I just this really great article at Relevant, and it really made me stop to think.

Now, I don’t have Instagram, but I have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and a blog. I use all of them every day. And I will admit that I often leave my computer defeated, feeling as if I don’t measure up. Like, my life isn’t as cute, or as romantic, or as wonderful as everyone else. And I start to wonder where I went wrong, or, even worse, I begin to question God.

The article hits it spot on; “I so easily fall prey to the seduction of other people’s partial truths and heavily filtered photos, making everything look amazing. And their amazing looking lives make me feel not amazing at all.”

Partial truths and heavily filtered experiences. That’s the nature of the Internet. Just today, I posted these photos of my engagement. They are everything that moment was; Sweet, surprising, beautiful, and so full of love.

But that’s what it was. A moment. A 10 minute span of time. What those photos have failed to show is the long 2.5 year relationship, and agonizing 6 month struggle that lead up to that moment. This is the reality.

Clay and I have been dating for over two years. We’ve known each other for three. Our relationship has been wonderful, but it’s also been really hard work. Back breaking at times. You don’t bring two people together with 20+ years of history, much of it difficult, without conflict.

The past 6 months alone for us were, quite frankly, awful. We’ve been long distance. We weren’t communicating well. There were lies we both believed about how the other felt and thought. We harbored hurt feelings, bitterness, anger, resentment. For three months, we had disagreements just about every time we talked. There were two months where I lay awake at night every night, worrying. There was a moment that I thought we might not make it.

But we did. It was hell, but we did. We struggled. We cried. We prayed. We sought counsel. We read the Word. We prayed, and prayed some more. We (ok, I) cried even more than I prayed. We WORKED. And it was hard, but it was so worth it, because it brought us to the moment when those photos were taken.

And that’s what it was. A moment, preceded by a billion others filled with blood, sweat, and lots of tears. So remember that, when you look at my photographs (or statuses, or Tweets, or blogs, or whatever) or anyone else’s.

One moment, proceeded by a billion other happy, sad, and mundane moments. That’s life.