Don’t unfollow me.
Don’t unfriend me.
Don’t unlike me.
Promise? Before I go on, I’m going to need you to swear on your favorite pair of black leggings that you will hear me out on this one before you get all judge-y and start waving around that pointer finger like it’s going out of style and just completely dumping my inbox with all kinds of hate mail.
I’m about to bring up some deeply controversial things in the next few paragraphs. I know they are probably going to earn me a few major enemies, some real foes, but truth-telling isn’t about being popular. Truth-telling isn’t about being well-received. Truth-telling isn’t about staying clear of the mess.
So I’m going for it. I’m cannon-balling right on into the mud and then I’m going to waller around in it a bit. Deep breath, here it goes:
I don’t watch “This is Us.”
I tried, I really did. I mean…everybody loves that show. Critics, viewers, Emmy award people. Even my virtual best friend, Jen Hatmaker, loves that show. (No, we don’t agree on everything. And no, she doesn’t exactly know that we are best friends. She doesn’t even know who I am, even though I wrote her a really nice, long Facebook message that one time. But that’s a totally moot point because I know her. I get her. And in my head, we are Monica and Rachel, we are those two emoji girls wearing leotards and cat ear things doing the can-can.)
Yes, I know – the characters are so real and the plot is so thick and it makes you cry happy tears every week. I know the relationships feel like real life and the emotions are so raw and it makes you feel all the things. I know there’s no cussing, no sex, no politically-driven agenda. And even though Mandy Moore hasn’t shined that brightly since the days of her hit song “Candy,” it just wasn’t healthy for my soul. None of it. Jack Pearson wasn’t healthy for my marriage.
So I turned it off.
Every time I watched an episode, I’d find myself wishing my husband was a little more romantic. Every time I watched an episode, I’d find myself hoping my husband would whisper all the pretty things in my ear. Every time I watched an episode, I’d find myself waiting for my husband to give me some over-the-top, ridiculously-grand, tragically-romantic moon necklace.
So I turned it off.
1. Because Jack Pearson isn’t real.
2. My husband isn’t anything like JP and I don’t want him to be.
3. My husband deserves better.
I did the same thing years ago to “Fixer Upper.” Cue the gasps and OMG’s and “no you didn’t’s.” Yup, I sure as heck did. Buh-bye Chip and Jojo. You seem lovely, but my house is never ever ever going to look like yours. Like ever. Our kitchen table is a hand-me-down from my parent’s divorce. Our cabinets are a half-hearted job I did myself on a wild whim one Wednesday night after scrounging around on Pinterest, and our sofa is a giant red sectional I purchased off of a local trading post group on Facebook, and is at least 5x too big for the space it’s in.
Every time I watched an episode, I’d find myself disgusted with every cheap, 50% off Hobby Lobby decoration on my wall. Every time I watched an episode, I’d send my husband to Lowe’s with a list as big as Waco that included things like white paint, shiplap, and old, beaten farm wood. Every time I watched an episode, I’d find myself unhappy, unappreciative, discontent. I didn’t want my stupid house. I wanted their house.
So I turned it off.
I didn’t do it because these were un-Godly things. I didn’t do it because these were un-holy things. I didn’t do it because these were unclean things.
I did it because they were triggers for me to be jealous. They were triggers for me to be negative. They were triggers for me to be all kinds of nasty ugly, so they had to go.
See you again, never.
It’s not you. It’s me. Truly.
Sometimes it’s a television show. Sometimes it’s an overly-busy schedule. Sometimes it’s a need to answer every single text message. Sometimes it’s a friendship. Sometimes it’s RSVP-ing “yes” to another party. Sometimes it’s Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat. And sometimes it’s volunteering to make vanilla cupcakes for 75,000 kids at my son’s school.
These are good things. They really are. And maybe one day, they won’t cause me to fall short. Maybe one day, they won’t tempt me to succumb. Maybe one day, I’ll be strong enough and solid enough to tackle them head-on, but for today, they are a stumbling block.
And most importantly, these are my things. Again, let me reiterate because I can see that it’s already being misconstrued in the comments of this post: THESE ARE MY THINGS. I know they are wildly unpopular things to struggle with. I get that. I don’t expect them to be your things. But if you examined your heart, I imagine there are some other good things that tie you up as well, some other good things that are holding you back from all that God has for you. Some other good things that make your heart a little darker than it ought to be.
Please, please keep watching “This is Us” and “Fixer Upper.” Seriously, keep watching and DVR’ing and loving. But this is a challenge for you to find the holes in your life where you are allowing Satan to sneak in and steal your joy.
Our hearts are the well-springs of our entire existence. Our hearts are the source of everything we say, everything we do, everything we believe. Our hearts are the seeds from which our entire lives blossom. Our hearts are the soil that determines what type of plant we will grow: flowers or weeds?
Our hearts are worth fighting for. Our hearts are worth putting up our shields and protecting and sheltering. Our hearts are worth guarding, even from good things.
Don’t be afraid to be the girl who says “no,” sometimes your soul depends on it.
This post originally appeared at In & Out Beauty by Amy Weatherly.
I love red lipstick, graphic tees, and Diet Dr. Pepper a little more than I probably should. Most days you can find me lounging in sweatpants, running kids from one place to the other like a crazy person. My family is my home and my passion is helping women find courage, confidence, and the deep-rooted knowledge that their life has a deep and significant purpose. Make sure to come follow me on Facebook.