About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! For a long time my only community has been here across the Internet. I was too sick to go to a physical church and not being able to get out my girlfriends soon disappeared. They didn’t quite understand what was wrong with me. I used to think God took them away to draw me closer to Him, that I needed Him first and foremost. I would get angry at Him because He made to want relationships and community and then He took it. I will never really know th why in my friendships disappearing until that day that I kam made perfect, but I do know I found something, He gave me something. An online community of women, who know me they get me, they have been there; these women have spoken my words, prayed for me, encouraged me and they have never met me. They have shown me love and grace, that ultimately has deepened my relationship with God; shown me who He really is. I am so grateful for my online community.

    • I am so happy to hear of your online community blessing. What a gift HE has given you with these women to pray with and receive encouragement from! How wonderful to see that love and grace Shelly. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Me, too! Though I haven’t {yet} really experienced a *friendship* per say, through on line connections–I have experienced affirmation, encouragement, and acceptance. I, too, have grown closer to God through these connections and my eyes have been opened in the most amazing ways. I’m so grateful for this community! I’ve been connected to several beautiful hearts and I so much appreciate how each has touched my heart. Perhaps I should begin calling *them* my “friends”…or perhaps the simple connecting will develop into such a relationship.

    • It is amazing how HE can open our eyes in ways we would never expect Amy! I would say your connections to some of the beautiful hearts in this community would definitely be called friends!

  3. I didn’t understand that power of connections available via the blog world until I started a blog of my own. It is amazing to reflect on some of the conversations I have had with women who have experienced (or are experiencing) similar life situations. How cool that God can using modern technology as a way to connect His people.

  4. Hi jennifer,
    Thank you for this post.
    I have not had “friendships” online but as I read different blogs I receive so much and I usually find gems in the blogs I read and today yours is one of them 🙂

    • Thank you so much Janet! I’m certain if you spend time visiting blogs, the friendships will just happen. Wonderful how it works that way!

  5. I too was surprised by the friendships that I’ve developed with others online. When we share from our hearts and comment back and forth to one another, we get to know one another. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of meeting in person about a dozen bloggers. It makes such a difference. I already loved them even before I met them and that makes the meeting …all the more sweeter.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • That is so sweet Debbie, that you were able to meet some of your blogging friends in person! And sharing from our heart… that makes all the difference!

  6. I totally agree with you! 🙂

    As of right now I am completely alone most of the day in the boonies with no car to get my son and I anywhere so nap time = online friend time – catching up via blogs or chatting, being inspired by posts written with love and through experience, and finding people that I so long to meet some day! 🙂

    You know the lists some people do – the “people I most want to meet someday” – I’m pretty sure most of my choices would be from this online community! Just yesterday I found myself feeling like I was already friends with many of you on Incourage! 🙂

    Thank you for this post – and for helping us to really see how much of an encouragement we can be to people even on the internet! 🙂

    -Hope

    • That is so awesome Hope! I am so happy to hear you are feeling like you are friends with this (in)courage community! That is what we are all here for. Love it!

  7. YES! It was something I was a bit fearful of at first-connecting with people online. I thought for sure I’d come accross an ax murderer posing as a nice Christian Lady! Lol instead I found YOU and others that have blessed my life so much. Thank you for always reaching out to me & others and for your constant support & encouragement Jennifer! You are loved 🙂
    Sherri

  8. Some ppl in my life don’t understand.. they think somehow the ‘friends’ I have online are somewhat lesser than the ppl or friends I hv in real life. I say no.. they’re not.. they are just as valuable.. just as beautiful to me. These online friends I have made, they matter to me. They matter.

    • My mother asks me all the time how I can be friends with someone I’ve never actually met. I can’t quite explain the connection I have with my online friends, but it is deeper and fuller than almost all of my real life friends. You don’t have to met to be friends!

    • I think people that aren’t part of this online community, really don’t quite understand. You are so right… these friends do matter! Thank you!

  9. It’s hard for me to admit, but I’m very much a loner. I’m not really shy, but I’m the furthest thing from outgoing. Always have been, but it seems to have gotten more pronounced as I’ve gotten older. For that reason, I have few real life friends.

    That’s why I’m so grateful for the many “friends” I’ve made through blogging, social media, etc. I never expected to make friends the way I have online, but it’s such a blessing.

    For someone who hasn’t experienced it (like my husband), I’m sure these friendships are hard to understand and don’t seem real. But for those of us who thrive in these relationships every day, they’re as real as any face-to-face friendship.

    I’m so thankful for all of you!

  10. Oh, yes, I have! 🙂 It is truly amazing but when I think about it, it makes sense. Our blogs are like our online journal where we’re pouring out our hearts. When someone else connects with what we’re saying, it only makes sense that an online blogging friend develops. I love these real friendships! Great words, Jennifer!

  11. Wonderful to find you at (in)courage today! So true, Jennifer, I never understand the level of community that exists in the online world until I started blogging a few months ago. It has been so wonderful to “meet” friends from all over the place who can give encouragement, friendship, and hope, and who really do understand. It is truly a small world after all!

    • Thank you Deidra. These friends really do understand, and that is what makes it such a special community around us! It is a small world! 🙂

  12. This post really resonated with me. I grew up with an abusive mother and it took me a long time to realize it because the abuse wasn’t physical. And it was torturous!! I still, for the life of me, don’t know how I started to find them – maybe they found me. What I do know is that I found out that I wasn’t the only one! Online I found other women with abusive mothers JUST LIKE MINE. I know of no one in my own physical friendship circles who have had such a mother, so when I started meeting them online and we shared our stories – we would all exclaim at some point or another, ‘Wow! I’m NOT the only one!” Yep – I found out I wasn’t the only one. I found out that they needed me as much as I needed them. Together we found out we weren’t crazy – the abuse was REAL – its our abusers who are ‘crazy.’ These same online friends led to seek counselling – I sought out Christian counselling and it was the BEST decision (other than Jesus of course) I had ever made. It was the first thing I did in effort to love myself the way God does.

