Tomorrow my fiancé is coming to see me and I haven’t seen him in five months.
When we started this whole long-distance-engagement-thing, I don’t think that either of us expected there to be a lapse this long between visits. And yet, here we are. After an early-morning goodbye at the Chicago airport after a crazy, exhausting, emotional, bug-bitten, whirlwind of a week in September, I came back to Los Angeles and I haven’t seen him since. While it certainly hasn’t been easy, there are some aspects of long-distance that I love tremendously. Ever since Austin and I first started getting to know each other as friends, being far apart has always been normal. Countdowns and airplane tickets and waiting and skype. Getting to actually be together in person was special and never ever taken for granted. We learned to talk about anything and everything and to be there for each other even when it wasn’t convenient. Long-distance takes an enormous amount of intentionality and sometimes we do a better job than at others. Yes, there have been times where I have let the many miles between us get to me. There have been days of missing and nights of tears. However, this season of separation is one we’ve been sanctified through and, in the past five months of being apart, our relationship has grown stronger than it ever has been before.
With his imminent arrival on my mind, I wanted to express my thankfulness for the distance – even though it hasn’t been easy, it’s been a blessing. I’m thankful for letters and packages and text messages and video calls and the joys of trying to sync our Netflix-watching together with “3… 2… 1… press play now!” I’m thankful for spontaneous phone calls and the way that we can sometimes manage to feel so close when the reality is very far away indeed. I’m thankful for the conversations we’ve had and how it has never been easy to just hang out. In order to spend time together, our only option is talking and I know that the communication skills we’ve learned will benefit us for our entire lives. As much as I look forward spending the rest of my life with my best friend, not having easy access to him during our engagement has been extremely beneficial. This is a season for preparing and investing in relationships with the family and friends here in California that I’ll soon be leaving behind. Having Austin far away has helped me maintain a proper balance in preparing to be his wife, but also realizing that we’re not married yet.
So, here’s to the wonderful terrible thing that is a long-distance relationship. Some days it’s easy. Some days it’s difficult. But it’s part of our story and I wouldn’t have it any other way.by