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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hope with a capital H and the Commitment Zone

Since I last wrote, life has been catching up to me. I have social activities now. Again. They were on a hiatus over the summer, I suppose.

I have been working, of course, and I have friends among my coworkers. But I have also been going to Bible study and to a "community" at my church. And hopefully tomorrow I'll actually get to go to my church on a Sunday, oh my oh my. It's a very rare occurrence in my life.

I have been missing Eric lately. My best friend, my fiance, my husband, my dream... He has been missing for over a year now. No idea where in the world he is. I don't like to talk about it, usually, because it gets so awkward. I want to talk about how much I miss him... but not to complain. I don't want a lot of "oh poor yous" or that peppy optimism "I'm sure he's okay!" that you can tell is said that way because the person isn't sure at all. I am sure though. I am sure he's okay. I'm not sure if he's alive or dead. But I'm sure he's okay.

But lately I've just been missing him so much. I asked for prayers at Bible study and started crying. I started intently at the coffee table, to try to prevent them from seeing my tears. I shouldn't feel that way. I shouldn't feel like I can't express myself in front of them. But I really feel uncomfortable crying in front of anyone.

I know God has him. I know he's fine, where ever he is. And I Hope, with a capital H, that I'll see him. This whole experience has taught me about Hope. I used to think of it as wishful thinking. But now I realize it's much stronger than that. I have Hope. It's different than faith, though related. It's so strong. I can't really explain it. But I realize now that it's not just wishing for the best, or trying to temper down pessimism, or even just praying for something. To Hope for something with a capital H is not human. It's from God. Humans can do it, but it's not a normal part of our everyday lives. Though it probably should be. People think I'm putting on a brave face when I talk about my darling... but I'm not. I try not to cry, it's true. But other than that, when I sound matter of fact... I am. Now, a lot of the times I feel awkward about talking about it. And that comes through. But even though he's been gone nearly a year and four months and I've no word from him and the only contact in his family I had has let their email expire so I don't even have that lifeline... even so, I'm not... despairing. Not in the slightest. I miss him. I miss him so much. Every moment of everyday. I won't even think he's in my mind, I'll be thinking about something else entirely and suddenly his name pops up. Or I'll be humming or something and I'll say inexplicitly "I miss him". No, there's not a day or moment that goes by without the ache of missing him. But that's what it is; an ache. It's not a sharp pain. It's not unbearable. It's not that I don't love him utterly, completely... in fact it's because I love him utterly and completely, that it's not loneliness that is able to affect me but instead longing for one specific man out of the billions. Well, and more importantly, that God is giving me strength.

I wasn't like this. But God put me in the "commitment zone". About a month after I last talked to him, I thought I'd talk to him soon... but I was suddenly more committed than ever. I had wanted to be committed before that, but doubts and worries and such would weaken it. And over time of no contact, it would degrade so I'd be a mess between his absences (absences have always been a part of our relationship as he had his current job before we met-- but this is by far the longest one). But God knew that this absence would be longer, so he put me in the zone so I could last it. And I can.

Deep down I know, with no doubts, that even if I don't talk to him for ten more years, I'll still be able to wait. It will be with lots of tears, but it will still happen. At the same time, if he came back online now, that would be wonderful! I want him every moment... but I know I can wait for him. True love waits and all that.

God's time is not normal mortals time... but at the same time, eternal life is given unto those who believe in Jesus. That might sound hokey, but it's so powerful. I struggle with it, like anyone, but in this instance I think I'm tapping into that eternalness. Eternal life is given NOW, not given after death. Our eternal life starts before then. So though the saying "man's time is not God's time" is very true... I have ceased to be a common "man" (female though I be) and instead am a new creation. Eternal life is mine to claim now. I don't know how to wield it... but I think this Hope and commitment zone comes with knowing that time is different now.

Thank you God, for his absence. It's not easy, and is painful in many ways, but this crucible you have put me in, and which I Hope he is still in (but if not then thank you for taking him into your embrace) will only make us better. Better for you and better for each other. I know already that I will be a better wife to him than I was before because of this experience. So thank you, as I want to (but fail miserably) to thank you for all things. Amen.

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