Monday, August 24, 2009

Friends ... Even Though We've Never Met

I know some of you may not understand this, and some of you will know all too well what I'm talkin about.

I have "imaginary" friends.

OK, before you get too excited, please understand, they are REAL people - flesh and blood. And they are REAL friends - the kind that have been there to pick me up when I'm down, support me through some rough stuff, encourage me when I need it, celebrate my victories with me, love me through it all and NEVER give up on me.

They are only "imaginary" in the sense that, for the most part, I have never met them. At least not face to face.

Let me explain ...

A few years ago my PBFF Beth Moore, along with her daughters Amanda and Melissa, started a little blog. They wanted to be able to encourage Christian women and to share a bit more of themselves with the women they love ... and they do love ALL women! And, I feel pretty safe in saying, they probably had NO earthly idea how far and wide the community they were creating would spread. OR how the word "community" could, and would, take on a whole new meaning.

One day Beth was writing a blog post and attempted to send a message to her "sistas in Christ". Spell check, however, corrected "sistas" to "siestas" and, as silly as it seems, that is the name that has stuck. We became the Siestas. Last August there was even a gathering of many of these women, aptly titled "The Siesta Fiesta" ... only I didn't get to go :(

But these women bloggers who frequented the LPM Blog (Beth's) had begun to frequent each others' blogs - and some (myself included) were even spurred on to start their OWN blogs. Through time we came to feel as if we knew each other - we had, after all, been looking into each other's lives for a while now. And, without even realizing that it was "strange", we actually started to become friends.

Almost a year ago one of these friends and I realized we lived somewhat close to each other so we decided to meet for lunch. And in one instant Teri went from being an imaginary friend to a REAL LIFE friend. She has truly become one of the closest friends I have. And because she had been to the siesta fiesta and had actually met some of my other imaginary friends, she became my link to them.

So, a few months later I received a surprise phone call from Fran - one of my all time favorite bloggers - who had gotten my number from Teri. And, let me tell you that Fran has seen me through more stuff than I can even begin to explain. She is truly a heart friend, in soooo many ways.

Eventually we connected on Facebook and Twitter too. These mediums have proven to only strengthen the bond shared by these women who love the Lord and who love on each other so very well. We have laughed together, prayed for each other, for each other's marriages, homes, children, families and lives. We have documented our mutual love for coffee, shopping, good food and Jesus. We have lamented our mutual disdain for bad TV, bad coffee, bad politics, a lack of realism and transparency in the world and, just this morning, chocolate covered bacon (YUCK!!). We have formed real, true friendships.

The kind of friendships that most people just do NOT understand. I mean, really, sharing personal information with someone over the internet?! It is unheard of ... unless you KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these friendships have been truly ordained by God.

I mean, really, there is no one else BUT God who could do this.

Only HE could take strangers spread across the country (and in some cases, even further!!) and weave together a blanket that could cover every hurt, shelter every weakness and unite scattered hearts.

And, really, only HE could put Teri and I in a car for nearly an hour, through the streets of Detroit, on a quest to the airport to see someone that neither of us had ever even met. Only HE could let a girl feel safe enough to give someone SHE had never met flight information so that they COULD come to the airport just to spend a couple hours lovin on each other!!!

But that is just what happened...

And, truly, meeting Robyn was just like pickin up with an old friend!!!

Because, after all, we have been friends for a while now ...

Just imaginary friends.

But REAL friends too.

Friends ... even though we've never met ...

... until last night.

Really ... do ya think Beth had ANY idea at all?!?!