This blogging thing? It’s given me something I never dreamed of. I tend to be kind of old-fashioned progressive. You know the type, I realize that cursive is becoming obsolete, but I grieve it’s death, kicking and screaming the whole way…bordering on denial.
As a regular scoffer of online relationships, I never dreamed that I would make REAL, lasting friendships in the blogosphere. I called them “virtual” friendships. And the “virtual” Free Dictionary defines this word: Existing in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination.
But these friendships have moved beyond imagination, and to reality. Comments have led to e-mails, e-mails to phone calls and now I even have a few meet-ups and visits on my agenda with these evermore becoming “Real” friends. They have encouraged my writing, picked me up when I was down, called just to chat, checked on me when I announced that my husband lost his job…and one of them even offered to help financially so that my children could receive Christmas presents. Though it wasn’t necessary in the physical, the offer was essential to the healing of my worried mind, assuring me that all would be well.
How I have loved getting to know these dear hearts. Each one is so different. Adela was the first to contact me. She sent me an unexpected e-mail declaring, “Let’s be blogging BFF’s.” Her wonderful blog Once A Little Girl never fails to fill me with wonder as she remembers things from her childhood in the voice of her younger self.
Jennifer Ferguson’s sweet spirit reaches through the screen to give you a warm embrace. Shortly after arriving on the blogging scene she invited me to be a part of Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, a blogging community sharing blog links on Tuesdays. Our friendship has grown like a rising loaf of yeasty bread…Yum (Can you tell I’m fasting bread?)
I started reading and commenting on Renee’s blog Lessons From Teacher’s and Twits and stalked her like a rock star. Her posts were filled with wittiness and humor and occasionally a little heartbreak. It wasn’t until I wrote a post about quitting blogging that I realized that I was even a blip on her radar. She held up my arms as in the story of Moses, and stirred up the blogging community to do the same when I considered a permanent break from blogging.
And then there’s sweet Emily. Emily who is in every way an artist, who feels every emotion deeply and dishes out compassion and gooey love straight from the heart of Christ. Her paintings and her prose are full of the pain of beauty found in heartbreak; the love that binds together a man and woman as well as the product of their love; and the joy of life walking with Him. What can I say about her other than that to know her is to love her?
And there are others, too many of you to mention. But know that you are all an unexpected treasures to me.
I recently had a conversation with my son about how surprised I was at the sincerity and depth of friendship I had been experiencing through this blogging experiment. He chastised my old soul with the wisdom that often defies his eighteen years. “What’s the difference between blogging friends and pen pals? Would you say that a pen pal wasn’t a “real” friend?” So there you have it. Wisdom from an eighteen year old boy, living in a 21st century world, redefining the word “friend”.
Sharing with my good friend Michelle:
and budding friendship with L. L. Barkat:
and I have shared 4 people I am thankful for with Ann:
55 thoughts on “Friends in Cyber Places”
I am traveling next fall to Europe where I plan to “meet-up” with several virtual friends. There are a couple that live nearby that I will be meeting soon as well. In some ways, virtual friends get to know what you are thinking better than many acquaintances since we so often reveal in writing what we may not in conversation.
Wow! Lucky you! That’s true about virtual friends. Sometimes I’m willing to be more vulnerable with a bloggy friend than with a face-to-face friend…
I thought a blog was a great writing exercise, and was pleasantly surprised to have made friends through the process. Best thing I’ve ever done!
me too! me too!
So true- I love my penpals online and have met so many people online that I wouldn’t have a chance to visit- but it is so great to meet up with them in “real life” !
I am excited to see what God has in store for all of this!
I love the pen pale/blogger friend comparison. It’s so true. I’ve made great friends in cyber space. I couldn’t survive in the publishing industry without them.
I know, out of the mouths of babes, right?
Funny…I wrote a post today about quitting blogging…for a week. It was tough. 🙂 I love my cyber friends. They are very real. Thanks for affirming that today.
I saw that, I’ll have to head over to your place now. I know how if feels to wonder if anyone is listening, and then I know how it feels to know that they are and have the Lord draw you back anyway. I would miss far too many people, should I have to give up blogging…
You just keep bowling me over with your kindness and your grace. You are perfectly lovely in every way. I am grateful for your friendship beyond words.
I credit your sweetness and hospitality to one of the reasons I’m still blogging today. I owe you much, friend. Hoping to see you soon.
I started out as just an exercise, too. Never dreamed that people would actually read and comment. But then I discovered community–real community. And FTF relationships. And I think it’s also helped me get to know folks that I might not have given a second look in “real life.” That’s a lesson in itself.
Great post, my friend.
Thank you Sandra! Your blogs is one of the first I stumbled upon…and I am richer for it.
Oh, how this post resonates with me. I began this “blogging thing” never imagining God would bless me with such amazing friendships. I connect with someone through their writing, comment, reply, comment again (beginning a conversation), meet IRL, if close enough or connect at a mutual destination such as Relevant. The depth of those relationships grows because we have to INTENTIONALly seek each other, invest, respond and share.
Thank you for sharing YOUR story! I connect to it:)))
Thank you for sharing yours, here. I’m excited to see what God has in store for all of us.
I’m still trying to make sense of these new relationships. They are real, aren’t they? I’ve gotten to know a few of my bloggy friends in real life, and now some of my bloggy friends and my friends in real life are becoming friends with one another. So very strange. I do think something big is happening, and I think it has to do with God gathering His people to advance His kingdom. Sometimes I think of it as God pealing back the curtain so we can see just how many of his people He has doing His work. But that’s just me.
What a lovely thing bloggy friends meeting old friends. It reminds me of the old Girl Scout song: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.
