Over the last few weeks I have learned so much about so many things like Danish culture, navigating life abroad, & really, myself… but being here in Denmark has also taught me practical things about what it means to be patient in relationships, especially long distance relationships. Yes, we’re going there. Come and walk with me, and let me tell you about it.
We’re about to get vulnerable here. Before coming here to Denmark, I was a little nervous about navigating long distance abroad with Jeefry and I, my boyfriend of about 3 years (2 actually together, but that’s another testimony, lol). We have actually been doing this long distance thing for about a year and a half already since we go to two different colleges 5 hours apart. But this time, as I headed halfway across the world and prepared with him for the 6 hour difference, I wondered, would we make it? Would this actually work?
I remember kneeling in the middle of my room back home, where I prayed that through long distance, God would help the communication between Jeefry and I grow even stronger and that God would make something beautiful out of the difficulty; and honestly speaking, we’ve grown stronger in our friendship/relationship.
BUT, that has come AFTER hiccups that brought some real fear.
About two weeks ago, Jay and I went through this little “bump,” and I actually thought that it may not work out after all. In getting to communicate with him more, the differences between us were brought to light even more, and we wondered whether we were a good fit for each other. I began to fear the thought of losing him and getting heartbroken, so much so that I was so getting ready to bounce (this is my usual tendency. I can be a runner lol).
There was one particular day where our problems were really overwhelming me, so I headed outside after class and went for a walk in Copenhagen. My heart was heavy, and all that I could think about was him. I looked around to see the beauty of the world, to try to steady my heart somehow, and I prayed from deep inside of me “Lord, I need a word from you. This is hard, and I don’t know what to do.” And it’s almost like I could hear God whisper back “don’t worry daughter. Don’t make any decisions just yet. It’s going to be okay.”
Over the next few days, I sat patiently in the face of potential heartache. For a girl who has been heartbroken a number of times, I tend to fear experiencing it again. But over the week, I was continuously reminded of the song “This is How I Fight My Battles,” by Bethel Music and leaned on God when things got hard. Then one day my friend Yeiny called and prayed for me. Over prayer, she was reminded of the same song, and said that once she started praying for me, she felt this sorrow in her heart, but received vision of this “thing” seeming to chase me, but that in the end, it was actually surrounding me. God was reminding me that He knows the sorrow in my heart, and when it seems like my problems are chasing me, He is the One surrounding me. He was going to fight this battle for Jeefry and I and with us, and my job was to continue to trust and lean on Him.
So Jeefry and I waited. We talked, we prayed together, and we figured out that actually, our differences actually makes us a better team. Sounds cliché, but really amor, we’ve learned that they do. I’ve learned to better appreciate his differences as strengths, and he began to appreciate mine as such.
I wouldn’t have seen this if I ran away, if I gave up like my heart tends to do when I’m afraid. I wouldn’t have seen this if God didn’t ask me not to make any decisions, but to wait, and to trust in Him.
So to you, who are navigating long distance or even a relationship/ friendship that is going through a hard time, don’t be like me and be so quick to want to give up. Don’t make decisions in response to fear, but make them in rebellion to it, which sometimes just means being patient. There may be something beautiful on the other side of your waiting.
Extra Support: Quick Tips I’ve Learned about Navigating Long Distance/ Making a Relationship Work
- Listen to your partner. Put away other distractions, and give them your full attention when speaking to them. They are worthy of it.
- Ask your partner questions. When you find it hard to hold a conversation, ask them questions. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about them (Jay is better at this than me, but i’m working on it).
- Stay committed. Long distance can stir up even more desires of affection, but be patient in your heart. Stay committed to your partner in your heart, and if it’s worth it, wait it out faithfully.
- Be honest about what’s hard and why, and let your partner know about it. Let God know about it.
- And finally, pray for one another. I’ve got to say, it’s really one of the bigger reasons that Jay and I have found the strength and patience to wait it out this far. Prayer is the glue that sticks us together.
(This post is, of course, to those who are not in a dangerous situation. If you are, please find support and get out as soon as possible.)