WHAT IS THE “BEHIND THE SCENES” LINK UP?
Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.
“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it. Read more here!
One set of friends who have known each other for over a dozen years. Another who met in real life last year at Allume. Brought together by (in)courage. This is a behind the scenes look at my favorite kind of story – the social media connection kind.
When I started working with (in)couragers early last year it was as a co-leader in a group for new and expecting moms. I had recently had Madison and was craving a community of like-minded new mamas to encourage, and who could tell me I would survive the sleepless nights. The group was more than I could have hoped or prayed for – the women were incredible. The mamas so sweet in their wisdom, so kind in their advice, so ready to cheer on the ones expecting with no idea what to expect. In the group were Heidi and Jessica. Heidi, who has known me for years – back when we had friends in a punk ska band, when we counseled 8th grade camp and worked retail at the local mall. Ours is a friendship of years, over a decade of celebrating together, crying together, and living life together.
Jessica, who I’d never met but immediately connected with. Her background on the missions field and her sweet as southern tea personality shined in the group. Last fall I got to meet Jessica in real life at Allume. She amazed me. She made me ugly cry in front of a room full of women. She poured her heart and her mission out over dinner, in spite of a lost voice. Her heart for encouraging women was unmistakable, and her love for her family as evident as her love for God. She has been – and continues to be – willing to say “yes” when God calls, and I admire it so much.
So when I stepped down as co-leader to take a different leadership position, these two women were my “go-to” replacements. They didn’t know each other, but they both felt God lead them to say “yes” and they have done more with the group than I ever would have imagined. When Jessica mentioned that she and her family would be traveling to my state on their missionary support tour I knew she had to stay with sweet friends of ours. A lovely guest house, build for just this purpose, to give a sense of peace and calm to visitors. It was a blessing to set it up for them.
Icing on the cake? Getting Jessica and Heidi together in real life – to hug and chat and watch our kiddos play. To see the next generation of (in)couragers running around, screaming, hoarding snacks and wrecking havoc in our playroom (which, by the way, is still not picked up. I’ve never seen the likes of it and it makes me smile when I walk by.)
These beautiful friends, these fantastic kids…they’re why I love social media.
I love knowing that God was at work behind the scenes to orchestrate something like this – He knew, over a year ago, that we would be together for this photo. And I’m so glad He did.
Alright friends! It’s your turn to link up. Now, remember the number one rule of a fun linky- make sure you visit the person who linked up before you & leave them a little love on their post! (even if you just say “hey! great photo – stopping over from Crystal Stine’s blog!…it’s ok..you can copy/paste that. I won’t tell.)
Julie Wilson says
oh, Crystal, this is just beautiful! I love the ease with which your online connections have become in real life friends and I am desperate to know your secret. I have yet to figure it out! You inspire me to try harder! 🙂
Can’t wait till Allume … must go buy plane ticket, must go buy plane ticket!!!
Kimberly Thompson says
When we stop and look it is such a beatiful thing to trace the Hand of God in our lives, working before we ever come to the place He is brining us 🙂
Oh, I love this like crazy. I wrote about friendship today, too…isn’t it incredible how God just knows the friends who need each other? So happy the three of you could have that sweet time together! Gotta admit I’m a teensy bit jealous, though…I can’t wait for Allume and the chance to hug so many of you beautiful, sweet sisters! Happy Tuesday, friend! 🙂
Still a bit jealous, but I’ll feel better once Allume gets here and I can meet my online friends in the flesh. 🙂
Jessica Hoover says
Girl, I was ugly crying at this. It was pure joy to hang with the two of you. You amaze me sister and I just love watching how God is using you! Oh, and the funny thing is I just randomly decided to link-up today and clicked over to see this photo! LOVE IT! Oh and LOVE the pics I’ve been seeing from your dreaming session in Arkansas!
Thanks for sharing, this makes me want to get together with my close friends who, unfortunately, live far away.
Cathy Baker says
This story just made me smile! Friendship is such a beautiful thing!
p.s. I love your Behind the Scenes Tuesdays! 🙂
Oh I love this story and so glad that y’all got to meet up again. And I gotta tell you it makes me realize AGAIN(if that’s even possible) how much I am so excited for Allume – a place to build these kinds of friendships with the wonderful people I have met on line… thanks for sharing a little glimpse into your day with these two precious ladies.
The stories of friendships made online are my favorite too! It is a beautiful thing. How wonderful when you are able to meet those friends in real life. Beautiful post.
This is what our life in Jesus is about. That bond of love and unity in our sweet Lord bring us together even over continents! Just yesterday a youth pastor friend of mine was unburdening his heart to me about the youth, when I suggested that he gets the elder ladies from their church together to teach the younger girls household and craft skills and he was so glad. Yours is such a good example of what I had in mind; just us girls sticking together.
This is a beautiful post, Crystal! Connecting with others is so important. Friendship is a beautiful thing.