My boyfriend–my wonderful, wonderful man–is out on the mission field right now, leading the next generation of World Racers. About every day I see videos or pictures of him doing incredible things, like bouldering his way up a mountain in Swaziland, or surfing in Cape Town.
That was today, PS.
He’s always been far more athletic than I am. When we first started dating, he took me “hiking” up Stone Mountain. When I say hiking, I may in fact mean that we walked up a rather steep hill. By the way, I got winded about two-thirds of the way up and had to stop. Boyfriend could have run his way to the top and I was standing there completely unable keep any air in my lungs.
I thought this meant that I wasn’t athletic enough for him. He thought it meant he had to keep my pace. Slow.
He adapted. He knew I wasn’t strong enough to keep up with him, so he stopped and waited, holding my hand as I pulled in a breath and then two. He didn’t laugh at me or sigh with annoyance. He just smiled and pointed out a particularly lovely part of the Atlanta skyline.
We made it to the top eventually, and we lingered there for a long time, leaning against boulders and little shrubby trees. And I found that I loved the view even more for how much it took from me to get there, and how much patience he had with me while I made my way behind him.
If we’re being super honest, this is the story of our entire relationship. Him, ready and willing and excited to just go for it at full speed. And me, well, mostly willing, but moving at a much slower, more hesitant pace. Him, slowing down, waiting for me to catch up.
I needed a little more coaxing and a lot of encouragement. I needed space to figure it out and minutes to take deep breaths. I needed him to be more sure than I was, and for him lead me gently by the hand behind him.
And, praise the LORD, he’s given me all those things. He’s given me so much more than that.
Today marks our seventy-sixth day apart. It is the halfway point of our separation. Everything after today is downhill. And for just a second, I want to pause and take a breath and remember. We’ve climbed up a pretty steep mountain to get to where we are now, and let me just say, the view from up here is just breathtaking.
We are living a beautiful story. There are many more mountains ahead for us to climb.There are summits to linger on while we take in the things before us, and remember the things behind.
But I’ll say this– there’s nowhere else I’d rather be and no one else I’d rather live this story out with.