02 July 2014

Sorry. Thanks. Sorry. Thanks.

While preparing for a move to and life in another land is hard, it has been the NOT preparing that has been the hardest. My life feels in limbo: stuck somewhere between Lansing, where I have been looking for a place to live and trying to figure out my calling as a campus minister, and Amsterdam, where I feel most at home (this is the first and only place up until now that I have chosen to be home) and where Matthijs is. Matthijs's life is also stuck in limbo, as it was not wise for him to quit or make definitive plans for next year until all the paperwork became definite.

Two people stuck in limbo are not an ideal combination. I feel like I've been constantly fluctuating between feeling hurt by or irritated with Matthijs (or he with me) to apologizing to him or appreciating him for all he does and his patience with me. I would be annoyed to live with me at this point, so I sometimes wonder how he manages to do it! Even as I know that marriage involves hard work at times, I'm starting to feel a bit resentful of the stress this adventure has been putting on our relationship. I am thankful to see how our relationship has been able to withhold the strain placed on it through the distance and stress, but I recognize how much God's grace has played a role in that. As much as God's grace is unending, it seems foolhardy not to try to do whatever we can to bring more joy and peace into our relationship. Ideally, we'd get rid of the stress and distance as soon as possible, but until that can happen, it seems wisest, during the stressful times, to try to be extra gracious with each other, learn better to be silent and listen and think extra before speaking, and even to spend less time with each other (especially when I'm irritable).

I'm hoping and praying that the some of the stress on our relationship will fade away now that we've finally (after 6 months of waiting!) received our visas to live in Lansing. And we're going away this weekend, getting to spend time together delighting in the beauty of Europe, which always makes us happy. At the same time, although I wouldn't want to go through these last 6 months again, I'm thankful for what the experience has taught me about stress and relationships. I hope that Matthijs and I can share what we've learned with others.

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