Isn't that a great beginning to a horror story!!!
This person is a woman - like me. And, we conversed pretty regularly for the next two and a half years. Through our conversations:
- We discovered that we'd worked in the same town (West Palm Beach, FL) on the same street in the same industry at the same time in the mid-80's.
- We learned that we held many of the sames beliefs and convictions - the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the power of prayer, the power of the Word, the sanctity of marriage, the need for honesty & acceptance in relationships, and so much more.
- We learned that we liked a lot of the same things: sharing a cuppa (tea, coffee, cocoa) with a friend, the great outdoors, the ocean & beach, and more.
- We shared prayer concerns and answers to prayers. We agreed in prayer over other online friends in our writing community.
- We talked about how God had used our "very less than perfect" pasts to bring us closer to Him and mold us into what He needed us to become as we matured.
- We talked about being wives who loved their husbands; mothers with all the challenges and all the rewards; grandmothers (what a blessing!); and, first and foremost, daughters of the King!
During those two and a half years, we read practically every one of each other's blog posts - 100's of them! When the new chapter opened in my life - the chapter of becoming a "Kentucky Lady" while still being "stuckinindiana" - we discovered that her home was only 3 hours away from my Kentucky apartment. And, a plan was hatched!!
Since my time in Kentucky is pretty open - I'm away from the responsibilities of a home, barn, chickens, acreage, chores, etc. - it made perfect sense that I could connect with her. She works full time online & on the phone from her home. Her "hubs" is on the road with his job frequently. Why shouldn't I make the 3 hour drive to their home in the lovely Appalachian Mountains sometime in early 2017 to spend a few days.
Despite the uneasiness of every single trusted friend and family member... in mid-February, I set off from the Kentucky apartment to meet my online friend. And, the rest is history! Now, I often refer to her as, "Susan - my online friend" - ha ha!!
I had a fabulous time talking with her face-to-face and sharing meals together. I experienced a Narnia morning. I explored the holler where she's lived for close to 30 years.
I fueled my addiction to hiking along mountain-fed creeks, beside babbling brooks, by old abandoned barns & to the highest point of the peaks I could see.
I stopped to admire the rays of the sun breaking through the clouds and warming up the mountain air. I breathed in the clean, cool mountain air and was reminded of my childhood in North Carolina.
I ascended 300 feet to an altitude of 3220 to a lovely chapel overlooking distant rugged Appalachian peaks - reflecting on the beauty & God's faithfulness.
It was a fantastic 2 days of relaxing, reflecting and conversing with my new IRL friend and the God whom I love and serve.
In this day and age, meeting up with "online friends" would NOT be my recommendation. I am very grateful though that God put this person in my life and gave me the complete peace to pursue this friendship after our 2+ years of communicating. I believe the following scripture was one of the reasons I stepped out of my comfort zone to connect with this friend:
"Trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT