It was a year ago today that I had a conversation that kind of changed things a bit. And by a bit I mean a lot. There was this guy, he was pretty stinkin’ cute and we had been pretty creative of finding ways to hang out for about a month. I was living in Uganda and he and I were working at the same organization together. Part of our jobs revolved around staffing conferences in the different regions of the country. At the end of January we worked a conference together in Mbarara, Uganda, and had quite the time. We were basically stuck on registration for 6 hours and unbelievably never ran out of anything to talk about.
After coming home from the conference we would find ways to hang out and talk to each other more. I was deciphering his quiet personality and he was trying to wrap his brain around mine. We couldn’t be more different. My sweet Paul is kind and gentle, humble in spirit, unceasingly logical, and enduringly content. He values loyalty and family, and is willing to sacrifice anything to serve others; while I am free spirited, bold, constantly searching for some new adventure, and always day dreaming about plans that will most likely never come to pass. Life together has been a continuing compromise.
On this day, 365 days ago, I had no idea how much I would come to love this man. You see, Paul is Ugandan and I am American. I had no idea how long I was going to be in Uganda and Paul had no plans or desire to come to America, and neither of us wanted a long distance relationship. But, we were willing to “see where it goes”. It has really gone to some great places.
The months following before I moved back to America were so fun, but really difficult. He went back to school and we weren’t able to see each other much. But we kept in contact and continued to get to know one another in the best ways that we could. Before I moved back to America we spent time together and said our see you laters with anxiousness and uncertainty. That late, chilly night at the airport was not a fun one.
But, God has been so so gracious to us these last 6 months. We have grown closer and our love for each other has only increased. Paul is such a wonderful part of my life. Our relationship right now is not easy, typical, or convenient, but it is something I would never give away. We are in the process of applying for a visa for him to move to America and finish his school from here. I am giddy with excitement when I think about living in the same country again. I am already making a list of things that we will do together and places I can introduce to him. I am learning so much about patience during this time, knowing that good things come to those who wait….and trust.
I would never wish living so far from your love on anyone, but I am also so so thankful for the time that we have had to grow and learn more about each other. When all you are able to do is talk, you get to explore so many topics with each other. I don’t want to brag, but our communication skills are really becoming top notch. Sometimes I laugh and think about what it’s going to be like for us to work through conflict face to face, we might just have to go to separate rooms and call each other…
There are going to be a lot of changes in the next few months and I hope that the updates can encourage you where you are at in life. I don’t know many people who are in the same situation as Paul and I, but I do know that the lessons he and I are learning can translate into many different situations. Please continue to follow along and pray with us as he transitions here for the time being. Like I said in an earlier post, we are just now getting to the good part.
[UPDATE: We have received our visa approval letter and I am packing my bags for Uganda. Follow up in this post.]
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