This is a bittersweet post for me.
I almost didn’t write it because I knew it would be really difficult.
But it keeps coming back into my mind, and so I think God is asking me to write it anyway.
My long distance boyfriend and I had about three months left of distance when we broke up a couple weeks ago. If you think dating long distance is hard, breaking up long distance is even harder. There’s a lot I could say about that, but that’s not really what this post is about.
This post is about our relationship with Jesus, and what being long distance with the person I loved taught me about being loved by Him.
We need to claim all the time we possibly can with Him.
One day it struck me…Jesus is my first love, and I am in a long distance relationship of sorts with Him.
The distance is going to last my entire life.
I’ll admit to you, I broke down in tears when this realization swept over me. This was a few months ago and I compared my angst over having to spend five more months away from my boyfriend, to the thought of spending an unknown amount of years apart from the true lover of my soul.
And suddenly it just felt like such a long time.
It was then that I understood not only the true beauty of Heaven, but also the importance of getting all the time with Jesus that I possibly could.
There were very few things that could have led me to cancel a Skype date with my boyfriend. I was almost desperate for my time with him. It was all the time we were able to spend together, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
So why was I so quick to prioritize little things over my time with God?
Maybe this is something you can only grasp the significance of once you’ve been long distance, but it hit me hard. I was missing our “Skype” dates–prayer time, time in Scripture, time in worship–all over the place. And that’s when it clicked for me that I had to start making Him a priority.
His love is steadfast.
When you’re long distance, the other person and his or her love can feel…well, distant. And sometimes spotty. It’s easier for offense and arguments to take center stage, since your overall time together is less and so those things seem more significant now in comparison.
It’s easier to feel unloved.
It’s easier to overthink.
God’s love, if anything, shines brighter in light of all that. Even with this distance between us, He still loves us perfectly and in a way that makes us feel seen and understood and appreciated. He never disappoints and He will always be enough. He will never let a day pass without sending you little gifts and speaking words of love over you. He finds ways to express His love for you, and since He knows you, He finds ways to do that that are meaningful to you specifically.
It’s so beautiful, the way He loves us.
Even with this distance, His love is steadfast and permanent and unwavering.
He is the only thing we can hold onto forever.
I hope this section won’t seem too woe-is-me, because I really don’t mean for it to. It’s kind of a sad truth…until we learn to accept it and stop bargaining and trying to keep other things. And then it can sustain us as our primary source of hope, if we’ll let it.
I really and truly thought that my ex and I were going to make it. We seemed to be on the same page when it came to most things; I thought all the little signs were there that it was going to last; I could practically taste a long and successful future together.
I was hanging on to what I imagined life would be like once we were no longer long distance.
I was hanging on to what, in my mind, was a fairly secure future.
I was hanging on to the plans we had made together.
I was hanging on to him.
And I felt pretty secure in all that. It felt permanent, so I had my hope in it.
But the truth is that Jesus is the only thing we can really count on to be permanent and steadfast. Nothing is guaranteed in this life, and the things that do last in this life, we can’t take with us into the next. Except for Him.
He’s the best (read: only) thing we can possibly put our trust in; the best foundation for our lives.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16)
He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:2)
This can actually be a great source of hope, not a source of sadness. He will always be there, and He will always be for you. Nothing and no one else comes to mind that fits that description.
He is the only thing that will always be near to you in every sense.
He never leaves.
He is never distant.
Right now we can’t actually see Him face to face, but His spirit is always here, walking alongside each of us and guiding us through our lives.
And someday we’ll get to see Him in all of His glory, and there won’t be anymore distance.
For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. (1 Corinthians 13:12, AMP)
He knows us fully now, but someday we’ll know Him fully. We’ll get to be in the same room with Him. That will be pretty amazing.
And it’s worth the wait.
Until next time,