Last February, I almost got to meet one of my very first bloggy friends. We were both scheduled to be in Nashville – for two different conferences – the same weekend in February.
It didn’t work out.
Then, this February, the same thing happened. We were both in town (neither one of us lives in Nashville, by the way), but again, we weren’t able to connect.
And just last month, I visited Nashville with my parents. I e-mailed another blog friend who lives there as soon as I found out about the trip and asked if we could hang out while I was there. She said, “Sure!”
Can you guess what happened?
Or, more accurately, what didn’t happen?
[Seriously, what is up with Nashville and me?]
I was so disappointed each time I was unable to see my friends. That’s the thing about becoming friends with people you meet online: they probably don’t live in your town.
And while online friendships can be meaningful and genuine, there’s just something special about seeing someone in person and hugging her neck.
So last week, when I heard that my friend Alece – who normally lives in Africa – would be visiting my friend Sara – who can’t leave her house for health reasons – just five hours from my house, I didn’t hesitate.
I e-mailed them and invited myself up!
Because they’re both sweet girls, they welcomed me with open arms. Literally. After I drove for four and a half hours without taking a bathroom break or anything, they both gave me the best hugs.
We probably would have hugged more if I hadn’t been in desperate need of a bathroom by then!
People who’ve never connected online might find that strange, I suppose. Hugging people you’ve never met. Even driving several hours to see people you’ve never met! But there’s just something special about blog friends and, I think, especially blog friends who are share your faith.
In the time we’ve known each other, we’ve shared our hearts and though our circumstances and experiences are vastly different, our faith makes us the same in so many ways that really matter.
So when we meet in person, there’s no awkward uncertainty. There’s no wondering if she’ll like me or what should I say. There’s just immediate acceptance and knowing and love. And picking up in the middle of a conversation like we’ve known each other for years.
Because we have.
I was only able to stay with my friends for a few hours – less time than I spent in the car that day, actually. And, as it always does when you don’t want it to, the time flew by. But, oh, that time was so rich.
That afternoon, I laughed so hard and so loud. I learned things about my friends that they wouldn’t necessarily share online. From spaghettios and salsa to zebras and wildebeasts, from Alias and Chuck to small towns and hog farms – we covered a lot of territory in a short amount of time.
But what I treasure most – aside from the hugs – is just the chance to be with my sweet friends.
Getting involved in the blogging world has truly changed my life – teaching me, stretching me, giving me opportunities. And introducing me to some of the most amazing people I never would have met otherwise.
Has blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc. changed your life? Share in the comments how you’ve been blessed by meeting and/or keeping in touch with people online.Leave a Comment