Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Virtual or real?

I want to talk a little about real life.

On Monday, I was going through some posts, and found out that Amy Wilhoite, who I have been reading about and praying for for ages, had suddenly taken a downturn, and seemed to be losing her battle with cancer. And you know, it was like the bush telegraph on the blogging neighbourhood springing into action. As I moved from post to post, people had started to realise how serious her condition had become, and posts started appearing all over the place, alerting everyone else. People who did not know about her, started reading and praying too. Women who were about to blog about random frustrations, stopped and altered their posts, saying as they did, how much this put their woes into perspective.

I watched the comment count go up and up on the Wilhoite's blog, and just sat there till very late at night here, marvelling at the people all over the world who were united in their prayers for either Amy's healing or her peaceful move towards heaven. Their support for her family, and the tears shed when the news came in Brandon's deeply moving post, has been wonderful.

We are not virtual people, even though we meet in a virtual world. We are all real. Amy was real. She had a real illness. Her pain was real. Heather is real. Kelli is real. I am real. I hurt. I cry real tears. I laugh. I feel. I am real flesh and blood. No, I don't know all of you in real life. Yes, we all have protective barriers up to keep us safe. We don't even know each others real names. Yes, we all hide so much of who we are, for reasons we feel are very necessary. But we are real.

Life is not all happy sunny people. Life can be seriously awful. I can be revolting some times. I lose my temper. I get frustrated. I lose perspective. I say things I regret. I am not always in a good mood. Just ask my kids. I fail. I get things very wrong. I am real. I get miserable, and depressed at times too. I don't want to be bouncy all the time. I am a lot more than that.

Amy was a real flesh and blood woman, just like you and me. Her husband is a real live man, who is hurting. I know just how much. Her little son is a real flesh and blood toddler. Just 21 months old. They have parents who are hurting. Family and friends. In a virtual world, people don't bleed. They don't cry real tears. And they certainly don't die.

We talk about meeting each other IRL. In real life. Well, my friends. Hello. THIS is real life. We can't restart the computer and have Amy pop up any more. It doesn't work like that. Whether I am close enough to pop in for tea, and give you a hug in person or not, I am real. Thank God.

I read somewhere that to have a successful blog, you need to blog about happy stuff. WHAT?? I don't know about you guys, but I never started out to a) be successful at this and b) spread happiness like a fairy. I started out to write about me and my life. Boring at times, desperately sad at times, unbelievably happy at others, amused at still more......... I follow no guidelines. I blog about my life. Moods and all. I say what comes naturally.

Don't expect perfection from me. It is not going to happen. And my expectation from you? Just say what you really think.... not what you think I want to hear. Be real!

And now I am going to shut up.


Debbie said...

Thanks for being real, Linds, and for reminding us that the rest of the bloggers are also. We tend to forget that, I think. I just discovered your blog not too long before your NZ trip and have enjoyed it very much. The "real" parts too. :-)

Susie said...

Hi Linds,
Of the many blogs I read, I can honestly say that I've never felt you are anything less than very real. You tend to share what's on your heart and mind.
Amy's story is certainly touching and my heart just breaks for her entire family.

His Singer said...

Linds, my very REAL friend, I have come to love how very real you are. You make me think, and that's a very good thing to do. Keep potraying yourself just as you are, because we need that!

momrn2 said...

If a blog is to always contain "happy" things... I'm afraid I would have to delete half of mine!

This was very well said and I'm sure that's part of what keeps drawing me back! You are real... and I like it that way!!!

Morning Glory said...

Your writing is some of the most real that I read. I value and admire that. It's a good thing we don't all have to be "happy bloggers" to enjoy these friendships.

Louise@theLightHouse said...

The christian community needs more people who are willing to be real, to show their vulnerability and frailty, their weakness and failings. How else can others see how we grow as God heals / challenges / strengthens / restores us? If we always appear 'together' it can make us terrifying and unapproachable. I am so glad you are real Linds - you have enabled me to be real too.

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

Very well said, Linds. If only "happy" posts were allowed, I'd be out of business. I agree with what you've said here. Wholeheartedly.

meggie said...

Lovely post Linds. I write for me, so if folks dont like it, they are free to go. I like to read real too, so just keep on being real, as I think it truly shows.

Dawn said...

I dam so glad that we have all found each other. We have been through a lot in just a year or so, and what a blessing it has been. I discovered Amy shortly after she was diagnosed and have been praying and had my SS class praying - I was anointed for her healing by an evangelist - she has been ultimately healed. Such a sad day when I read it - I bawled like a baby and my grandchildren were so comforting. They have prayed for Micah and Heather and Amy all year. What a blessing. And now the many prayers that have gone up for Kristen and those tiny twins in her womb - when you get a minute, check out her update!

Thanks for being real - you really are! What a blessing.

Dawn said...

One more thing - that picture is phenomenol! Magazine worthy!

Scratchin' the Surface said...

I am so impressed by this post. Straight from your heart, honest, soul-bearing. Thank you for it.

Michelle (wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman) said...

I just found your blog through Penless Writer. What a blessing. I appreciate your willingness to be real, and to not write just happy blogs. We seem to learn so much more through our pain, don't we?
I look forward to keeping up to date and reading your wonderful prose. You have a quite a talent, and apparently quite a heart, too.