught up in the Instagram algorithm hate debate. What happened to just being able to see all the pretty photos of everyone I followed? That’s why I follow who I want, right? Who is Instagram to dictate whose feed from that list they feel I should look at?! My numbers were down, I felt frustrated. I’m sure none of you have felt this way at all since all the changes happened. A once embraced social media channel was becoming the focal point of all my frustrations. Do you know how hard it is to make sure I have a pretty photo, filled with perfection and no flaws everyday? After all, if you don’t post, you fall down the Instagram black hole.

Yesterday, during church, our associate pastor was talking about the final 7 days of the 21 day fast. She was talking about how being distracted by “idols” in our life can deter us from the plan God has for us. Then she challenged those of us who aren’t fasting to be a part of the last 7 days. The second she said that I felt the Lord so strongly ask me to give up Instagram for the week. Blerg! I fought with him all day on it, worried that my numbers would drop, I would get lost in the algorithm, I would be forgotten. God reminded me that I could choose to stay on Instagram this week and he could still do all those things, or I could follow his lead, let it go for a week and see all that he could do to bless my life in return.

So, FEARLESS friends, I’m walking out this week, giving up something I love, for someone I love more and I want to open my arms to all that He wants to say to me and do in my life. If you’re looking for me, I’ll still be posting on the blog and you can find me on Facebook. If you follow me on IG, see you in a week!

xo, Alissa