Over the last few weeks several of my conversations with friends have centered around having long distance relationships and how beneficial they are.
I started dating Bret about two weeks before he was deployed to Iraq. I remember people would ask if I was worried…and I mean, of course I was, but my attitude was “he’s coming back to me or he’s not.” No amount of good thoughts would bring him back, I had to trust that he was safe in God’s hands and not my own. That attitude came from experiencing a previous long distance relationship as well as several loses of very young friends. I could see how God prepared me for the even larger struggle of Bret being deployed.
After Iraq, Bret was still in the service for a few more months in California and then went on to live with his family in California. The first 2 years of our relationship/knowing each other, we spent about 11 days in the same physical location the first year and maybe 2-3 months the second year. He didn’t move here until about 4 months before the wedding. While you can look at that and say, man, that sucks! We see it as a huge blessing on our lives. It forced us to grow in our communication with each other. Something that has been invaluable during hard times.
Now, having a string of conversations about long distance/limited time together relationships over the past few weeks, it has made me thankful anew for that time in our lives. Namely because it has equipped me to encourage my friends during hard times.
So what’s the secret to our joyful marriage?
It’s all in our attitude about our situations. To see that God is at the center of our marriage and all things that He brings on our path. You can choose to be angry at the small bank account or lonely when your spouse works long hours or sad that life has changed so much. Or you can be thankful that you have a roof over your head and even though you aren’t eating out as often as you’d like, you’re getting your daily bread…you can be thankful that your spouse has a job and is helping to pay the bills…you can be thankful that you aren’t stagnant and God is choosing to grow you through change.
What’s the secret to YOUR joyful marriage?
Secret Part B of our joyful marriage is being kids at heart. 🙂
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