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  • Writer's pictureMarlee

The Long-Distance Journal | June 16, 2017 Entry

"Sorry for so many tears last night."

Those were the first words in my entry that started what became our "long-distance" journal. At the time, my husband and I were dating - engaged - but disconnected. All of our pent up, distraught emotions poured out on each other like a dam that just couldn't hold the floods any longer. We were on the phone talking, he in Florida, myself in Illinois, sitting in my car in the parking lot of Hy-Vee.

It had been so nice living near each other, in the same town, in 2016. But without realizing it, we had taken that gift of being close to one another for granted, and forgot how to communicate. We had relied so much on external ways to grow close that we had failed to strengthen our foundation as a couple through deep, internal, and personal ways.

So came the time for me to move back to Illinois. Without a strong foundation in communicating, our relationship grew tense, almost superficial. We didn't know how to truly talk to each other, to listen to each other's needs, to put ourselves last and the other first. And so that night, as I sat in my car in the parking lot of Hy-Vee, I cried on the phone with him. We loved - really loved - one another; we just forgot how to. I could feel through the phone his frustration, but also at the same time his desire to give of himself, to rebuild that foundation we had lost. We needed to learn to communicate.

And so the "long-distance" journal was born. We promised each other that we would take turns writing in it, day to day, all our ups and downs, and then mail it to one another. "Thanks for thinking of this idea!" I wrote to him in the journal. " I love it! I can't wait to write my days in this and then send it to you and see your days!" We were rebuilding our foundation. It was the beginning of learning to selflessly love again.

Dear reader, I've been there and I feel you. Relationships are not easy to build. They require so much self giving without expecting any return. But my hope for you is that this series might inspire you to love more deeply those around you. You'll get to see the ups and downs written in the "Long-Distance Journal," and maybe even experience part of it with us. But my ultimate goal is to help us all love - really love - one another; we just can't forget how to.

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