Greetings from frigid New England. The drive from California to Rhode Island was, thankfully, smoother than I dared to hope. I had incredible weather all the way, and my nine year old car made it look easy. I even had a wonderful opportunity to spend the last night of my trip near Cleveland in the home of great friends I knew in San Jose.
So now, I’m here. Starting over in a new land. It’s exciting, and it’s quite an adventure.
The adjustments haven’t only been mine to make.
As our relationship transitions from cross country to cross town, Sarah and I are realizing that doing so isn’t as simple and smooth as one might think. It has been a wonderful, and sometimes awkward process of self-discovery. As much as you are mindful and prayerful about being realistic and not idealistic about long distance love, there are significant adjustments we must make as individuals, as well as a couple.
The other day, Sarah and I went on a day trip to Boston. It was a beautiful day, but there was something of a dark cloud hanging over us. In fact, it had been lingering on and off for the better part of a week. As we got to the subway parking garage, we each knew we had to have an awkward conversation. One of us was holding on to an observation that wasn’t awful, but carried a lot of personal weight. It wasn’t a comfortable topic. There was a concern that discussing it could cause anger or hurt in the other, which neither of us would want to inflict on anyone, much less each other.
Finally, it was out in the open. It was awkward at first, but there was no anger or hurt. Throughout the next 20 minutes, we went from an initial state of angst, to sharing a variety of very personal quirks that we don’t necessarily broadcast to others. Healing had come. We were able to console and understand one another on a new, deeper level. We were even able to laugh and be ourselves.
The cloud was gone.
We ended up having a wonderful day and evening in Boston. We walked hand-in-hand throughout. We laughed, we took pictures, we dreamed, we explored.
As I reflect upon that day in its entirety, I think about how much more than that, God loves it when He points out things in our lives that maybe no one knows about, or would have the courage, authority and sensitivity to discuss. God isn’t afraid of our reactions, as we flawed humans are. But when we receive His conviction, His word of correction, His rebuke, His tender words of admonition, and we embrace them, we achieve a new level of intimacy with Him. The roadblock that may have existed before is gone. Transparency leads to a greater depth of love and trust for God, just as it does in human relationships.
Human nature says to ignore difficult truths. Sweep it under the rug. Ignore it and it will go away. In truth, this is deception. A relationship of any kind cannot be healthy when there is deception at any level, to any degree. Where there is humility, there is no humiliation. Where there is transparency, there is intimacy. Whether in marriage or with God, we can only discover and live a life of trust and faith when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in their presence, and receive the uncomfortable truth that leads to greater intimacy, and a healthier, deeper relationship.