Oct 24, 2010

Things are not always what they seem...

This past summer when hubby and I took a weekend trip to Cincinnati, we stayed at a cozy bed and breakfast. We so prefer them to hotels and have met interesting people, both proprietors and other guests joining together for breakfast. On that particular occasion there was a group of five gals who were together, and as we talked, we discovered they had never met each other before in person, but were blogging friends! They were having so much fun and I'm sure it planted a seed in my mind...

However, in my eagerness to make friends in the blogosphere, I guess I moved too quickly at one point. There was someone I admired a lot who lived way too far away to even think of meeting in person and so I thought I would send her a small gift in the mail. We had read each other's blogs for many months and I know we were like-minded on many subjects that matter. So I emailed her and asked her to send me her home address. I even told her what I was sending, and if she felt more comfortable, I could mail it to her work address. No response. The second time I asked, I was really embarrassed and felt chastised. She said she didn't feel she knew me well enough to divulge her address. I dropped it. She since has dropped out of the blog world, though we occasionally comment to each other on another social network. I don't have any hard feelings.

Of all the many, many interesting and beautiful blogs I have read and of the many ladies (and in a very few cases, gentlemen) I have "met" in the almost two years I have been blogging, there has been only one instance where I had to break off a relationship with a fellow blogger. This particular woman has very strong opinions, which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing...but often when I would make a comment on her blog, she would would call it into question and use the forum to make an "example" of me or call into question my personal beliefs or opinions. One time she even went so far as to write a very long personal and judgmental comment on my blog's comment section that was directed to my own grown son! While she has a beautiful blog and is a talented writer, and I thought we had enough in common to share a blogging friendship, when I started losing sleep because of the anxiety this situation was causing me, I knew for my own emotional health I needed to cut it off, and I did...

While I determined to learn more about blogging etiquette, I also determined that I needed to "be myself" and see where it would lead me. I have been far too blessed by beautiful people in the blogosphere to give up because of a few negative experiences. The blog world has been such a gift to me, fulfilling not only a desire to write, but opening up the possibility of friendships and learning about the lives of so many and from so many different places around the country and even the world. I have been blessed, humored, encouraged, inspired, humbled, and awed by my blogger friends. I am so grateful for this media which doesn't cost me anything except my time, and I know I can "visit" people any time of the day or night.

Some bloggers are more up front than others about the area of the country where they live, and such is the case with Rebecca over at lifeandgodliness . One time when my hubby and I took a day trip to Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio, I realized we were not all that far from where Rebecca lives, and in a strange way I found myself thinking about her and feeling close to her the whole day long. As we continued to develop our blogger friendship, I knew that I wanted to meet her in person and not only that, I felt our hubbys would also have a lot of common ground.

The BIG DAY was this past Saturday! The four of us met at a great restaurant and so enjoyed each other's company. It was everything I had dreamed it could be and even more! Rebecca and I were absolutely giddy, not knowing where to start with our conversations, yet spending several hours without a break in them! I'm still flying pretty high from the whole experience. When we were about to part, Rebecca said that I was just like she had imagined. She asked me if she was what I had thought. I told her I thought she would be a lot taller...perhaps because in my mind I do see her as one who stands tall above many others in the blog world...with her kindness, her gentleness, her words of wisdom, her many interests, and desire to love and serve God in her everyday life. What I didn't get a chance to tell her was that I found she is much more outgoing and warm in her personality than I had imagined. For some reason I had the impression she was more reserved and my one fear in meeting up in person was that I would come across as too overwhelming and perhaps offend her. (Think Italian)

I am blessed beyond words at the joy I feel in my heart to have met in person a sweet blogger friend who I also know will be an eternal friend. The greatest thing that Rebecca and I and our hubbys share in common is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the designer of friendships in the first place.

Here we are after enjoying a delicious meal and great conversation at The Barn in Archbold, OH

My hubby Bob (left) and Rebecca's hubby Gary were great sports to share our time together!

"A friend loves at all times" ~ Proverbs 17:17


Rebecca said...

Jacquelyn, You didn't tell me about your earlier disappointing experience. I'm SO glad you didn't quit give up blogging/friendships. It WAS a wonderful day. In the middle of our busy lives, these unexpected graces rise up to strengthen and enrich us in ways we may never have anticipated. Thank you for taking/making the time. And thanks to our Good Husbands for their support. We are Very Blessed. Thanks be to GOD!

Jess said...

Oh, I am so tickled for both you and Rebecca! Praise GOD that He does prompt the blessings of our friendships...HE causes our paths to cross even in the Blogosphere! What a marvelous, almighty GOD!
You both look wonderful by the way.
I look forward to connecting with you gals in "real time" someday. =)
Blessings and ((HUGS))

Brenda said...

Jacquelyn, What a special day. Rebecca was my neighbor for a short time. Her dad was my pastor and we did lots of things together lots of years ago. Now she lives close to my sister and they have become good friends. I know that she is a special, gifted lady. I am glad that you persevered in meeting her. If you ever come to Chicagoland, let me know . . . Blessings

Shirley said...

How wonderful! I have often feared that the social networks are going to cut out blogging and what a shame that would be. We learn so much about and from one another that we just can't on those networks. I have met such wonderful, wonderful long-time friends on the Internet. I have one friend I have known for 15 years! She is a dear friend, and we have visited one another. She has been such an inspiration to me in so many ways.

Judy said...

I was able to meet TWO blogging friends this year.

Both seemed just the same in person as they do on their blogs.

Otherwise, you know how it is when you imagine someone and they are NOTHING like what you imagined? I've had to 'kill' a lot of imaginary people when the real one showed up. I hate that.
So glad you had such a nice time together, and that your husbands came along!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I adore my blogging friends... many of them I've met in real life or at least talked with over the phone.

I'd love to meet Rebecca as well; she's been a great friend to me over the past year or so, and I know I could learn so much from her sweet, mentoring heart.

Glad you're in my recent world.