Real Crazy or Crazy Real

I used to think people were crazy.

You know, the people. Who hooked up on the internet.

I had no understanding of how true meaningful relationships could come through a keyboard and a screen. How lives could mesh together through motherboards and circuits. How lives could be changed for the better by a few cables and wires.

But now I get it.

100%. Get it.

Now, don't get me wrong. I totally understand that their are weirdos and creeps out there who take full advantage of innocence and prey on victims who are unsuspecting and naive. I get that. I think that it is heinous and disgusting and fully believe in internet safety and cautiousness and vigilance. But that's not what I'm talking about. No weirdo speak here.

I'm talking about bonds. And friendships. And connections.

And they happen. Every.Single.Day.

Blogging and "social-networking" (I hate that word because it seems so sterile.) used to confuse me. I viewed it as a bunch of housewives who had WAY too much time on their hands, so they used their minutes between donning rubber gloves and scrubbing toilets to voyeuristically peer into other people's personal lives. It seemed like another take on those celebrity gossip magazines....only minus the celebrities. And then to find out that not only did you LOOK into their lives, but you COMMENTED on their lives....well, it just all seemed absurd.

And then I did it. Because I'm a follower and someone told me to. *wink*

And my life is changed.


Because now I have a circle of friends that stretches from coast to coast. Friends that pray for me and my family. That know my children by name and can remember details about their small lives. Friends that snort giggle with me and weep with me. We've been through births, and deaths, and job losses, and surgeries. We've been on vacations together, and we've sat in each other's living rooms watching our favorite tv shows together. We discuss dinner plans, the latest coupon finds, and the joy of the flip flops we found on clearance. We do what friends do. We just happen to live states away from each other.

And now I get it.

I completely get it.

Because I know how significant those one-on-one conversations are when you reveal deep dark secrets. Because I understand the power of prayer warriors when your family is the midst of crisis, even if those prayer warriors are hundreds of miles away. Because I know what it is like to want to meet one of your sisters face-to-face because it is just time to wrap your arms around them.

Because it's real.

And I don't think it is fathomable until you experience it. I don't think it makes sense until you walk miles with the women that you are now bonded to for life. I don't think it registers as even possible until you accept that God's plan for relationship isn't bound by skin...that it can exist through wires and cables.

It does sound crazy.

But it's not.

Because it's real.

So very real.

Just like the change for the better that is me. Because of this. Because of these women.

To all of my dear precious friends.........Thank you so much for the gifts of grace, mercy, patience, kindness, and love that you extend to me every day. I truly do see Jesus in you.


Jennifer said...

I know how blessed you are to have all your friends on the blogosphere, but I'm also quite sure that you have been a blessing to them, too!! I know this because I see you almost everyday IRL, and know what a blessing you have become to me!!

I pray that very SOON, you will be able to meet some of your bloggy peeps IRL!! I know what joy that would bring to your heart and to theirs as well!!

BOO HOO to the naysayers, and I'll tell them so next time I see them!! ;)

Love ya!!

Nina Diane said...

I'm right there with ya....I have never been a fan of "chatting" online or any of that crazy stuff. But then 3 years ago, started my blog and goodness, who would have thought!! and like you, I feel as though I have friends coast to coast. Have a wonderful holiday weekend my friend!

Terry Lewallen said...

Amber, I'm totally hearing ya!

I have been so behind in my blog world lately that this morning I decided to catch up a bit. But instead of catching up on my own blog I decided to catch up on what I've been missing in the wonderful world of my blog buddies.

AND....I had missed your fantastic new blog design. I LOVE IT!! The picture of you and your fellas is just GREAT!!!!!

And I had missed out on many adventures and now I'm all caught up. Thanks for making me laugh and making me think and making me pray and I'm about to go check my facebook and see if we're still friends???

Happy Friday to you, my homeschooling friend.

Jessica said...

I used to feel the same way "why would those crazy people want to put their life out there for complete strangers to see?!"
well, call me crazy...

Kendra said...

And here's a crazy friend who even MARRIED someone they met on-line. So I must be EXTRA crazy!!!

Elizabeth said...

I am thankful for you too, girl. I'll never make fun of internet dating again!

Anonymous said...

Oh, amen and amen.

I was hoping this would be the weekend I got to hug your neck live and in person. But not yet. Emphasis on the yet.

This was a beautiful post and I just had to tear up because I'm so very grateful for my friends in my computer. I, too, am forever changed.

Kristin said...

Haven't been around as much lately with life happening but I love the new blog look and that is an awesome picture of your family!

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy said...

Oh my little Smurfette...I heart you like I've known you all my life. So sue me, or commit me to the looney bin, or whatever.

I'm loving how God is using the peeps in my screen to encourage, change, inspire, and cheer me!

Happy (Oregon) trails to you...;) ;)

...and ((((Amberlin)))) right back at ya.

Jim said...

Well, my girl, let me put my 2 cents into your "bloggy-bank", too! This mass of wires, shiny metal and plastic circuits, this one-eyed brain-e-ack of 'lectrical Tom-wizardry, this rubber-wire tenty-t-kuled wonder of man's eng-i-new-et-tee, has passed my vote of approval. It has opened up all you and your world full of special friends have said, and more, for it has given me back something I thot I'd lost. It's given me back my girls every day, and to top the cake, you share with me your friends and your inner feelings like never before. I cannot for the life of me understand why this aspect of contact is not more used by families with empty nests. Sure, you've got to learn to punch a few keys, but it does not seem much more than what you do on a phone. And here, you can save a comment or two for a few tears to enjoy later on when it's needed. So I thank you and your sis for putting me in touch in a way that has blessed me more than you can know.

And you know what, it makes the times we are together even more full for the bonding that's done!

I love you, and your BLOGPEEPS,

Mich said...

Have a great holiday weekend!

Love ya!

mimi said...

It's so true Amber. I try to explain it to my IRL friends(who don't do the net/blogs)and they don't understand, it's hard to put into words.....you just did a great job of putting those feelings into words!

Also, we basically found our twins on the internet...it's a powerful and real thing!

Love ya!

Beam Me Up Scotty said...

I totally, 100%, hear ya! Todd and I met online :). We were in love before we ever met in person.

Haven't been online much lately and wowwie!!! what an awesome new bloggy design you got yourself. I love it!!


Gretchen said...

Agree. The fact that we haven't met makes you no less important to me. Because our hearts have met. The other is icing.

christy rose said...

Oh my goodness! I could have written this post and meant every word of it. I just love the friendships that I have made through wires and cables. :)

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

It's been amazing to me as well, the true friendships that have developed online with some amazing, christian women!