When a #hashtag changes everything.


Okay, so apparently I’m more than a little slow on the uptake. I’ve told you before that I have no idea what I’m doing here, trying to navigate this world of social media. Yet here I sit. Called not only to be here, but forced to figure it all out for myself.


I first tentatively stuck my baby toe into these waters about ten years ago with Facebook. As I first sat there trying to just figure things out, I quickly started getting friend requests from people in my past. Old friends, kids I had taught in Sunday School, distant relatives I hadn’t seen in years. It was crazy. And absolutely amazing at the same time.

Suddenly I loved this whole Facebook thing. Not only did it reconnect me to a world I didn’t even know that I missed, it also later got me through nursing school with an endless fount of distractions when I just couldn’t bear to stare at another flowchart.

Back in April I shared with you the backstory of how “Growing Nurse Debi” came to be (click the link to read now). Since then, though, with God’s unrelenting nudges to keep pressing forward, this little ministry continues to grow and expand. We are now very close to 600 followers across social media. This may be a drop in the bucket in today’s world, but to me, it’s huge. And absolutely dumbfounding, as well.

I’ve recently branched out into the Instagram world (@growingnursedebi). The artist in me loves the visual aspect of this site, but the writer in me has also experienced a huge epiphany here, as well:


Sorry. I mean #hashtags.

I know I’m about a decade late with this one, but wow. What power they hold. I’ve always just turned my nose up at their gross misuse of our classic pound sign. I never dreamed I would come to love them.

But I’ve found that they aren’t just ridiculous, they actually unite. They draw us together as fellow sojourners. And in today’s enormous, isolating world … they help us find each other. How unbelievably beautiful.

Mind. Blown. I truly had no idea.

So, what I’m getting at here is that, as I’ve been grudgingly led into this #hashtag world, I’m beginning to seriously respect their value. They’re an amazing tool that can help me to encourage … spread more beauty … point more people to hope. People who I hadn’t really thought of including before. And the responses I’m getting back have taught me one thing:

#Hashtagsmatter. They really do.

What they’ve conversely shown me, though, is that I’ve also needed to broaden my focus. Breakdown the walls of categories I tend to live and write within.

It really doesn’t matter if you have Lupus, cancer, diabetes, or some other ugly disease. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nurse, a teacher, a cashier, or a construction worker. Addiction, paranoia, depression, co-dependency … just name your struggle … it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t.

Because we’re all fighting the same battle.

We all need the same thing.

We need to find the beauty in our circumstances.

We need to find the strength to press on.

We need to know that this is not all there is.

It only gets better from here.

There’s hope after this broken world.

We need to know the healing and wholeness that awaits us in heaven. There’s no pain there, people. Can you believe it? No more tears. No suffering. Just joy. And the pureness of walking in eternal bliss.

But we have to trust Jesus to get us there. He holds the key to that pearly gate. The only key. Knowing this is what we all need. No matter what’s plaguing us. Actually, this is all we need. And I’m so thankful to have you here to tell you about it. And I’m especially thankful for whatever #hashtag God used to lead you here. Be encouraged, my friends. We’re all here together.

Thanks for growing with me. ❤

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:4-5)









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