I used to have a private blog. It was one that I kept updated just for close friends and family, and for a few years, that was wonderful. Then one day, it blew up. Something went terribly wrong. Most likely, it was something I did, since I am a learn-as-you-go kind of person, it wouldn’t be impossible to think, that in the act of updating it one day, I clicked the wrong thing, or tweaked it just enough to completely crash it for good.
When I called the help line, after a few minutes, the verdict was, “I’m sorry, there is nothing we can do, it appears you will have to start a new blog and copy and paste all of your old content into it.”
Is that so.
We are talking about 6 years worth of blog entries. It took me about two minutes to decide that there was no way that I would make the brutal attempt at transferring I-don’t-know-how-many blog entires. This was, in a round-about way, an answered prayer. The urge to write more had begun to swell and I was starting to get twitchy about what to do with this growing desire.
And then I fasted. I fasted because this feeling, this need to write had begun to percolate in me that was beginning to feel more and more urgent. I fasted and asked God to please, PLEASE speak to me and show me what I should do with this little nudge within that was starting to feel more like a shove.
And after 21 days, Always Alleluia was born. The name, the verse, the desire, all gifts and words sent down from Him. I have always loved the community that can be found on the internet. I am a social being in nature and crave and enjoy the company of others and the discourse that comes with blogs, social networking, online groups and so on. I have been a member of one particular online group for 7 years, with the same group of women whom I met on another website when we were all pregnant with our first babies.
This group was my first taste of online community, and I have been a part of it ever since. We don’t share all of the same ideas about raising children, disciplining, politics or even faith, but we are a community of people, who come together to encourage each other, to share this life, these adventures both good and bad. Women on there have suffered losses of parents, losses of babies who should have been still tucked deep inside, women in this community have fought cancer, have suffered through the shattering of divorce, have traveled to foreign countries. Some of them have met famous people, and eaten exotic foods. Some have lost jobs and changed addresses. Some of these women went from being unhappy with their health, to running marathons and encouraging others to as well. It is a community where I have been encouraged, uplifted and befriended, despite our many differing views on most things.
Another online community that I have recently joined is the High Calling. Their motto is simple and to the point, “Every day conversations about work, life, and God.”
Though I haven’t had much time to spend on their lately connecting with the other bloggers and members of the community there, it is already very clear from the articles I have read and the comments I have seen left by readers, members, friends, that this place, The High Calling, is a welcoming and fascinating place to meet and grow with others who are on this faith journey as well. A few recent reads on there that I enjoyed, were Dena Dyer’s, Shining the Light of Compassion and Christopher Smith’s, When a Door Won’t Close. I loved Brock Henning’s post, Pool Closed, I could completely identify with the entire thing, such a great article. Of course I have wept and prayed my way through Gordon Atkinson’s four parts of Through Pain and Grace Toward Redemption. Such a tremendous and heart wrenching, and inspiring story he has graced us with. Online communities are everywhere now, and while there are always precautions that must be taken, I believe they can be of tremendous benefit to anyone who is willing to get involved.
Are you a member of an online community? Why did you choose to get involved?