From part 1….
“When J first started the process of pursuing a job back in South Carolina, my heart sunk. I had watched friends go through long-distance relationships and swore up and down that was not the life for me. I remember telling J that during a period of time where he was doing a lot of travelling and we were going for long stretches without seeing each other that “I did not sign up for a long-distance relationship!” Little did I know, within a year that’s exactly what we would be doing.
Our long-distance isn’t as far as some. I feel a little sheepish acting as an authority on long-distance when I know so many who are states and states apart, or even in separate countries. I’m really thankful that he is just one state away and close enough for weekend trips, but sometimes I think the constant saying-hello-just-to-say-goodbye feels harder than one long goodbye.
Over the next week, I am going to share what has been good about long distance, what has been bad about long distance, and what I have learned from long distance. I hope you will read along! If you have or are in a long distance relationship, I would love for you to share about your experience in the comments.”
I have shared the good and the bad, and today I am excited to share with you the growth we have experienced through long distance.
Trusting the Lord.
There is something about long-distance and the accompanying uncertainty that has forced me to place my trust in the Lord in a new-found way. I don’t know what the future holds or exactly when this season will end. I don’t know what the next chapter of our story holds. There are so many things I don’t know, but I do know God, and I know that He is good and that He is for me! Walking through the “question marks” has caused me to lean into Him in a new way and find my hope in Him rather than in my circumstances.
Appreciating each other & our time together.
When the time is so limited, there are no longer “small things.” It’s all big. I value J in a way I didn’t before because he isn’t easily accessible. The time we spend together is usually a sacrifice for one or both of us, and because of that we both have really grown in protecting and honoring our time. For him that usually means being intentional about creating space for our time, and for me that usually means being grateful and appreciative even if it’s not as much time as I would have liked. It’s pretty amazing to see how much we have both changed in these areas and each become more selfless and giving!
Loving each other rather than consuming each other.
This is probably the greatest point of growth for myself in particular. Prior to long-distance, it was so easy to fall into a pattern of seeking my satisfaction in J and “consuming” him, so-to-speak. I looked for him to meet so many of my needs without even realizing it. Having this season has given us space for me to find all those things in the Lord and myself, rather than try to extract them from J at his expense. The result is me coming to the relationship as a much more “complete” human, ready to give rather than just receive. I have so much more to offer J and can truly love him when I come with my needs pre-met. That said, it’s not wrong for him to meet my needs; in fact, there are some needs I have that only he can meet! But when I expect him to meet all my needs, all the time, I nix the potential for the culture of our relationship to be one of selflessly pouring into one another.
There are so many more things I could share about the growth we have experienced through long-distance, but I’ll leave it at this for now. I would love to hear your stories of walking through long-distance!