- Long-Distance Lollipops -
Pulling into the post office, I glanced at the clock. 10:34am...plenty of time before they closed at 11. That’s the downside to Saturday mornings, in my opinion. So many stores close by lunch, which means I have to go dashing around trying to hit them all (and not get distracted by yard sales, because, HELLO, yard sale junkie here!). I walked in the door, closely followed by about five other ladies, mostly middle-aged and up.
I plopped my package on the counter and the postal worker looked up at me with a bemused smile. My box, about 3 inches x 4 inches, with its bright red bottom and silver-striped lid sat on the scale, looking ridiculously tiny. “I need to ship this little thing” I said, smiling back at her. “Any liquid, fragile, or hazardous items?” she asked. “Nope,” I grinned. “Just four lollipops and a letter.”
Suddenly, the room was filled with the laughter of all the women behind me. Four lollipops?! They undoubtedly thought I must be young and crazy to be paying the postal service to ship four lollipops halfway across the country. As I finished paying, I could still hear the chuckles of the women, even as I walked out the door with a grin on my face. Because they were right...I am young and maybe a bit crazy. But I have a pretty good reason for it.
As many of you already know, Ben and I started a long-distance relationship about three months ago. After twelve years of friendship, we both felt ready to explore a new chapter of our lives, albeit 500 miles apart. While any relationship can be hard, long-distance has a distinct set of challenges to overcome. Communication becomes vital, but also more precious. Time spent together during breaks and vacations becomes far more meaningful. Skype calls and letters become unexpected joys to look forward to. Plain and simple...long-distance is HARD. The doubts and fears that everyone experiences in a relationship seem to triple overnight. Yet, you can’t call them up for coffee the next day to sort it all out side by side.
However, both Ben and I are confident that the paths God has called us to walk are currently in Virginia AND Indiana. I couldn’t be more proud of the way Ben is chasing his dreams at IU, delving deeper into piano performance, and making lasting friendships on campus. Meanwhile, I am in the final stretch of earning my bachelor’s degree in accounting, while working part-time, helping with youth group, and spending time with family and friends. Life is crazy-busy for both of us, and frankly, the distance can sometimes help us to focus on our respective tasks at hand.
But that doesn’t mean the distance wins. 500 miles and a whole lot of statistics against long-distance relationship success (seriously, have you READ the articles out there?!) does not mean we give in. We laugh together, cry together, and pray for each other. We share our daily stories, struggles, and stupid mistakes. We count down the days until we can watch the next Star Wars movie together (yes, he’s finally converting me...) and argue about who gets to drive.
As Ben and I continue growing closer to each other and the Lord, we would absolutely love prayer from YOU all, our dear friends and family. We have received so much wisdom and encouragement already, but we know that any relationship needs plenty of outside support to truly grow and flourish. We’ve also received plenty of “Oh my GOODNESS it’s about time!” remarks, but hey, that’s been happening since second grade so we’re pretty used to it. :) And even as the rest of the world laughs, we’ll keep sending lollipops in the mail to remind each other that life is shorter, sillier, and far sweeter than we could have ever dreamed.