I’ve been sitting here with my laptop open meaning to write about how long-distance effects my marriage.  My husband left for Mexico yesterday morning.  We’ve always known long-distance throughout our entire relationship because his career demands that he leaves home for up to 6 months at a time.  We have endured time apart for almost a decade and you’d think we would be pretty darn good at it by now.  The truth is, I’m horrible at it.  As a girlfriend it wasn’t easy, as a fiancé it seemed to only get harder.  Now as a wife, it’s the hardest it’s ever been.  This is the man I chose to spend my life with, yet here we are spending most of our days apart. 

We’ve found ways to make the distance easier on our relationship.  Watching the same shows or movies so that we can talk about them after.  Facetime dates are essential.  Having a countdown to visit.  There’s a lot I could write about on how to make the distance easier.  But the thing is, today, it’s not easy at all.  Today I am crying alone on my couch missing my husband.  Today, I am not okay.

I know I’m not the only one who is not okay today.  With the economic crisis in our country due to COVID19, so many people are facing layoffs, sickness, loneliness, and separation from their loved ones.  People are stranded on cruise ships and in foreign countries.  People are isolated in their homes in fear of spreading a scary virus.  People are panicking and hoarding because of so many uncertainties in the days to come.  I wanted to write about long-distance today, but I am so distracted by the world around me. 

This is a scary time we are in.  This feels like we are in one of those valleys, lions’ dens, or the wilderness.  It feels like there’s no way out.  We are so focused on our current circumstances that it’s impossible to see how God can pull us back onto the mountain tops or bring us into the promise land.  We have easily forgotten all the times He was faithful in His provision up until now.  Is He not the same God who has always provided for us before?  Can He not do it again? 

But forget all that—
    it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
 The wild animals in the fields will thank me,
    the jackals and owls, too,
    for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
    so my chosen people can be refreshed.
I have made Israel for myself,
    and they will someday honor me before the whole world  

Isaiah 43: 18-21

God makes pathways in the wilderness and rivers in the dry wastelands.  He refreshes us.  He does this for our benefit, but even more, He does this for His glory.  What better testimony than that of a God who carried us out of desperate situations time and time again.  And He will keep doing it.

It’s easy to forget that part.  We could easily allow these times to be our tragedy.  The time when a virus stopped the world as we know it.  The time when our economy was in crisis and we faced financial hardship.  The time when panic and fear took over our communities.  The time where an illness took the lives of many.  Or, this could become our testimony.  The time when God provided when we had nothing to provide for ourselves.  The time when God gave us peace in place of our fear.  The time when God protected and healed. 

I won’t allow my current circumstance to become my tragedy.  My current circumstance will become my testimony of Gods goodness.

God tells us in Isaiah 43 that after everything He’s already done for us, it’s nothing compared to what He is going to do next.  So many of us in the world are in the valley right now.  But that is no match for God.  Originally, I planned to title this “Going the Distance” because of the theme of long-distance in my marriage.  I think that title still applies. 

We are going to have to go the distance on this one.

 Keep wandering through that wilderness with no sight of the promise land, one day at a time, with full confidence that out of it will come so much more of God and His faithfulness. 

As we navigate what’s next for our country, community, families, careers, and ourselves, I pray we see God and His handiwork in all of it.  I pray we choose to focus on what God is doing through it all.  I pray we don’t forget that He has overcome the world. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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