Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Friends we have never met


Since you are reading this, you are online.  So you most likely know what I am talking about when I praise the many friends whom I have never met in person.  Women who are often as close as sisters.  Women who, through the years, have been a blessing of sane-ness in a time of upheaval.  Women who make me laugh and cry and feel so humbled at their friendships.

Tomorrow I will be writing the book review for my friend Sally Clarkson's new book.  The official launch team blog post.  It has me thinking of how important long distance online friendships can be.  While I have met Sally in person, most of our friendship has been through the tapping away of keys on a keyboard or the clicking of a mouse.

I have a dear to me blog friend whom I write almost every day... back and forth... just the stuff of everyday life.  But it helps make sense of my days and I believe it does the same for her.  I have close to me blog friends in states far away and when one of them decided not to buy another computer when hers crashed... she still keeps in touch through (gasp) the U. S. Mail.

I have longtime friendships with many of you.  Names which started out as a comment on the blog and became names that make me smile when I see them now.  Women who have blessed me greatly.

I was thinking recently, how different my life would have been if I didn't have friends I have never met in person.  For there are just a handful that I eventually have been able to actually meet, whether briefly or to enjoy a cup of coffee with.  Those friendships are just as real to me as my friend who lives in the same town.

This idea of friends that we have never met in person is not all that new.  In the great libraries of the world we have letters between such friends... sometimes taking weeks and weeks to cross a large ocean.  These libraries also contain letters of friends who met for a brief season of time but continued a lifetime of friendship through their writing back and forth.

Oh, we definitely need friends who live close to us.  People for whom we can call in the middle of the night in an emergency.  Friends who ask us to "come for coffee" when we need to chat and visa versa.  We need in person friends.

However, if anyone scoffs when you mention your dear friend for whom you have never met in person... they obviously have never had the blessing of an online friendship.  God blessed friendships.  God ordained friendships.  Not second best as a real friend... they are a real friend.

So here is a virtual hug to my virtual (but very real) friends.

18 comments:

Debbie said...

You are so right about how special our friends are. Be blessed!

Vee said...

Recently, I received an email from a new online friend. She shared things of such depth that I was initially shocked. As she explained later, she felt that she knew me as she had lurked for a few years before commenting. I understood it then. There's a freedom with my online friends that I do not feel with most real-life friends. It's almost as if there is a distilling going on and that only the essential elements of friendship come through. The superfluous like whether my nails are polished or my hair is beautifully coiffed (fat chance) just doesn't matter. And really, Brenda, do you care that I'm still in my Scotty dog nightgown at 1:30 in the afternoon? Ha! A happy day to you...

Anonymous said...

My best "everyday" friend is someone I have yet to meet, yet via email, US mail, and phone we have grown very close. It is the sharing of our hearts that made this happen after all. Regardless of whether we ever actually meet or not...we know we shall be neighbors in the next life eventually!! I have a very good friend locally too, but it has only been a couple of years for us and she is way busy, so our times are few in sharing...yet she too is a kindred spirit. We need all the friends we can have, however we find them!! Nice writeup, Brenda...
Elizabeth in WA

Heather said...

Brenda, some of my dearest friends have been online only. I am blessed to be part of a small yahoo group that has been together for about 15 years. I love those ladies dearly! We have prayed each other through many circumstances.

I am loving Sally and Sarah's new book! I am trying to savor it and not devour it! ;-)

Love, Heather

Rebecca said...

I couldn't agree more :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely post and truer words have never been spoken!! Big smile. Women need women ... blog friends, friends that now live at a distance, friends who live close ... we NEED each and every one! They are all precious. You are precious! Pam (SD)

Lee Ann said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog as well as being able to send cards and such.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

This was really sweet. I only read a few blogs, but your's is one I always look forward to each week. You always share lots of wisdom and good advice as well as books you're reading or reviewing and the simple, every day things that make up your life. I almost feel like I know you and wish we were neighbors! So, in a sense, I consider you a far-away friend, too. So thankful I found your blog!
Blessings,
Laura C. (WA)

Ann said...

What a nice way to look at our online interactions. Makes me feel more inclined to keep writing notes and forwarding stories and funnies to my friends that are far away. Just becuase we're not sitting side by side doesn't mean we can't share our lives.

Anonymous said...

I consider you a friend even though I only know you through your blog and will probably never meet you in this life but look forward to meeting you "over there". I don't know if those I comment on their blogs consider me a friend but I surely do consider them friends I haven't met in person yet. Some, like Vee, I don't have the technical "know-how" to comment on their blogs since it is set up different from yours (please don't change yours) or I would comment as I truly enjoyed Vee's comments and her blog. So she'll just have to get the message through you. Anyway, friend, I enjoyed this post and all of them. Really liked the one yesterday about being prepared for emergencies. Such good reminders and things to be aware of. Thank you and blessings, Sharon D.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

A lovely post. I have many online friends, and I think you are one....I'm also in two online book discussion groups and we exchange Christmas cards. I always laugh when one online friend in one of those groups tells me that her husband calls our exchange the "cards for Strangers program."

Deanna Rabe said...

You know I agree! I love my online friends! I've been so blessed by them, including you!

Elizabeth said...

So very true! On-line friends are wonderful and important in our lives!

Morning's Minion said...

Friendships maintained through blogging, emails and [yes!] hand-written letters, become even more special when life-style changes and locations keep us more 'at home.' Most of these friends will likely never meet in person but there is the sense that we could sit down with a pot of tea and get right to the heart of things--because we are not strangers.

Deb said...

Hi Brenda, I can really identify with this post because i love my online friends! There's one lady in CA who reads our blog and feels like she knows us like her real family....sends us Christmas gifts (and my daughter a wedding gift) too!

I'm sure you know the story of my online friend whom i had never met at one time but has read our blog for 8 years. She recently became my daughter's mother-in-law. Blogging definitely makes REAL friendships.

I "almost" was able to meet you when you came through VA one year, but alas, it didn't work out. Maybe one day we'll end up meeting in real life! i count you as an online friend, Brenda. Thanks for this post.

Senkyoushi said...

Thank you for this. I often feel guilty when I call someone a friend that I have never met. This post really resonated. Living overseas, a majority of my friends are online. I do have real friends in the states, but the communication is online. Actually, a lot of my socialization is online! HA!

Harvy Yee said...

Reading your blog entertains me and made my day. It's true, and thanks to technology that we are still virtually connected to our friends.

Glenda said...

Love your thoughts here, Brenda. And just had to pop in & say how glad I am to have 'met' you here & consider you a friend for sure, even though we haven't met in person! You have been an inspiration along the way!