I read Dawn’s words in the introduction of her new book, The Gift of Friendship: Don’t let anyone tell you that a friendship that begins online lacks a foundation. Treasure friendship in whatever form it comes. I wanted to weep.
Instead, my mind kept repeating: Someone understands! while I smiled to myself. It’s difficult to explain to people how close you can become to others through having a blog. Though it doesn’t happen immediately, I think it may have something to do with sharing our hearts through writing, there is an ease in slowly opening to another soul a distance away. A kind of community you don’t expect.
I’ve experienced this with the older woman I’ve met through social media and real life friends my age who don’t live close. As in right down the street.
This book is a collection of stories about the desire we all for deep relationships and the beauty, often struggle to cultivate them. Because I can’t dive into every story that touched me, I’m going to pick out a few that made me think.
Dawn Camp’s story, What You Can Do When Life Storms Hit, how God reaches out when you don’t want to impose. When my grandma passed in 2014, I ached in a way I still don’t understand. A few women through my blog have continued to pray for me, ask me how I am, let me come with all my crazy, and remind me God loves me.
He hears me. Keep bringing Him my heart. It’s a quick text or email of encouragement that has held me together, making me grateful I started a blog and for the way God has weaved friendships I never saw coming.
In another story by Ananda Williams, she shares her own struggle with grief.
Sometimes, in the worst times, you need someone to be you, so you can just be.
In the midst of grief, I’ve watched how God has used two friends in real life, traveling miles to show me joy that comes into the dark. They’ve let me be quiet, staring off into space. Mad. Weepy.
Through books, music, prayer, food, time and laughter, they’ve shown up without giving me chance to deny. They’ve loved me anyway and I’m thankful for the way we give to each other despite the distance.
If you are a mom or a woman who struggles in the friendship area, this book will be a sigh of relief.
If you’re a guy, this book will open your eyes to female friendships, but will help you appreciate your own friendships as well.
You will cherish longtime friends and the new ones beginning.