only help my unbelief

From online to long distance
July 9, 2008, 6:00 am
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Note: This post is part 2 of “How I met Christian.” You can read part 1 here.

After I headed home to South Carolina on April 9, 2006, reality sank in.

Sure, I’d met an awesome guy through the Internet by the providence of God, but now I was back at school, taking 19 hours and trying to work part-time during the week. I hardly had time to be, let alone stay in touch with a boyfriend. Before it had been official, there weren’t many expectations. But now that I had met this charming young man and he had expressed interest in pursuing a relationship with me, I really wanted to talk to him!

As exciting as our relationship was, it came at an interesting time. It came at the right time, I know, because God is sovereign, but in the couple of months before I met Christian in person, I had started having sleeping problems and panic attacks. It wasn’t because of Christian initially, but once we started dating, the problems were compounded.

Even though he had remained firm in his commitment to me, I still wasn’t sure if he really meant it. And it didn’t matter how many times he told me, I still just wasn’t sure.

As you can imagine, this was a hard time for both of us. I wasn’t trusting God or Christian, and he was 400 miles away trying to do well at school and spend time with friends and still be there for me.

I wish I could say that the problem quickly subsided, but it didn’t.

Instead, the anxiety turned into dependence, which turned into some behavior that I’m pretty embarassed about and would rather not disclose completely. In short, the summer after we met, I dishonored my parents, ignored most of my friends (which really hurt them) and didn’t really resolve any of my anxiety about Christian.

And so that summer was a rocky time, and not indicative of what our relationship would become. I get really sad thinking about all the opportunities that I wasted during those months, but God is a good and loving God who redeems bad things for good. It took me a while to see any good out of those things, but if nothing else, I can see that God sustained me through a period of time when I deserved grace less than anyone.

At the end of the summer we had almost two weeks together. He stayed with some friends of mine in Columbia, and we got to see each other every day. This was good, but almost too good. When he went back to school, it was really hard for me. Over the summer we had been able to talk pretty much whenever. But now he had a schedule and so did I, and we had to fit each other in.

The first semester of my junior year was rough, because our relationship was really and truly long distance. He wasn’t just some guy I talked to through AIM who I thought was really great. This was someone who was pursuing me, who wanted to know me better, who wanted to know my family and friends, who really and truly loved me. The only thing was, he was a six-hour drive away.

We managed to visit each other fairly often. He came down for an Andrew Peterson concert. I went up for our six-month anniversary. He came down for fall break. I went up when we had a Monday off school. But the fact remained that we did not live in the same town, we didn’t get to see each other much, and it was really, really hard.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel, though it was a temporary light. After Christmas 2006, he was going to spend six weeks in Columbia… before he went to Germany.

To be continued.


July 2, 2007, 12:28 am
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Christian is coming home to me in 20 days. Well, I guess he’s coming home to more things than me. But I’m the one picking him up at the airport, so technically I’ll be the first somewhat familiar thing he will see. So I’ll stand by my statement: Christian is coming home to me in 20 days.

He’s in a town called Heilbronn right now, staying with an older couple from the church he’s been attending. He’ll be with them all this week and is going back to Bamberg on Sunday. I’ll get to talk to him again in 7 days.

They’re going to London this coming week for a conference. London is a dangerous place now, apparently, which I was reminded of about 15 minutes before we said “goodbye.” I know that God is bigger than terrorists. I also know that anxiety is just a euphemism for not trusting God, which is a sin. Nevertheless, I will be very, very happy when he returns back to Heilbronn. He’ll be out of very, very potential terror-related danger in 5 days.

I guess there are other things to countdown besides things related to Christian, but he’s on my mind and heart right now, so I’ll leave it at that.

Oh, well, my aunt and uncle and three cousins (all under 6 years old) are leaving Tuesday. 2 days. I’m having fun with them, but I think the dog is ready for them to leave, so this last countdown is for Teddy.