He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]
Today, Johnny and I are 80 days out from our “I Do’s,” and I could not possibly be more excited.
We are also just a few weeks shy of seeing each other again for his regional soccer tournament, and less than a month away from being done with long distance forever.
In case you’re new to the blog, this post provides insight and advice from both Johnny and I on our years of long distance.
I recently put out a question via my Instagram about what interests you most in reading on the blog. An overwhelming majority loved reading about my relationship with Johnny– and, specifically, how we have navigated long distance and “made it work.”
Here is the thing about long distance (since this will probably be my last ever post while I’m in the midst of it):
If you are dating a person worthy of your time, investment, and relationship with, long distance should not be a problem.
You should not have concerns about their loyalty, truthfulness, or intentions, and if you do, we are way beyond the issue of long distance. Unless those concerns come from past hurts that genuinely have nothing to do with the person you are seeing, you need to take some time to seriously consider/pray into your reasoning for relationship with this person.
If you are in love, aligned in morals and intentions, and open with each other, the sacrifice of long distance will not feel so much like a sacrifice, but rather a necessary, non-negotiable experience. If you are led to different places/paths at the same time before you are married, pray about it, and have confidence in your relationship, this distance should not be any object in your relationship.
Now, in saying this, I do not mean that the distance isn’t difficult. Painful. Emotional. Challenging. The hardest thing about it for Johnny and I has been simply MISSING each other, aching for each other, as we are truly best friends, and love being with each other very much.
So, naturally, the way we have “made it work” has been in much, much prayer and dialogue. In feeling confident and continuously led that we are better together than apart, and clinging to the knowledge that the distance was temporary. In focusing on all of the positive things that distance brought, like road trips, heightened excitement and anticipation when we got to reunite after long stretches of time, and the best communication possible. Like the opportunity to work through a challenging circumstance so early on in our relationship, in order to work together through tough decisions and emotions. And, ultimately, because our relationship is not about me, and because we love each other, we support each other, and pray into each other’s situations.
Again, because our relationship is not about me, I don’t fret about missed dates or anything that comes with having a next-door-boyfriend, but look with joy to all the things that Jesus is glorified through in our long distance, and all that we have learned together that will without a doubt help us in our marriage, and for the rest of our lives.
Tangibly, though, how do we “keep things alive?”
We communicate. We tell each other what is on our mind. Even the little things. But we also do not put much pressure on communication. We’re at a point in which we understand our balance of intentional, sacrificial effort/each other’s schedules. But, the reality is… we both WANT to be texting each other/talking to each other all of the time. We’re pretty darned in love, if you can’t tell.
We sacrifice. It’s easy to overlook Skyping as something that isn’t like a planned date, but once we’ve set one (we’re casual about it– we don’t have a certain number per week or anything, as we both like the spontaneity of it and respect our very different schedules), we stick to it. We look so forward to these. Yes, sometimes it’s hard not to just stare at each other in frustrated longing, but it’s just like hanging out for real, if you set your mind to it ;).
We ask forgiveness. We have run into issues. We have let each other down. We have each failed. But each of these times, as we’ve sought each other’s forgiveness, we’ve been able to see as opportunities to improve, through and for Jesus. Something Johnny does so well is ask forgiveness, intentionally, humbly, and genuinely, when he has done something wrong. I have learned so much about the importance of this through his example!
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]
In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above.
I think, when Christian beliefs are not openly talked about, it is common to have this notion. It is common, even, for this notion to carry us through to our adulthood, as we go through the motions of “church” without ever really realizing why. Worse, while doing so because “our parents did,” or “to keep our place in Heaven.”
I am extremely open in all areas of my life about faith, and the reasons I go to church. If your notion of church-going has ever been as bleak as the one above, I would encourage you to think about the very Truth that lead me to a life surrendered to God in the first place.
It was a nagging question I had when I was nine years old.
I couldn’t stop thinking about death.
If I could somehow transport myself 100 years in the future, I thought, I would be dead. And life would go on. So there is no way the purpose of this life can be about ME, or serving myself, or catering to my temporary lusts. There is more.
My 21-year-old brain has definitely filled in some loftier language here, but you get the idea.
This thought led to a long season of entrenched soul-searching, at the end of which I was wholly convinced that Jesus Christ was the purpose of my life, of all lives, and that eternity with Him, for HIS glory and not my own, was a prize worth knowing. Meeting Him myself and falling in love with Him; His perfect, selfless way of loving; His beauty; His servanthood and godliness; His non-judgement and His Words; His lovingkindness, patience; then, understanding His wrath, and how deserving I am of it, but that it’s only Jesus that could save my soul… understanding my soul’s NEED for saving… it was this “fear of the Lord that was the beginning of all wisdom,” as the Proverb says.
Wisdom, that led to joy that wasn’t fleeting, but eternal.
