Tremble In Fear and Do It Anyway

I once knew a man who belonged to a chat room called, “Young Millionaires”. He wasn’t even close to being a millionaire, but he was convinced that everyone else in the room was a millionaire and so he pretended to be one too. I quickly pointed out to him that they could just as easily be making up their financial picture as he was, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He believed them to be completely sincere despite his insincerity.

Last week, at the Write To Publish Conference, I had my first experience at a cyber-friendship made real life or (RL). I was really quite nervous about it.

“What if she doesn’t like the real me?” I wondered. “What if I’ve accidentally created a virtual me that doesn’t reflect the real me, like the guy in the young millionaire chat room?”

But the moment I saw her all fears were chased away. It was like I had known her my whole life…and I should have known all would be well, because Adela Crandell Durkee is a pretty amazing woman! She writes with wisdom and wit. She tells side-splittingly funny stories. She smiles under pressure, and everyone is stronger for her being in their presence.

She was the very first blogger to offer her friendship, writing to me an e-mail that stated, “Let’s be Best Blogging Girlfriends!” And that’s just what we are.

It occurs to me that our relationship with God can be much like a virtual friendship. We don’t see Him face to face, although we could get nervous about when we will someday.

When I do see Him in RL, will I stand before Him realizing how much of the time I was trying to be someone I am not? Will my insincerity drive me away from His presence?

I only know that I am told that I can stand in His presence boldly and that my faith pleases Him. It takes faith to stand in His presence. He sees right through our pretending. But when I do? He welcomes me the way my friend welcomed me, with open arms and loving acceptance, pleased by my reliance on His grace…the outpouring of grace which I gladly receive to tremble and go anyway.

On In Around button

…sharing a playdate with Laura:


Friends in Cyber Places

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: On In Around button

and with Lovely Laura:

and I have shared 4 people I am thankful for with Ann:

my beautiful friend Emily: