Long distance relationships

I just got back from meeting with some people from my old Campus Challenge 2005 small group.?? It’s been a while since we met up… for me, I didn’t see some of them for 2 years now LOL (coz I missed our last get-together a ~3months back).?? We just met up at Starbucks (originally planned for Timothy’s) in Main Street, Unionville… there was only 4 of us who made it, but still it was a good time catching up.The first hour or so we just caught up with each other’s lives, what’s been happening, anything new going on…which eventually led to the the inevitable discussion which lasted the bigger half of our night: dating & relationships.?? One of the girls just started a relationship in May, and the ball just kept rolling from there.?? I ended up sharing about the jist of what happened with my last relationship…and what’s happening now–and how complicated it is.?? LOL!?? And near the end of the night, we started discussing whether or not we would or could start or keep a long distance relationship.?? I think it kinda started with me talking about such being a complication, that it’s only a matter of time that I’d be going to seminary for years–most likely out of the province or even out of the country–and whether or not I would wait for my current prospect/interest.?? I don’t know if I/we concluded anything, but the truth is I’m already “waiting” in a sense.In general, we found that most of us haven’t had that experience of having a long-distance relationship… though one of us shared that it just didn’t work for him.?? With long-d, the distance and the time apart simply becomes less and less bearable over time.?? Even for a strong and committed couple who are intentional and faithful in keeping the relationship going via phone/internet, many obstacles and issues will develop as you miss each other more and more and both parties developing ‘wonder’ about what’s really going on with the other.?? It’s just really hard not to need and thus search for friendship when your companion is a million miles away and cannot see them for long periods of time.?? I just finished reading “Message in a Bottle” and it was a major issue that came up in the story… sacrifices will have to be made, and somebody will have to give up more than the other. In the end, whether or not it can work out, depends on the people in the relationship… whether or not both are willing to go through such a lengthy ordeal, and if their character and will can endure the loneliness of time and distance.

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Knowing me and my hopeful-romanticness, being one who would be intensely jealous about my girlfriend being close with other guys… a long-d relationship would be very, very hard to sustain, and I don’t know if I could survive months apart.?? Ideally, I would think that I could and would be patient and faithful, but over the course of time I’d never really know whether or not I could take it.?? I only pray and wish that I don’t have to go through such a thing… but for some reason, my pseudo-gift of prophecy tells me that I’ll likely face this trial.?? ~sighs~?? These are the days I wish life were more simple–God does this all gotta be so hard?!?

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,??and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”–Romans 5:3-5

This??may be a bit??out of context, but I think what Paul says here speaks truth into this very issue of long distance relationships.?? To put it a bit more plainly:suffering –>??endurance –>??character –>??hope.And from this, knowing that God has called us to suffer–it’s a given–the question is whether or not we will thrive in this life, or just survive.?? Do you want your life to display the greatness of the glory of God’s grace??? If so, then know this–any and all you’re suffering will ultimately show the world whether or not you are tranformed by the Spirit of God through the suffering of Christ Jesus that is extended to you.“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24). Nothing is lacking in the suffering of Christ for our salvation…but this??suffering in our flesh is??our working out our salvation with fear and trembling (not working for it).?? All this is part of sanctification, the process of becoming holy and Christ-like, set apart for Him.?? God has made us righteous, holy, forgiven and faithful–justification–made right and acceptable to God by the substituationary atonement of His Son Jesus Christ’s death on the the Cross… God’s love is hence poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.?? And thus sanctification’s energy & power has its source in and is the fruit of this justifying gift of grace.May we preach the Gospel to ourselves day in and day out.. and may God’s grace be the only thing that saves us, and moreover, the only thing that we need in life to sustain us.?? May we desperately depend on His Spirit that is within us, eagerly expect Him to do wonders, and to humbly respond to His movement.

The sky has lost its color, the sun has turned to gray;At least that’s how it feels to me whenever you’re away.I crawl up in a corner, to watch the minutes pass;Each one brings me closer to the time when you’ll be back…You’re comin’ backI can’t take the distance, I can’t take the miles,I can’t take the time until the next??see you smile.I can’t take the distance and I’m not ashamed,That I can’t take a breath without sayin’ your name.I can brave a hurricane and still be standin’ tallwhen all the dust has settled down.But I can’t take the distance.I still believe in feelings but sometimes I feel too much,I make believe you’re close to me;But it ain’t close enough–not nearly close enough!

Grace to you and peace from God our Father,SDG

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