Social fill…

This weekend left me feeling…connected. I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful for technology than I was this weekend. Let’s be honest — for the most part I’ve just taken technology for granted.

I’ve been using Zoom for some time — for conferences and trainings, but never to bridge social events. But boy, did that change over this weekend.

Friday mornings have been designated as bible study time since I moved to the Carolinas. I meet with a great group of ladies week after week at our local bagel shop. Frank, the owner, graciously allows us to reserve a room and in that room, over bagels and coffee some deep truths are uncovered, dissected and applied together in friendship. I’ve missed seeing these ladies that last few weeks, so I figured, why not create a Zoom conference for us to meet. This was actually our second week meeting, and things ran super smooth. Seeing everyone’s faces did me good.

Friday night Frank and I had a double-date with my friend Matt and his S.O. out in California. They live in Riverside, on a 1/2 acre which is beautifully landscaped and in full bloom, so it was fun to enjoy that virtually as we chatted the evening away. I realized at the end how great this meet and greet actually was. I’ve known Matt for years through my job. He now works elsewhere but we’ve kept in touch. If not for this “stay-at-home” time, Frank most likely wouldn’t have met Matt. Like I said, he lives in Cali and we’re here on the East coast. The likelihood that we would have ever come together to “chat” is pretty slim. Being able to introduce Frank to my friend is a real blessing for sure.

Saturday, I set up two friend connections — one for some girlfriends, which wound up being me and one friend — Brooke — but that was just fine. We talked and laughed for about an hour and that was a nice break in an otherwise quiet day. Later that evening, Frank and I connected with our good friends, Brian and Ali. They were our neighbors for a decade out in Colorado. Our kids grew up together, and I get the privilege of seeing them in their new home on property in Larkspur when I go back to visit for work. Frank, on the other hand, hasn’t seen Brian in over a year, since they visited us in fall of 2018. He misses his friend. It was so nice to catch up — and like being face-to-face, the conversations were easy and fluid.

Sunday was church on-line (https://www.newriverchurch.online/), followed by a leaders-meeting for those of us who lead groups of one kind or another at New River. We talked about using Zoom and what’s going well, and what’s been difficult over the last few weeks. It was great to spend some time together in the Word and in prayer with such a great group of people all doing their best for those that they steward.

Finally, Sunday night I set up some time to meet with my girl cousins. We have literally been trying to plan a time when everyone could gather here at my place in South Carolina for almost two years. We have talked about dates, even put a few on the calendar, but somehow life always gets in the way. Last night, with the click of a mouse we were together, at least a few of us. We shared how we’ve been holding up during this time, thoughts on what’s ahead, but mostly, we shared a lot of laughter and love. I could have stayed on the line for two more hours.

I went from feeling so blah last week, to feeling so filled over the weekend. Rather than sitting looking at what I was missing, what I am lacking, what is different, I chose to do something about it. And though my options are limited — I can’t go physically see anyone, and hug on them, I can still be connected. I believe that God’s provision is great. Not only in providing me with a loving family, food, shelter, and my job, but also the technology we enjoy today. I can’t help but think of the miracle of it all. The people who were gifted to create things like the internet in general, and conference programs like Zoom, that were never intended for what we face today, but have filled the void I was feeling from disconnection. I am thankful for all of it.

This morning I found myself pondering Philippians 4:4-7. It brought me some peace and so I wanted to share it with anyone who stumbles upon this entry:

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say again–rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT)

Amen!

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