    Many may scoff at online friends – I don’t – without the other Christian ladies I’ve met online who’ve had similar mothers to mine, I’m not sure I would be as whole or complete as I am today. The Lord is Good – friends that He brings together really is another way He loves us.

    ~ Risé

    • Yes, we realize that we are not alone. HE shows us we are not alone. I am so grateful to hear how your online community supported you and loved you and that you were able to love yourself. I just love how HE loves us!

  13. I can relate too. It’s so nice to feel that recognition in what someone else is describing and know you’re not the only one going through it. And it’s wonderful to hear that someone is encouraged by something you wrote. And even better to connect over shared experiences and feel that you can share your heart. Thanks for sharing this today.

    • That what it is all about… encouraging others the way HE encourages us. Knowing we can share our heart. A beautiful thing. Thank you Jadyn!

  14. So true, Jennifer! For a long time, I only read blogs and was too afraid to comment. It was all so strange and new to me. But I feel like I am part of a community now, kindred spirits with whom I share so much in common. He does bless us is this community and I count you as one of my blessings, sweet friend!

  15. I’ve definitely had–and have needed!–those online “you too” moments. What I appreciate about the online friendships is the support and encouragement. Even when someone may disagree with you, for the most part, they don’t question or belittle you. Rather, the good friends will ask you questions, getting you to think & rethink for yourself. The pressure to live and give your best is removed from these online friendships.

  16. Yes! The words I’ve read in blogs that I’ve been following have been influential in my life – and it does connect us with others and assure us that we are not alone. It has been a great blessing to know I’m not the only weird one in this world 🙂

  17. The power of our personal story, can encourage, uplift, motivate, or just provide sense of our own identity. Thank you all for sharing your story. I love the (in)courage community!

  18. I love those moments when I run into someone online, usually through a blog, and that moment of connection is so strong. It’s good to know that we’re not in this alone.

  19. I am so encouraged by (in)courage and so happy to have found it a few weeks ago. It is where I heard about Grace for the Good Girl. I no longer feel so alone. I’m learning not to feel so ashamed of my questioning thoughts…others out there think and feel the same way and wrestle with some of the same issues that I face. Glad for this online community!

  20. Yes, I have had those moments! I have not been at this blogging thing for very long, but in the past month I have been blown-away by women who with great honesty, say what I have been feeling and thinking. Who knew?

    Knowing that I am not the only one gives me a certain amount of confidence. I’m not the only weird person on the planet…so I guess that means I’m normal! lol!

    Great blog. Thank you!

    • You said it perfectly… it just blows you away! It does help to know you are not alone and not as weird as you thought. 🙂 I have had those moments *a lot*!

  21. Agreed.
    I never could have anticipated the friendships that could develop here online. But it’s true! Sometimes, it makes for interesting conversation. Like, when I talk about my friend so-and-so and people ask me how I met her and I say, “Oh, I’ve never really met her. I know her online.”

  22. I am continually amazed at how God weaves us together, this on line community. I daily come across those “You too?” moments and it really and truly helps me to realize that I am not alone.

  23. I have been so grateful for my online community. They have prayed with me for the salvation of my 20 year old sons and encouraged me. They have checked back with me often over the last month while I’ve had a biopsy and wait for final reports. They pray and email. A year ago, I hardly knew what a blog was and now I have a group of true Christian friends that I have never met in person. they are such a blessing.

  24. You said it perfectly and found the scripture to support it. Beautiful post and it is indeed a beautiful experience. blessings ~ tanna

  25. Beautiful post this morning. Sometimes I feel like you are describing me and it truly makes me feel not so alone. Blessings.

  26. Yes!! I had only started our blog as a way to communicate with our friends and family walking with us through our own trial. But it has been amazing to see how He has used it to reach so many people as our story became HIS story. The emails/messages that I have received from what started as strangers and now have become friends have lifted me up in so many ways.

  27. You explain it beautifully, perfectly. Women have prayed for me and mine, sent scriptures for encouragement – allowing a taking off of the mask to reveal the whole heart and find other women facing the same challenges – and being encouraged for faith, hope and love!!!

    It has the ability to be a God-gift, providing companions who life you up when you’re down when those living next door don’t.

  28. I am reading a great book, Life Lessons from two experts on death and dying and how it can teach us the mysteries of life and living. Blogging is part of “life” in 2011 and even though it’s not all, it is a part of my life too. I love the fact I can express my self to you who I will probably never meet and trust you will respect my take on a post, comment when the Lord leads, encourage me. When I take too much time just adding my own thoughts and do not get on someone blog and get to know them better I am honestly convicted. Just last night I put a post on my fb for my friends to read for I thought it would encouraged, it has, praise the Lord. It’s become a good way to examine my own heart when I feel like getting off in courage because no one responded to my comment or post on Blogfrog community.
    Thanks for the post…very thought provoking and those are the ones that I need to keep this sinner saved by grace walking like a Child of the King. It’s not all about me or you, it’s all about Him and when blogging becomes not about Him then I pray the Lord gives me the insight to know when to pull the plug

  29. very well said, jennifer!

    one of my favorite quotes is by ralph waldo emerson-
    “i didn’t find my friends, the good God gave them to me.”

    and what a SURPRISE to have found them here in blogville…
    what a BLESSED SURPRISE!