I've seen other bloggers do these, where they share a blog post from way back, and I may have done it once or twice, way back.
But today when I was chugging along at my Bible in 90 days reading I suddenly realized I have one I really need to share with you today. It's probably one of my favorite posts of all time, and it was interesting re-reading it now that I am with Ryan and married.
I originally published it on June 8th, 2011 which is almost a year into Ryan and my relationship, but a good year and a half before we got married. I've decided to add photos of Ryan and I together as the illustrations, as you'll probably understand why. Here it is:
Long Distance Relationship with Jesus
Pretty much all of my adult relationships have been long distance. We could get into the why or the whatnot, but I will say I, of course, have nothing against normal in person relationships and have longed to have them (and have tried on occasion) but I think God's plan for me has been more long distance.
A few weeks ago, when I was talking to Ryan via webcam (which we don't get to do that often since I have dial up at home) it suddenly struck me that modern long distance relationships are a metaphor for our earthly relationship with Jesus.
I remember in the past feeling so intimate with Christ, even going on "dates" with him where I booked a whole evening just to be in his presence, just the two of us (I am utterly in love with Jesus) that I wondered how different it could be when we're in person in heaven. I mean, I knew that it was supposed to be AWESOME but what we have here is so intimate and amazing and awesome. I mean, he's right here! He's in us! We're in Him! Right now! WHOO HOO!!!
But then it hit me that the people who don't realize how I can know and love Ryan even though he's in India right now, that's like the attitude that we don't have a real intimate relationship with Jesus right now since He's at the right hand of the Father. Like with Ryan, I talk to Jesus daily, and he talks to me. Sometimes, like when Ryan and I are on webcam, it's so amazingly intense I just about break open with the joy of his presence. That's a 'sacramental' experience, if you get my drift. He totally let's me know what's on his mind, initiates conversations (though he usually lets me do it) and just like Ryan gave me my netbook for my birthday Jesus will send me gifts, whether they be friends, experiences, or just a songbird to make me smile when I'm feeling low. Jesus is much better at the long distance thing than Ryan and I. Jesus is always available, never too busy, and of course there's the spiritual reality that He really is here, one with me, not off somewhere else.
But just like I can utterly fall desperately in love with Ryan and know he's the one even though we're continents apart, but still long for his touch... and just like I can hear his voice on the phone but still wonder if the phone distorts it?... or what habits and gestures of his does he do all the time but I've not gotten to experience in person yet?... or what it will really be like to be joined with him, man and wife, as we both truly long for and know God is leading us toward?
So is the difference in the intimacy we can experience here and what we can experience with Him in heaven is astronomical... but the love is no less or more real.
I felt I should share because the majority of you won't have long distance relationships, or if you do, they won't last. God has a different path for each of us, and each path reflects His glory, and this is mine. See, long distance relationships, whether they be between a man in India and a woman in America or between a savior in Heaven and a Bride in the world, require faith. And faith is a gift. I am praying now that God would give all my readers the kind of faith to have a deep and intimate relationship with our beloved bridegroom in Heaven.
It will be awesome to be one with you at the wedding feast.
See, the thing about long distance relationships is this: successful ones transition into full time, in person marriages. Thinking about both my loves, Jesus and Ryan, I just feel such gratitude at that thought! Such hope! Sometimes long distance relationships are rough, but oh, all my faith and patience will be worth it then!