Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So Long, Switzerland!

3 months. That is how long I have been apart from my husband.

Jared had to go back to Switzerland to tie up loose ends with work and our housing situation. I was forced to stay behind. Emphasis on the word forced. Neither one of us wanted to be separated from one another. But there were many reasons why me staying behind was best. Not easiest....but best.

When we first told our family and friends that the plan was for me to stay behind....not everyone was supportive. In fact, there were a few who made me out to be a terrible wife because of our decision. It was difficult to feel their judgement even though we both knew in our hearts this is what God was asking us to do.

I knew it was going to be tough...but has been really tough! I can't stop and think too long about the day I had to drop him off at the airport and say goodbye. If I do, my chest physically begins to ache. I don't cry very often but that is by far the hardest I've ever cried in my entire life. I had to pull over for a good deal of time because I was incapable of driving back from the airport due to the constant flood of tears. It is something I never want to re-live.

Every day since has been difficult. When you get married, the Bible says you become "one flesh"...and that is how Jared and I live. He is a part of me, not just a part of my life. So it's like I've been trying to go through life as usual but now with a missing limb. It hasn't been impossible, but it has been a huge challenge. It has been frustrating, depressing and painful!

Sure, Skype has been helpful so I can see and talk to him but some days it's been almost more torturous because I want to just pull him through the computer screen and put my arms around him! And I can't. The one person on this earth that I want to be with most and I can't be with him. Talk about tough.

The time difference between us made for an extra challenge because we had a very short window of time where we could actually connect with one another. I became very protective of that time. There was once where we both had obligations that didn't allow us to see or talk to each other at all that day....and it was so incredibly heartbreaking and hard. But we would have our "skype dates" as I liked to call them every evening around the same time. We would share about our day, watch movies, eat dinner together...and my favourite was watching Southland Church sermons online together and then talk about what we learned from each of them. We would send love notes through email and snail mail. We did everything we could to keep our relationship as close as we could to what it would be if we were physically together. Seeing my husband for our "skype date" was my favourite and most anticipated time of the day!

I've definitely developed insomnia these past few months. When you're used to having someone next to you every night and then all of the sudden they aren't there - they are in a whole other country and timezone - a shift in your sleep habits is inevitable. I'm sure I'll sleep like a baby that first night he's home.

As tough as this has been, I can say this...our relationship is stronger. Despite the strains on us...we have not let it break us. In fact, we have reluctantly watched as marriages around us have crumbled under these exact same circumstances....but not ours. Ours remains intact. Why is that? Because we have never forgotten who our first love is. God.

We have both relied on His strength and grace and promises now more than ever.  When the decision was made that I would stay behind I had a very honest conversation with God about how this was not what I wanted....that I wanted to be with my husband, not apart from him. And God answered me: "Are you going to hold onto him or are you going to hold on to ME?" So I knew this was a test. And in this test....I had to let go. I had to put my full trust in God because up until that point...I was still holding some back. And He knew that.

This wasn't a "Him or me" ultimatum...rather it was God saying "If you just trust me, I want to show you my unfailing love." And that is exactly what I have experienced. On those nights when Jared couldn't be there...God was. In those quiet nights when feelings of loneliness crept in...God reassured me that He was there. When overwhelming thoughts circled my mind...He provided His peace. When I felt weak and powerless...God provided strength. God has been right there with me through it all. And I can always rest in His promises because He has already shown me that He is worthy of my trust and praise.

Tomorrow - after 3 long months - Jared will be home. My heart can hardly believe it. Second only to our wedding day...this will be the happiest day of my life! I cannot wait to wrap my arms around him and kiss his face!

In celebration of his return, I made him a Mt. Dew tower, Mt. Dew Cupcakes along with several of his other favourite American treats! I fully intend on spoiling him good when he gets back! :)
It's going to be an epic reunion! We are staying a few nights downtown at the same hotel where we spent our wedding night and we're going to make an entire weekend out of our first date night in months! CANNOT WAIT! :)

For all of you who have prayed for us and with us through this -- thank you! Your outpouring of love and support is priceless to us! Thank you for those who encouraged us along the way. We are so lucky to have such amazing people in our lives!

I'm going to attempt to get some sleep tonight...but I feel like a kid on the night before Christmas. Tomorrow is going to be SUCH a gift!!! By this time tomorrow...I will be back in my husband's arms! Right where I belong.