When I jumped off social media, things changed. First, I started dreaming again. On the back porch, journal in hand, new ideas and thoughts flooded my mind. I wasn’t copying, comparing or envying the lives of others. Something shifted deep in my spirit.

Unconcerned about what others might think, I logged reflections, took note of new dreams that began to emerge. Second, I was sleeping better than ever. My full night’s sleep routine kicked back in almost immediately. I stopped scrolling through my social media apps before bed, so my body and brain were better prepared for sleep. If I woke for a moment in the middle of the night, I refrained from checking my phone, knowing it might keep me awake.

Third, I pursued learning again. Every choice to peruse social media was a choice not to do something productive with my time, and in that extra time garnered by fasting from it, I read more books, and listened to more podcasts and talks. Years of consuming the media, opinions and experiences of others had created a deficit. Now, without all those inputs, my brain was hungry for growth.

Far too many of us race through life full throttle from photo to photo, achievement to achievement. No wonder we are stressed!

A month into this experiment, this rest from social media, I was driving home at sunset through the rolling hills of Franklin, Tennessee, where we had moved from New York. My eyes welled up at the beauty. Normally, I would have pulled over to the side of the road and angled for the perfect shot to share on Instagram. Even before I reached for my phone, I realized I didn’t have it with me—and I didn’t care.

I drove on, reflecting on this change of heart, mind and soul for a few more minutes. That’s when God reminded me of the truth I needed to hear: You are worthy to receive something beautiful, and you don’t have to share it. That’s when I pulled over to the side of that country road. I stared across the amber sky and started to ponder, Why do I feel so compelled to share everything? Whose validation am I seeking?

Somewhere along the way, I’d decided that anything I did just for me felt indulgent, and I didn’t believe I was worthy of indulgence. What began as a break from the constant churn of social media became a fundamental lesson in worthiness. I came to see that my worth is not found in approval “out there.” It is found in the loving gifts God gives to me, in the intimate invitation of a sunset.

Far too many of us race through life full throttle from photo to photo, achievement to achievement. No wonder we are anxious and stressed!

Resting from technology slows us down, makes space for us to examine our blind spots and gives us greater capacity to be present to the moment right in front of us.

At least, it did for me.