How Facebook Made Me a Secret Admirer

Do you remember the middle school concept?

When someone left notes in our friend’s locker signed “your secret admirer,” there were usually lines about wanting to know her more or how great she was. We would all embark on a quest to discover the identity of her secret admirer. It was somewhere between inspiringly sweet and super awkward; some unknown person out there really appreciated her.

That’s where I’m at. Somewhere between inspiringly sweet and super awkward.

My Facebook feed features friends, acquaintances, and followers. Over time, I learn about these virtual connections’ lives and character. I promise I don’t go stalking- this stuff shows up on my timeline!

There’s the girl I barely knew, whose friends were friends of my friends. She took a big leap of faith years ago. I am regularly encouraged watching God honor her choice as the story slowly unfolds on my Facebook timeline.

Or there’s the fellow student I loosely associated with as friends overlapped, who I never thought much about at the time. I regularly wish we were closer because as her story slowly unfolds on my Facebook timeline, I so identify with and admire her approach to the challenges and joys she faces.

When I stumble across posts by another friend of a friend I met twice for a few minutes, I sometimes want to leave comments as if we’re good friends ourselves. We’re not. I just love her sweet personality and how she radiates Christ’s love online through everyday life stuff.

I could keep going.

My list of “admireds” is long.

It makes me wonder, on my bravest days, if I should drop a note in their virtual box. If I should walk through the awkward of flattering-creepy and let these people know that the Lord uses their ordinary, everyday Facebook sharing to encourage my heart.

I haven’t decided yet.

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God..png

But I’ll leave this here for all of us admirers and admireds:

When you share online, people notice. Maybe not the people you expect. Maybe without ever commenting or liking. But people notice how you’re living your life. When you’re living it for Him, it’s so obvious. I am awed by our Lord through much of what people share about Him in their daily lives. It’s so powerful…

…Enough to make this shy, awkward, introvert a secret admirer who “thanks the Lord every time I think of you,” courtesy of my Facebook feed.

Facebook might not seem like a place for testimony, but let me tell you, I see God using it for His glory everyday. 

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Ecnouragement, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

I’d love for you to guest post on First and Second! Especially for an upcoming series…more here.

0 Replies to “How Facebook Made Me a Secret Admirer

  1. What a sweet perspective and heart “you” have, Bethany! You must have some amazing and godly friends on FB! Thanks for challenging us all to think about these connections we have and how we can encourage each other with the way we live our lives.

  2. So good to hear something sweet and positive about FB. I have a love/hate relationship with social media — loving the connections and the virtual friendships but feeling sort of . . . tethered, I guess. Maybe I’m just too obsessed with timely responses and need to breathe. Anyway, Bethany, this was a wonderful post. Thank you.

    1. Ha, Michele- The original draft opened with my love/hate relationship with Facebook but it was cut because that was a topic for another time for me! I can also feel tethered by it and sometimes struggle with self-discipline in not giving away too much time there. Hope you can maintain breathing as you use it!! Thanks for your encouragement : )

  3. This is so thoughtful. I often find myself in the comparison trap on FB, but I like your spin on it. I will start looking for ways to admire and bless rather than compare.
    Also I like your idea for the guest post directory…I will plan to do that! Please send me a reminder closer to March 15, OK? Thanks for the opportunity, and blessings to you!

    1. I was off FB for a while because of the comparison trap, Sarah, but ended up finding there are different ways to approach it : ) Hope this helps you! And I will do my best to email you a reminder- glad to have you join in!!

  4. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! You make me feel “not-quite-so-stalkerish” haha! I come across friends of friends, and wonder “why can’t I live closer to this gal, we’d be such awesome friends. We could go hang out at Starbucks, or our kids could play in the backyard together while we chat about Jesus…” sigh. Oh weil. 😉

    1. Exactly!! If we’re stalkerish, we’re in it together Liz! Haha. I pray the Lord blesses you with awesome online and in person friends- all friends are precious : )

  5. This is lovely, Bethany. It’s both encouraging to think that God can use things like Facebook to impact people in ways we don’t realise, and challenging to think about what we are putting out there and what that is saying.

    1. Thanks, Lesley! Facebook is like a showcase of our lives- we are naturally intentional about what’s put on there, so I pray this helps me and others to set that intention on testifying to who the Lord is and glorifying Him with what I choose to share about my life!

