Jul 28, 2010

Pursuing Godly Friendships

I absolutely love chatting with blog friends through Twitter, Skype and blog comments.  It is so much fun to be able to send a quick little message to friends at any random point in time during the day.  As I have gotten to know so many of you, a theme has presented itself about friendships.  We all agree that we love our blog friends and that we have made special connections with many through our blogs.  But the strange phenomenon I am seeing is that most of us have in real life (IRL) friends that don't understand our love of blogging.  Most have commented that their IRL friends don't even read their blogs, me included.  Does anyone else find this just really bizarre?

I have to admit that I have a certain sadness about this situation, because I feel I am laying my heart and soul out on the web for all to see.  But my best friends have no interest in reading it!  It becomes almost like living in two different worlds.  My heart's desire is for these two worlds to merge as one. 

My heart's desire is to have friendships that are true and deep, immune to crazy schedules and family obligations.

My heart's desire is for friends who will take the time to sit under a summer gazebo and talk about nothing and everything.

My heart's desire is for a friend who wants to pray together through every day life.

My heart's desire is for friends who drop by unannounced just to say hello.

My heart's desire is for friendships where I feel safe to show the real, authentic, transparent me.

My heart's desire is for friendships with women who want to grow deep in the Word.

My heart's desire is for a friend who understands every piece of me and loves me anyway.

My heart's desire is for a friend who sticks with me through thick and thin.

My heart's desire is to be the same kind of friend to others.

Just like our relationship with God cannot be nurtured and grown on the fly, neither can our friendships.  In our world of drive-thrus, instant payments, on demand television, immediate downloads, and overnight deliveries, we have somehow lost our persistence in pursuing depth in relationships that are right in front of us. By missing out on these opportunities, we create cocoons for ourselves that manifest into loneliness, depression, and unhappiness.  God has peppered through his Word many examples of lasting friendships:  Mary and Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Jesus and John.  The book of Proverbs
states several times that friends can be closer than family. 

So how do we find women who can fulfill our desires for deep and meaning friendship?  Pray.  I'm sure some would see this as a cop out answer, but don't forget that God instructs us to bring every desire boldly to the throne of his grace.  James writes in Chapter 1:6&7, "But when he asks, he must believe  and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."  David exhorts us to trust, delight and commit to the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart.   Remember friendship is by God's design. 

I have also decided that I am going to approach a couple of my current friends and share with them my desires to deepen our friendship. I don't know what will happen, but it is worth pursuing in an intentional way.

And for my online friends?  My desire is to make them my IRL friends by visiting when I might be near their hometown or meeting them at conferences.   I am very excited to say that I have plans to meet three this summer! If visiting isn't feasible, I will continue to encourage and talk with them on Twitter and Skype, building those relationships as well.

How about you?  Do you feel like you live a double life as a blogger?


Chrissy said...

I do feel like I lead a double life because none of my real life friends - including my husband - read my blog. It is sad when they don't express an interest in reading what we're doing online, but I'm not sure how we fix that.

On the other hand, I'm so thankful for the amazing godly women I've found through blogging! I wouldn't trade y'all for the world! :)

Sue said...

You are so right! Bloggers live in two different worlds all of the time. I just feel so blessed that the Lord has surrounded me with such wonderful people IRL and inside of my computer - LOL.

Blessings to you from iFellowship & Congrats on being the featured blogger this week. :)

Kelly said...

I know you have many friends IRL but there is at least one who goes to bed every night and wakes up every morning reading your blog. And much to my delight you posted twice yesterday. Your writings and confessions have been such a blessing to me. I love you girlfriend. I'd better get a call or I will have to stop by unannounced ... again!

Brooklyn Book Lover said...

Just found your blog through Seeds of Faith. Glad I did! :-) I am now a follower.

Sharon Cohen said...

I don't think of blogging as a "double life". This - blogging, commenting, interacting online - is sharing an aspect of my life with a circle of people who are "invisible" to me. I count "invisible" relationships as dear as any other.

Most of my family is "invisible" to me. We don't see each other for years - even decades. I share my life with each of them in various ways - more so now than ever before - Thank God for Facebook.

My mother and I are as close as ever a mother and daughter were. Everyone who knows me eventually knows just how much! What most people don't know is that from 1985 to 2000, my mother and I did not see each other face to face. Time, money, distance stood between us.

What I'm saying is this. A friendship grows according to the investment we make. It matters not if the investment is physical, tangible or otherwise. The quality is what matters. Our souls respond to quality - not to proximity. Our souls respond to content - not to time.

Jennifer said...

Very interesting post! Some of my IRL friends read my blog when I share it on facebook, which is reserved for my IRL friends. Twitter is actually the place where I have very few IRL friends, and so I can relate to your thoughts. I wish I was going to the Relevant conference! Too far for me. :(

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'd love to know you visited today.