small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

our story: going the distance

on July 23, 2011

This is the third installment of the story of my relationship with Jonathan. If you missed any part, check them out before reading this one to get the full story. 

our story: the meet-cute

our story: the start of something good

Going the Distance

We began our dating relationship with clear expectations of monthly visits and daily phone conversations. This helped to calm my nerves about this long-distance thing, but it didn’t get rid of them. I even wrote in my journal in a moment of awe, “Did I really meet a guy 3 times, talk over the phone, then start a long distance relationship? Am I insane? BUT–I am loving the insanity.”

It really was quite a ride. Our visits were short, packed with family and friend time and a little time for us. The visits were challenging because we wanted to make sure we balanced our time well and used the face-to-face time to grow deeper in our relationship with each other. It was amazing how much we appreciated getting to do the simplest things together; watching a movie, eating a meal, playing video games, going to mass, hanging out with family, etc. Those moments were precious to us since they were few and far between. When I visited him in South Bend I was able to stay with a good friend who was a student at St. Mary’s College at the time. This was a great blessing to my relationship with her because staying with her allowed us the time to nurture our growing friendship as well. I am still amazed at how God really provided for me on those visits.

When we weren’t together in person we tried to create an authentic relationship in our phone conversations (and sometimes video!). We made sure to communicate our feelings as well as possible. We both had spiritual directors whom we met with regularly to discuss life and our decisions related to our relationship. A big thank you to Fr. Mark and Sr. Debbie who were instrumental in keeping our eyes on God through our dating relationship. They also helped give us suggestions of books to read and discuss, which were very helpful in triggering great discussions. We read a few books on Theology of the Body by Christopher West—which I suggest to EVERYONE to know and understand God’s plan for love and marriage. We read Matthew Kelly’s The Seven Levels of Intimacy which is awesome for learning more about yourself, your expectations of a relationship, and how to live it out in a healthy way. Another great book is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book helped us to know how each other shows and receives love–an invaluable thing to know!

We also made sure to pray for and with each other each day. This was not as easy as we had wished. The first time we said a Hail Mary over the phone we ended up laughing…the delay made it sound so crazy. But we adjusted and then began our tradition of saying prayers for friends and family and then ending with a decade of the rosary (1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys). Some nights we forgot, others it was half-hearted, but we worked on it and I KNOW that our effort was fruitful.

I know I’ve made this sound so simple and easy. It definitely wasn’t, just talk to my roommate at the time. She has some great stories of me crying, being sad, worrying, wondering, scared of the unknown, etc. I had a hard time opening up to him, fearful he wouldn’t like a part of me. I also didn’t want to give him too much in case he decided to break up with me and leave me hurt and alone. I was worried that I was missing a big part of a relationship since we didn’t see each other every day. It was hard to think that I could eventually let him see everything about me…was he the one to know it all?? I kept these phrases on a note on my computer as a reminder of how much to give:

Make him prove he is worth trusting.

Consider the price before giving.

As we continued our relationship, as he proved these things to be true, I began to give and trust more. The longer we dated, the more seriously I thought about possibly marrying him. I was scared of spending my whole life with one person, of somehow falling out of love and divorcing, of having to leave everything I know and love to live with him…pretty much anything you can think of, I worried about. I then wrote in my journal, “I have to decide that I want to be with Jonathan more than it scares me.” Which was perfect, because I had another go-to quote on my computer that says,

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”

Wow. So there it was, the holy spirit, again, helping me through another decision. I did, I wanted to be with him more than I ever thought.

Jonathan made his intentions to marry me known about 8 months into our relationship, and at that point the only thing I wasn’t sure about was moving. I knew he was the one for me, so we talked through my fears of moving and many other things. After lots of prayers and discussions, we decided we wanted to get married. EEE! I had found the one.

You will know that you love a man when you feel safe with him though the worst is known. And you will feel that you can trust each other when you sense that the best God has put in you is celebrated and truly enjoyed. –Paula Rinehart

Stay tuned for the next installment–our story: the proposal

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8 responses to “our story: going the distance

  1. jepete says:

    I get the chills reading these installments. Your story is so inspiring and really encourages me to never settle and to always make sure that I’m giving the best version of myself to another person. Yay! Love these!

    Like

    • Kari says:

      Oh I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! I’ve loved reliving the details and looking back on how everything played out. I really hope you never settle, because God’s plan is so much bigger than we could ever imagine. Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  2. mikala says:

    Hi Kari! I was reading your blog while watching the sun rise over the ocean .. it was the perfect setting for your lovely story! I’m looking forward to the next installment! And congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!

    Like

    • Kari says:

      Thanks! I am working on a post about our anniversary so you can see where we celebrated!

      I’m glad I could provide you with sunrise reading material 🙂

      Like

  3. […] 3.  our story: going the distance […]

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  4. […] 3.  our story: going the distance […]

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  5. […] a brain storm our story: going the distance […]

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