Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the bench.


when Ryan and i were first engaged, we ran into an unexpected amount of time apart. what we thought would be a couple of months apart turned into a couple of years. for those of you who followed this blog during our long-distance relationship might remember the highs and the lows of our being apart.

one of the highs of our relationship were the visits. he lived in Georgia with his parents and i moved back home to South Carolina to live with my family. whenever i visited Ryan, we always made a stop to a local park. it was one of our favorites - with long, winding walking paths, lots of wide grassy areas and even a little pond to watch the bass and brim swim through its murky, brown waters. and every time, after our walk down through the park, our final stop was a bench. nothing special about the bench but it was our favorite because it gave us the best view of the park (and yes, in other words, best place to people watch! come on. you know you do it, too!).

but it was also where we often ended up talking about the deep stuff - about life, about our future, about our dreams, and because we were still living apart, about finally getting married. there were countless conversations, tears, and prayers exchanged on that bench. 

as i write this, it seems like those conversations were ages ago. the heartache of waiting and the pain of being apart almost seems faint. 

however, last week, as the temperatures were cooling and our bellies were full from a date night at Chipotle, Ryan suggested we take a walk at this particular park. we had not been for awhile and a crisp, autumn walk sounded like the perfect thing.

and like usual, we walked hand in hand through the winding walking paths, watching families celebrate the gorgeous weather with outdoor picnics or friends tackling each other in a friendly game. runners briskly ran past us, while others walked their dogs or pushed baby strollers. and as we approached the end of our walk, we spotted our favorite bench, empty and inviting.

at first, we just took our seats, leaning back against it's wood frame and taking in our surroundings, enjoying the peacefulness and soaking in our time together. we made small talk about the cute dog that waddled by or giggled over the awkward biker. 

and then Ryan said, remember those days that we would sit on this bench and talk about finally getting married?

and all those memories came flooding back. the anticipation of waiting for certain doors to open. the joy of being together even for a couple of days. the tears shed and the embraces exchanged. the nine o'clock nightly phone dates. the five hour road trips between GA and SC. 

and last but not least, i remembered the faithfulness and goodness of God. i remembered His timetable was not our own. i remembered the exhilaration of finally being able to move forward with our lives and get married on a beach in Maui. i remembered thinking that i would not have wanted this any other way. He knew what was best for me and for Ryan. He knew the lessons we would learn, the strength we would gain, and the experiences we would go through in the waiting process.

that bench will be a lasting reminder to me - and not just a reminder of God's faithfulness and goodness to me in the past, but also a reminder of His constant faithfulness and goodness. the thing about God is that He is unchanging. His character will always remain the same (Heb. 13:5). so no matter what season you may be in life, friend, know that God is faithful and good and unchanging.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

15 comments:

  1. Wow! Amen! He is teaching me something similar.

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  2. amazing. this is definitely god inspired wisdom!! thanks girlfriend :)

    xo dilyn

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  3. amen. so glad that you two are together. xo

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  4. Awesome! Great that you're in Georgia. I'd love to get coffee with you next time I'm in Snellville.

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  5. So sweet! And those years apart were so agonizing for us, I can't imagine how difficult they were for you!

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  6. Love this sweet post, and the fact that you two made through, despite the distance and separation I'm sure has made you stronger in your relationship!

    Stay lovely,

    Mel from Silk And Chai

    www.silkandchai.com
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

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  7. So beautiful! We had a long distance relationship and engagement, and while it seemed so terrible at the time, I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

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  8. I'm happy for you and the hubby! And yes, God is faithful. I'm learning to leave the details of my life into His capable hands.

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  9. You two are the absolute cutest!!

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  10. Amen! This post made my heart smile. Not the same story as Nate and mine, but I can totally relate to what you're saying. Be faithful. God knows our plans so much more than we do, and it is an amazing one. Love you and your heart sister!

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  11. This was just what I needed to hear.
    It's been five LONG but awesome years together and sometimes I get anxious for "what's next".
    But there's always a timeline. And I shouldn't rush what's bound to be awesome.
    Thanks girl!

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