And so, my friend, church isn’t an hour on a Sunday morning to sing songs about a foreign being. It’s a supplement to a LIFE that we’re called to in FULL SUBMISSION to the God who created us, who died for each one of us, and who we will all meet face to face one day. Who says He gives His Spirit in full to those who believe and ask Him.
It is my belief in these things that causes me to live moment by moment in grasping, anguishing need for my Father God. For every ounce of purpose, Life, wisdom, strength, and compassion.
Are you searching for purpose? What questions do you have? How have your views of what “church” is shaped your views of God? How might you go about finding the actual facts about these things, in order to live a life that is more aligned with the Truth?
…I have learned that I struggle. I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling […]
Yup. I’m a 21 year old Canadian female and only just recently got my ears pierced.
And then… un-pierced. And the whole debacle is what led to some leaps in my physical recovery from eating disorders, and a greater understanding of my personal identity.
Excessive? Allow me to explain.
I grew up with two sisters, and remember each of them getting their ears pierced. In fact, I remember each of them begging my mom to allow them to get their ears pierced at quite young ages.
But when my mom asked me if I ever wanted to get mine pierced, my answer, a few times over, was no. I just didn’t see the point in getting a needle put in my ears so that I could put jewelry in them. It just seemed like unnecessary efforts.
I’ve never been extremely opposed to the idea of having ear piercings, and definitely not to that of having piercings in general– I do, after all, have my belly button pierced. So when my friend Brooke and I went to get pedicures a few weeks ago and I noticed that the place did ear piercings for just $15 with free earrings, I thought, Why not?
Now, in hindsight, and after talking to a few friends afterward, I realize the question I really should have been asking when I saw that the piercing AND earrings together cost 15$ was Why?
In any case, I really liked the piercings for about a week after having them. They were easy to get used to, and easy to clean. I cleaned them thoroughly with warm salt water three times per day.
After about a week, though, I noticed the infection starting, and it only worsened over the next several days.
My dear friend, also known as my “soulmate” Bethany zeroed in on the infection the moment she saw me, and insisted upon taking me to Shoppers Drug Mart to get the appropriate products to fix it. I was incredibly grateful; I had not known what to do, especially with my go-to ailment-healer away at the cottage (my mom, of course).
And so, I set out to use the solution three times per day as Bethany had instructed, but soon realized that the infection was already too advanced. It would definitely require more serious care.
I decided to go to a walk-in clinic, where I was prescribed both a topical cream, and an antibiotic, by a patient doctor with a kind smile. The antibiotic was to be taken 4 times per day, with a decent meal each time.
It was when I realized how difficult it was for me to eat four large meals per day that I turned to prayer, confused.
I’m a “six small meals a day” kind of person, and this antibiotic did NOT work with snacks. If I didn’t have enough food with it, I noticed instantly that I had a horrible stomachache afterwards.
The last full update I did about eating disorder recovery is here.
After writing this one, I told myself that I would not qualify myself to give advice on my own experiences with recovery until I had gotten at least three periods in a row. I’ve experienced in the past “feeling” so educated on the topic of the recovery– and, from a knowledge-perspective, I am– but without having the success displayed in my own life.
So when I realized that the prospect of eating enough food at a time to make four large meals per day was mentally a little bit daunting, my reaction that of was fear and doubt.
Had I slipped back into more old habits than I’d realized?
I’ve spent a lot of this past week and a half reflecting on and praying about the previous year that I spent working at a health-food cafe.
I’ve already spoken about it to myself, and to some friends and family, and I don’t like to say it but acknowledging it was step one: some circumstances of the past year have triggered some old thought patterns which *sometimes* lead to old disordered behaviours.
That, and the reality that I could still relate so much to this video made me realize that “diet culture” had probably had its way with me more than I had previously admitted.
And, of course, my God and His timing? Sooo paramount.
The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. DEUTERONOMY 7:22
I’ve had to take this antibiotic and learn to be okay with eating four big meals a day (and snacks, too, if I want them) during my couple weeks off after leaving my job in the health food industry, and before starting my new one as a writer.
There has been an INCREDIBLE amount of healing during this time that I didn’t even know I needed. I plan to share more about the key areas of healing that God has revealed to me through prayer, time in the Word, and those around me. Removing myself from lies that I’ve believed in the past that were my everyday environment for a while again, repenting of believing them, and getting up close with Truth and Life in Jesus has been the desire of my soul. And He’s already reminded me that He already had victory over this battle, and that if there’s more that needs to be nailed to the cross, would He show me, but otherwise I can walk confidently in that victory.
Today, I simply want to highlight that something as seemingly insignificant as an ear infection can be a paramount turning point when entrusted to God.
He uses everything for His glory. Even a silly decision to take a nail artist up on a $15 piercing.
I remember that, in high school, a “normal” conversation at the lunch table, at a party, or at a friend’s locker was about someone else. The “subject line” was rarely to do with the state of one’s soul, the deeper thoughts they’d been having, or […]