It's Really Real

   "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend." Exodus 33:11 NIV

     In our fast-paced, mobile society, it seems like friendships would be almost  impossible to begin let alone nurture and develop into lasting relationships. And as for online friends.  Let's just say that everyone thinks the number of friends listed on one's Facebook page is just a collection of sorts.  How could anyone have real friendships with that many people is a valid, puzzling question?  
     Yet, I have found it to be true that you can have real face-to-face online friendships.  Just as in real life, your friendships will be selective.  The deeper, more caring relationships will develop between those people with whom you have similar ideals, beliefs, priorities, and interests.
     I know online friendship is possible because I met someone this spring who fits my idea of a friend like two puzzle pieces fit together. Her name is Jennifer. Some of you may remember her from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog project that was coordinated between The High Calling Blogs and Our Church Christian Web Trends.  That is how our friendship started.
     As she commented on the assignments and posted her articles, I followed her writings, drawn by the genuineness of her character that shone through.  I liked the carefree but kind personality I detected behind the words and thoughts she shared.  I could see that family was important to her from her photo and from how she structured her time around them.
     Jennifer and I began sharing more conversations on line.  We began to realize how much we had in common.  I could see her faith was an integral part of her life as she expressed herself through her posts. Her heartfelt compassion was reflected in her words about those suffering in difficult situations. Her gentleness was felt as she cared for her ailing daughter. And when I read her profile, I saw that she had been a professional writer, just as I had been.  But she heard the Lord's call to be home now raising and teaching her children through homeschooling.  I had only tried that for a couple of summer breaks with my guys and realized none of us would have survived any longer than that.
     I think the event that cemented our friendship was her daughter's illness.  There was a critical need there for prayer for her littlest one.  Surgery was imminent.  Many friends lifted her up in prayer.  And I was one of those blessed to guest post for her during that time.
     Jennifer and I chat through Facebook and Twitter.  (She's taking me into the technological age.)  She has made me aware of the 140-day prayer project for our country through Charles Stanley's ministry and helped me in numerous ways with my blogging.  We pray for each other and each others' family.  And we still visit each other frequently just to keep up on life.
     I treasure Jennifer's friendship.  And I would like you to meet her now.  So let's jump over to her place.

     Be sure to tell us about your online friendships, too.  Did you meet someone new online and what was your connection?

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