Last weekend was filled with friends, Starbucks, worship, Starbucks, and a message that is still resonating within my spirit. I promise I'll write a recap, but since my notes went home with my traveling partner, it will have to wait until they make their way back to me.
Friday night, I looked around at the 13,000 plus women (and a few brave men) who joined me at the FedEx Forum in Memphis and I was overwhelmed. And then the worship began…. and my heart about burst right out of my chest! Amazing time. And the teaching… well, what can I say. God had a message for me and Beth Moore was delivering it.
Saturday was more of the same, but better — if that's even possible. The closing session on WHO Christ is from the book of Revelation made me want to jump on my chair and shout HALLELUJAH! I didn't because I figured falling out of the chair or just plain missing it on the jump up would result in the need for medical attention — and I didn't want to miss a moment of this teaching!
It was one more amazing time. I could write about the laughter, the tears, the hands raised high in worship, the pictures with friends, the hugs and the blessing of a Word from God, and I will, but today I want to talk about relationships.
As I think back over the past weekend, I think about women I've never laid eyes on before who are now in my heart; I think about relationships that were built and others built on. I think about the bonds of joy and fellowship that bind us one to another. I'm honored to call these women my friends and I'm humbled that the Lord allows me such a blessing in my life. These incredible bonds are not by mistake — they are God sent. We didn't just bump into each other by some cosmic accident — God put each of us in place and allowed us to connect. We are supposed to be doing this life thing together! How very cool is this God we serve.
Life is messy — relationships are messy. Online friendships have the ability to miss out on some of the mess–which is a GOOD thing. You don't know when I'm having a total meltdown unless I share it. You don't know when I look bad or sad or just out of sorts because the only view you have of me is a picture that I chose to show you. You probably won't hear from me if I'm cranky, depressed or have a lot going on. If I decide I don't want to engage, I just don't. I can pull away from the friends I see day to day, but it's a whole lot harder. If I miss Bible study someone will call to find out why I didn't show up. If I miss two or three times, I'll have some girlfriends knocking at my door. These women hold me accountable and I need that in my life.
As much as I ADORE my online friends, I KNOW I must have people to do the daily life ‘stuff' with. I need to be in Bible study with women — and while I have an online study, I also have an in-person study. I need women to walk through this life with me. I need to connect with women who are going to hold me accountable in my daily walk.
In some ways it's easier to be transparent with my online friends — I don't see y'all every week or twice a week. And it's also much easier to create the “me I want to be” for y'all. I want to be transparent, and I want to be truthful. I just want to be me — one mess of woman who would be nothing if not for the SAVING MERCY and GRACE of Jesus Christ.
I'm utterly amazed at the friends God has showered on my life — I headed to Memphis to join five friends and I left Memphis with another ten or so more. Right now my heart is so full it's about to burst right out of my chest!
I love this online friend world — I do! I just encourage everyone who loves this place to remember to keep up the other relationships. Do Bible study in your church or community. Connect with women in your body of fellowship or neighborhood. However you do it, just give it the Nike try — Just Do It! with a swoosh. God is doing some amazing things in this online world and I'm humbled to be a tee-ninsy tiny part of it. I want me to stay relationship healthy and I want all my online girls to do the same! God is calling up some warriors in this place. He is binding hearts and lives together. He is placing us in fellowship for His purpose and His good glory. I can imagine the enemy is putting his cross-hairs right over this group — stand strong sweet sisters. Let's commit to pray for one another, believe God for who we are, and know that we serve an Amazing God who loves us and has a plan for US!
Loving all y'all in the webby world!
How do you keep the balance between online friends and IRL (in real life) friends?