I am on a little break…obviously not a complete one because I am commenting today…Just wanted God to speak to me during this break…I wrote about it too…’but this post is encouraging to me…I will see where God leads me…
Blessing to you…
…and to you dear Roseann. Don’t break for too long. 😀
Wow! How amazing at how virtual becomes reality. People are finding a lot of people who over a decade ago they would’ve never knew existed. I say, don’t go against the tide, go with the tide and enjoy the waves. Thus, times change and we should not resist.
This is one way we can stay relevant in a changing world, isn’t it?
love this. and so glad i met you through this here world. keep keeping on!!!
Steph, Oh how glad I am to have met you as well!
I love the comparison between blogging buddies and pen pals. 30 years out, I am in contact in friendship with my pen pal from growing up. We lost touch somewhere in the midst of the college years and reconnected with the technology of today. I really didn’t think of these ladies that I am getting to know, like you, through their writings largely in that way. I have been respecting everyone and loving watching them walk in obedience to Him. I am grateful that He is connecting me with the larger church…His church…but I haven’t stopped to wonder how I might relate to these same precious sisters in Christ in another 10 year, or 20, or 30 if He grants that. Thanks, Kim!
You’re welcome Brooke..it’s something to think about isn’t it?
When I first started blogging, I dismissed the relationships I made online. I mean, I knew these people online, but they weren’t “real” friends. So glad my attitude has changed as my online friends have developed into more than “Great Post!”.
Beautiful writing, friend.
Amy! I’m so glad to see you here! You are definitely one of the people I’m glad to have met. Thank you for visiting…
I have been utterly amazed to discover the value of on-line friendships!
Like many, I started a blog, because all the experts said that was a required step for book sales.
Six months later, I still haven’t made much headway on the book sales. However, in the mean time I have discovered a wealth of encouraging fellow bloggers!
Now I’m starting to wonder if, in God’s planning, the book may have been more of a stepping stone to push me out into the blogosphere…???
Wow! Now there’s a thought. I’d love to embrace it because it could mean that I wouldn’t have to finish the book I’m writing… :}
I agree with you completely – what a unexpected blessing all these online friends have become and now the prayer chain at Jen’s site – seeing what people are going through both breaks the heart yet unites us across the internet. I do know I can be honest and more open in my writing when I really ‘know” some of you like I do. Yet thinking about it now, it IS sort of sad – I think I am more honest with my virtual friends than many of my physical friends. mmm, I will have to ponder that for a while. See you got me thinking! HA
That statement got me thinking too…
What a beautiful post – I can relate to going from skeptical about on-line friendships to being really grateful for them. It sounds like you’ve really made some beautiful connections. It really is incredible how we can connect, reach out, encourage and nurture each other over the interwebs!
It is amazing how times change, and relationships along with them. I guess I shouldn’t have judged cyber relationships before I tried on the moccasins, so to speak.
I think old-fashioned progressive would aptly define me as well. However, I have been utterly filled with the immeasurable joy shared in this community. I feel grateful to have a seat at the table. Thanks for stopping by my place, kd.
Thank you Joan! It’s been fun having everyone share stories about their blogging friendships.
Darling KD! You were never a blip, my darling! You are so wonderful. And you need to know that. You must know! Look how many people want to read your words. You are so gracious and kind.
I don’t always comment (stoooopid iPhone makes it hard), but I read along.
I can’t wait for your post to go live at my place on Friday. It feels like forever ago that you wrote it! 😉
I’m excited as well! It does seem like a long time ago. You are always so encouraging, I appreciate your kindheartedness.
Your son and I must have received the same memo because I was thinking about how my blogging friends are like the pen pals of old…Really : ) How wonderful that you have new friends online…I feel like I am beginning to do the same and it is a blessing.
Isn’t it fun when your children can give you wisdom?
Beautiful. I’ve made beautiful friendships through my blog, never once expecting that I would. It’s like the “over the fence” friends of my mothers.
I’m glad you enjoyed this! I hope to become one of your “over the fence” friends!
Just a lovely post, and I have been overwhelmingly grateful to make so many real friends via the virtual world as a result of writing and blogging.
Wow! I’m so honored to have you visit! I love your Create Your Own Superhero contest. How fun! I hope to have the tie to play!
Truly never thought of it that way. So true. It’s a quilting bee society! Come join us at Scribbling Spiritual Sand Monday – Wednesday 10 am. Check out this weekn’s prompt at:
wolfsrosebud.wordpress Have a great day.
Thanks for stopping by! I love the quilting bee analogy!
I am nodding my head over this post. I never thought you could experience real community on a blog but I was wrong. This adventure I started just a few months ago has been a gift in relationships with people I didn’t even know existed until I started. So glad your heart is full!
My heart is full. I love your writing, and I’m looking forward to get to know you!
I am wondering what the new dictionaries will have to say about this word: virtual. You gals exist more than in my mind–you are in my heart. I have found so many sweet, kindred spirits in the blogworld. Just like the ones you mention here.
I’m so glad you’re just a richly blessed as I am! You are all pearls of great price. I treasure you.
It’s true! I never imagined the richness of the opportunities to talk to interesting people through blogging. I never imagined anyone outside of my own friends and family reading my blog at all. Yet here we are, whole continents apart, enjoying each others’ reflections….and even being lucky enough to meet some of the people we ‘talk’ to sometimes. Glad to have ‘met’ you now!
I am glad to have “met” you as well, Margaret! And the opportunities continue on!
I’ve made a number of wonderful friendships and even met some of my virtual friends in real life/time… What a gift! 😉
Friends are always a gift no matter how they appear.
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