Once Upon a Time,
I stumbled across a total stranger on the internet.
That stranger was facing challenges I could never imagine facing, and was willing to share their struggle with us.
I prayed for them. I celebrated victories, and shed tears over setbacks. I grew to know and love them, that stranger and their whole family. Three generations. Siblings, cousins, parents, aunts and uncles. A whole family, embedded in my own heart as if they were my family.
When I faced challenges, struggles of my own, I turned to that same family. They prayed with me. They celebrated my victories, and cried with me when things were at their hardest.
Today, I am praying for them again, as they face new challenges, and I'm grateful to know them. We've never met, not face to face. We've spoken on the phone, traded emails and text messages, shared silly Facebook photos.
A blogging friend of mine told a group of us once that her husband laughingly referred to us as her "Imaginary Friends" - those names he hears her mention, those people he has never seen but that have influenced her life in untold ways.
I am grateful for my imaginary friends. Those who pray with me and for me, those who cry with me, and who celebrate with me. I cannot imagine living this life without them in it.
Thank YOU for being my imaginary friend.