Sixteen days. That’s how long it has been since I sneaked into Seth’s apartment at 5:45am, kissed him on the forehead, and said see you later honey. Just two more until I’m back for a few days. And then the countdown just starts over.
It seems to be a popular thing to tell me 3 hours distance isn’t bad and I seriously wish I was paid for every time someone tries to be encouraging and let’s me know that I’m lucky I get to see him every few weeks or once a month or so. And you know what, they’re right. We did three months of distance after two months of dating, from North Carolina to California, with no visits, and usually a phone call a week. This semester of distance rocks compared to that. Ok ask me in the moment and I’ll say something totally different and probably accompanied by a tantrum that could rival a two-year-old, but really distance may be the greatest thing.
You know why? Because mine and Seth’s story isn’t about the giggles and dating and love and engagement and soon, marriage. It’s not about the mess ups, the tears, the fights, the miscommunication. God didn’t create relationship so we better know each other. He created relationship so that we better know him.
Let’s be real here. Dating is hard. It’s really, really, really hard. That’s the beauty of it. I’ve never been so humbled by anything as I have been by my relationship with Seth. Every single day, I say the wrong thing. I do the wrong thing. I don’t do the right thing. If we’re being terribly real here, I hardly ever get it right. But Seth continues to love me (verb here, you guys. Love is always a verb). But sometimes the greatest way he shows me love is by calling me to be a better reflection of Christ. Sound nice, right? But, sweet friends, that kind of stings sometimes.
And it’s that sting, that rebuke, that has taught me something absolutely crucial about my relationship with Seth. My relationship isn’t supposed to be between or about me and my man. Let’s be real here, my relationship with Seth has definitely gone through a time where we tried to make it all about us. And it nearly wrecked us. No, relationship is about how Seth and I together, you and your person or your future person, reflect the person of Christ.
How neat is that? Individually we strive towards being more like Christ but something really special happens in relationship. You two together become a more complete image of Christ because he himself is a relationship – the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. You get to see and experience and understand aspects of Jesus in a new way through relationship, whether dating, engagement, marriage, or friendship, that just isn’t possible alone.
And that, sweet friends, is why I am so blessed by distance. It’s a constant reminder that this isn’t how it is supposed to be. Complete relationship as a reflection of Christ isn’t supposed to happen over distance. But you know what? The groom is coming for his bride. And until that day comes, I will wait and prepare and long for it.
Distance is humbling because relationship is humbling. It is hard. It is frustrating. But it is so good and so worth it. Relationship is never something to take lightly because it is one of the greatest ways we experience who Christ is. And let me tell you, God takes relationship so seriously. He loves to bless it and he will not hesitate to do work in it, however painful, so that it is as honoring and glorifying as it can be.
You guys, I long for the distance to be over. Just a few more months. I keep telling myself, just a few more. I so feel the absence of Seth in really everything I do. I know, cheesy, but it’s just so true. And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
I thought this was going to go a different direction. I planned on writing more about how God has so beautifully written mine and Seth’s story to include this distance, which is true. But sometimes God says ‘no, I have something better.’ He always does. Sweet friends, the best is yet to come because your Jesus, your groom, is coming and he’s chosen you as his bride. You are chosen. You are loved. Do you know your groom? Will you know him when he comes?