  6. First: I love that you have a news feed filled with posts of people that are glorifying Jesus in their daily lives. That is so wonderful Bethany and is a blessing in and of itself. (I do not have such a newsfeed, my feed is filled with mostly posts on look at me, look at me and here’s what I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner today lol) And Second: (see what I did there? lol) I love that you are so thankful for these people and they inspire you. As a fellow introvert, I tell you this: send them a little note of thanks. Who knows? In turn, God may use you to encourage someone in the middle of their day. So powerful lady. Love your perspective here!

    1. You’re hilarious (1st and 2nd, hahaha!)

      Just to be clear, haha, my news feed is not entirely full of godly people or Bible verses! I just saved that part for a future post someday. What makes these people I admire so much stand out is how they use their Facebook (and spend their lives!) so differently from most. Their intention and focus evidences who is foremost in their lives, and it gets my attention!

      Second…I might : ) I’ll let you know how it goes on a really brave day!

  7. Bethany, I’m not even on Facebook, but what you wrote here really touched my heart! I understand your hesitation to leave comments there (again, I’m not even there at all), but I can’t help but think whatever you might write would only ever come across as kind and encouraging (not creepy stalker flattery). You could always try it once (on a really brave day) and see what happens. Or not. 🙂

  8. Bethany, I loved this. It is so true. I’ve admired people and not said so. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It encourages us to be open when we aren’t sure anyone cares.

  9. I always felt nervous to leave comments, too, but then a guy I went to high school with (whom I can’t actually remember from high school AT ALL) started leaving all sorts of encouraging messages on my posts. I still have no clue who this guy is (from back then), but he has become known as the “official bright spot in our days” from pretty much everyone in my class who is friends with him online. Once I realized how much this guy’s responses were encouraging so many others, I started trying to make myself leave a message whenever I’m moved and reading someone’s post – even if I just barely know them myself. I’ve been amazed at what a difference it has made, both to others and myself! Thanks for the great post!

    1. Wow, what an awesome testimony Lisa! That so emboldens me. Thank you for sharing this affirmation and encouragement to be brave in connecting with others : )

  10. Great thoughts! I find the same thing to be true. Like you, I’m never sure whether or not to comments when I don’t really know them or not well, at least. Perhaps we should. Blessings!

  11. I’m often encouraged by other people’s stories on FB too. (And sometimes discouraged, just keeping it real.) I’m guessing leaving a sweet note would always be welcomed!

    1. Oh yes- discouraged too, sometimes! I’ve been cynical towards social media often so having my perspective shifted to the ways the Lord uses it to encourage was a big change for me, haha. Thanks for your thoughts!

  12. I think this is precisely the reason we need to be so careful with what we post on fb. When we give into the temptation to just “speak my mind” or post a caustic retort, then our poor testimony goes further than we think. So we need to realize just what you realized… that people who never post a comment or hit the “like” button are watching and reading and getting impressions about what it means to be a follower of Christ. When we put that filter over what we post, it should radically change what we say and do online. thanks for this “other side of the story” perspective.

  13. Hey Bethany,
    One of my favorite things about Facebook and social media, is that it has allowed me to see another side to others I may have missed because of my own busyness or even insecurities that may have clouded my vision in the past. I also get the opportunity to witness the great story of redemption God has written! I love leaving a little bit of love to say, “I see you, And you matter!”
    Blessings and smiles,

  14. Hey Bethany,
    I loved meeting you at LIT and loved this post. Sometimes, Facebook brings out a cynical side to me, so I love being encouraged to look for the positive and look for God in others! There is so much good to it! Blessings to you as you keep writing and sharing the overflow of your heart!
    In Christ,
    Katie Taylor

    1. Katie! I’m so glad we met too : ) Thankful for keeping in touch and finding your writing too!! Yeah- Facebook can make me cynical too, but the Lord got my attention about this side of it, and this perspective has so encouraged me! Blessings in Him!

  15. I hadn’t thought about the possibility of Facebook being a testimony of our walk with Christ before your post, thank you. So often we hear the criticisms against Facebook and the false images it creates, how encouraging that perhaps in our attempts at authenticity with Christ there is also a testimony to Him!

    1. I hadn’t until God got my attention on this matter, either. Realizing lately that even in “the false images” we can see past and glimpse the truth of what’s going on in people’s lives. Facebook is a new, different opportunity to testify to Him and love on others!

  16. This is such a good way to view Facebook! May we leave “light” in a space that may be filled with gloom. 🙂 BTW…you may comment on anything of mine, anytime…;)

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