Tuesday, November 3, 2009

30 Days of Thankfulness: Le jour trois

I first used the internet sometime back in '97 or '98. My best friend got it when she went back to school. I would go to her apartment and we would cruise around just to see what we could find. Back then, I heard about all these chat rooms, and I usually heard about all the not-so-nice ones. But, I didn't do much online then.

Fast forward to 2000. My dad bought me a computer because I moved back to my hometown to go back to college. I had to go online because so many of my classes required email communications. It was like a new world opened up. But I still didn't do much online. It was still dial up and oh so very slow. Then I got pregnant. And Boy! Did that change things.

I scoured the internet for all things pregnancy. I found all these sites and some had message boards. Wow! It was so addicting. But even then, I still stayed in an observing role. I could not get involved; I lurked. My first son was born in late summer 2002, and by then I had found this one site that I really liked. It was a journal site for ladies trying to get pregnant, pregnant, and moms. When Dino was a couple of months old, I signed up and started my first journal.

I still didn't get too involved. I would write in my journal and read other journals, but I never commented to the other ladies. So I stayed under the radar. Then I discovered that this site had some message boards. I finally got up my nerve and posted. It was nice. But withing a few months, they shut down the boards. The journals moved to another place but the boards were gone. A few ladies moved their board and I followed, but back to lurking now. I wanted to join in on stuff but they all seemed so tight and I just felt awkward. Through these ladies I read my first ever blog. Wow! It was April 2004, and Frog was on his way. I was still journaling and lurking. But spending ever so much more time online. Yes, again, very addicting. I continued this pattern for the next couple of years. I became totally engrossed in infertility blogs. And through them, mommy blogs. Some of those blogs I still read though I don't have as much interest anymore.

When I got pregnant with Monkey in the summer of 2006, something changed. I found myself wanting to belong to a group somewhere. By this point, I knew several people, in real life, who had met friends and even spouses online. I knew it was possible to find true friendship online. So, I found a group of ladies who were all pregnant and due at the same time as me and, what else, I lurked. I actually posted in the group once or twice the entire pregnancy. Way to get involved. But once our babies were born, well, that did it. The original group was 75+ members, but through a series of events, a few of us found our way to another site and 11 of us have been a tight-knit group since August of 2007. I love these ladies! Oh my, I cannot even tell you how blessed I am to have them in my life. We have been through so much together: all kinds of baby issues, losing a child, divorce, losing a parent, having a loved one get arrested and put in jail, deployment, losing a job, so many things. Our bond is so tight that I know I will be friends with these ladies forever. They have my heart. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with 7 of them awhile back, and it is my hope that I will get to meet the other three in person someday soon.

And now, I am blessed again to have gotten to know some more ladies online. There is a small group of ladies I met through another blog and we have started a bible study together. And I have read more in my bible since meeting them than I have in awhile. They inspire me and make me want to be a better Christian. But even with that, I am even more blessed to know them and be encouraged by them. This group is amazing. Through them, I have gotten the courage to start speaking up and being a light for Jesus. I am getting so that I am not as afraid to proclaim His truth wherever I need to. And there is also excitement. I can't wait to find out what God has in store for us. I know He brought us together for a reason and I've already been blessed so much, I can't wait to see what's next.

Friends are wonderful. And I am so thankful that through this wonderful technology I have been blessed with an abundance of friends. ♥

1 comment:

Sandi said...

I love this post! I think it is amazing how we can become good friends with people we have never met. I believe it is because friendship comes from the heart, and we can share our hearts from across many, many miles.
I have been in my Bible more lately than I have in a long time, and it has been wonderful!
I am so glad to have "met" you!