God works in mysterious ways. We never know when He’s going to teach us a lesson, show us a sign when we need it most or bring people in our lives when we least expect it.
When I least expected it, God brought Scott into my life and we’ve been dating ever since. Being in a relationship has brought joyful laughter and made happy memories; however, there will always be challenges to face and lessons to learn—especially when you’re in a relationship with someone who lives 4 hours away.
Relationships take hard work. Long distance relationships take extra hard work. As we grow together in our relationship, God has walked with us as we have continued to learn about Him and each other. Here are several lessons I have learned (with God’s help!) about being in a long distance relationship.
- Unrealistic expectations can cause disappointment.
Having an open mind and a positive attitude shows respect for each other and prevents unrealistic expectations. We don’t always know when we will see each other again or if unexpected circumstances will arise, but it makes the time we do have to spend together that much better; we never take each other or that time for granted.
- Communication is important and takes dedication.
Learning what works for us and how to communicate has been essential for our relationship. Speaking on the phone and texting is obviously different than speaking in person; however, the support and respect is felt - even from 240 miles away.
- Lean on God and prayer through tough times.
Relationships have their ups and downs, and ours is not an exception, especially with the distance between us. There are times when I miss him or when I just need a hug from him. These moments can be tough, but often when that happens I pray about our relationship to ease my mind.
- Neither of you are perfect; forgiveness will make the relationship stronger.
You’re going to make mistakes, both of you. As Scott has taught and reminded me on multiple occasions, “Mistakes will happen, it’s human nature. It’s the lessons you learn and what happens after those mistakes that’s important.” We will say and do things that won’t always make each other happy. Admitting when we’re wrong and being humble through the challenges will teach us in the end. Forgiveness can be hard, but it’s essential for a loving relationship. 1 Corinthians 13:7 helps to ground me when disagreements happen and I need a reminder: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Remembering that God is in control helps stay focused on Him and strengthens our relationship. One verse I keep in mind is Philippians 4:13 - I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
There have been occasions when we’ve been talking on the phone and I may or may not start talking too much (I can be a talkative girl – what can I say!). That being said, the most important piece of communicating with each other is to listen to each other’s thoughts and perspectives. I have learned a lot about Scott as well as changed my way of thinking in certain situations because of listening to what he has to share.
Proverbs 19:20 shares a great piece of advice . “If you listen to advice and are willing to learn, one day you will be wise.”
Leaning on God for strength is necessary during times of weakness and this is one verse that continually helps in times of need: Proverbs 3:5-8 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong.
During a long distance relationship, we have faced some challenges and learned lessons along the way. However, we cherish the time we do spend together. We believe God has His hand on our relationship and is in control of what our future holds.
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