Unshaken Joy (And How To Get There)

Dear long distance relationship,

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I think it’s safe to say that I love and hate you. At the same time. Always.


As for THE BOY, now him, I’m fond of–quite a lot, in fact. But the fact that you are part of this jolly good thing we’ve got going on. Wellllll …. I could do without that (ie YOU).


Sure, there’s that whole “God is sovereign” thing that’s a part of my faith. So that means (INSERT DEEP SIGH HERE) that I have to believe there is a purpose for this period. Looking back on my life, I can see that in the many “learning experiences” I’ve had (aka TERRIBLE TIMES WHEREIN YOU CAN LEARN SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU HOLY periods), there are typically good lessons within those moments. So instead of WALLOWING, I am going to remind myself why I’m thankful for you.

No. 1: You forced me to become friends with THE BOY.

Perhaps not the best photo, but give me a break! We don’t get to take many photos together because of LONG DISTANCE FUN TIMES.

You see that guy? Isn’t he adorable?!? (STOP. MUST CONTAIN GUSHING.) Anyways. THE BOY (also known as David) and I went on our first date two days (that’s right, TWO FRIGGEN’ DAYS) before I moved 500 miles away from him. You want to talk about an interesting end to a first date? I believe I actually said something along the lines of, “Well, that was fun. Too bad I’m moving 800 miles away from you!” WIN. And yes, I had miscalculated the distance. DOUBLE WIN. ANYways. He still pursued me (not literally, of course. That would’ve been creepy). But yes, he called me. We started to talk on the phone a lot. And FaceTime. Slowly, as the days and months rolled by, he became my best friend. And honestly, there’s no way that would’ve happened if you hadn’t been involved, long distance relationship. You pushed us to get to know each other without all of that WONDERFUL physical stuff (the Bible-approved premarriage physical stuff, of course!). Our judgment wasn’t clouded by that. Instead, we were able to become friends, then fall for each other. I like to say that I rationally chose to fall in love. Sounds weird, but I stand by it!

No. 2: You forced us to have lives outside of each other.

This one is a double-edged sword. I DESPISE IT WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING. Yet, knowing who I am, I know it has been good for me–and for THE BOY–to be forced to continue separate lives. As wonderful as it would be to live near each other and do NEARLY EVERYTHING together, living so far apart has pushed us to remain committed to relationships other than our own. It’s not easy. I WANT to share every moment with THE BOY. However, it has kept me from completely falling off the face of the earth while I figured out how to be a girlfriend in a wise and healthy manner.

No. 3: You forced us to keep our physical relationship in check.

Being so far away from each other allows us space after each visit to decompress and think about our time together. I’m not going to delude myself–or you–and say that I am THE STRONGEST WOMAN EVER and DO NOT STRUGGLE WITH THOUGHTS, ETC. Nope. That’s a lie. David and I have boundaries, but there are times when, after we’ve separated, we realize that maybe one small thing needs to change. Not anything DIRE, of course. But it is the space that allows us to see things a bit clearer before the next visit–and before our relationship becomes an “in-the-same-area” one.

No. 4: You forced us to trust God.

There are many frightening things in this world, but being in a long distance relationship with no certainty of when it will end is definitely high up there. At least it’s in my top five. I’ve had to consistently come to God, surrender my anxiety over the future and trust that He will work it out. Slowly, in our relationship, a direction has seemed to emerge. But nothing is set in stone. And for a GRADE A CONTROL FREAK like myself, that can be overwhelming. Don’t believe me? Ask THE BOY. He’s endured plenty of my breakdowns about this. The more I’ve sought God in this situation, though, the more I’ve realized how little I trust God–and how much I need the Holy Spirit to help me trust Him. There’s nothing like a situation that is completely uncertain to force you into constant submission and surrender to God. WIN. Well, LEARNING EXPERIENCE WIN. It doesn’t always FEEL like a life win (insert smile).


So there you have it, long distance relationship. All the reasons why I’m actually thankful for you–albeit BEGRUDGINGLY so. I look forward to when you will be a thing of the past. But until that day, I salute you good sir. Bring on the learning experiences (but please don’t stick around too long)!

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