One night I had an attack; one I cannot expand on. It amplified one of the greatest fears I have with distance relationship/marriage…the fear of something terrible happening in the loneliness of the night and there’s no one to cry out to for help. Those midnight emergency situations where your health or strength fails and someone close by like your spouse is your only guarantee of life saving help.
In distance marriages, one of a couple’s greatest prayers is centered on asking for doses of God’s protection and being kept entirely in good health so no emergency situations materialize. Such emergency situations that will require you being there asap but geographical distance won’t allow it are very dreadful and praying against them tops a long distance couple’s prayer list.
What if something happens to your partner out there and you are needed immediately but can never show up in time (actually days) because you now have to be at the mercy of some embassy visa processes since you don’t have a diplomatic passport to just get up and go? Not forgetting that “flight tickets cost an arm and a leg” anyways. All those situations that a call or text is not enough to offer comfort are very dreadful.
…And far from the fears, need I say a lot of funny jealousies build up sometimes too? Lol
Well…God is good all the time and He keeps having our backs! Forever our refuge in times of trouble, right?
© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
Marriage & Personal Development Author
A man doesn’t wait until he marries before taking on the role of spiritual headship of his love relationship.
It is easier to lead the woman you plan on marrying in the right spiritual direction and get her to respect your spiritual headship when she sees that in you or see you exercising that role way before the marriage covenant is entered into. And it may be more easier to sustain it way into marriage when you’ve cultivated it early in the relationship.
Yes, be romantic towards her; but be all the more spiritual towards her.
Women need leading; if you fail to lead her, she will lead you. Just don’t resent it when she eventually takes over your roles and you begin to feel (spiritually) irrelevant.
Many men are in serious love relationships but don’t command prayer times together for the relationship, they don’t command fastings, they don’t command Bible study and devotions; they don’t even pray themselves for the relationship! Yet, they want the best out of the relationship, they want everything to just go smoothly, they want spiritual and character compatibility or synchronization?
Well…maybe things do fall in place effortlessly for some people.
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
My alarm went off
It was Sunday again.
I was sleepy and tired
My one day to sleep in.
But the guilt I would feel
The rest of the day
Would have been too much
So I’d go and I’d pray.
I showered and shaved
I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat
In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer
As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me
Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side
I thought, “Why must our soles touch?”
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine
But it didn’t bother him much.
A prayer began: “Our Father”…
I thought, “This man with the shoes
has no pride.
They’re dusty, worn, and scratched
Even worse, there are holes on the side!”
“Thank You for blessings,” the prayer went on.
The shoe man said
a quiet “Amen.”
I tried to focus on the prayer
But my thoughts were on his shoes again.
Aren’t we supposed to look our best
When walking through that door?
“Well, this certainly isn’t it,” I thought,
Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended
And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud
Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters
His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear
The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering
And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached
Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out
What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft “clink”
as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me
To tears, and that’s no lie
It was the same for the shoe man
For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service
As is the custom here
We must greet new visitors
And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow
And wanted to meet the shoe man
So after the closing prayer
I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark
And his hair was truly a mess
But I thanked him for coming
For being our guest.
He said, “My names’ Charlie
I’m glad to meet you, my friend.”
There were tears in his eyes
But he had a large, wide grin
“Let me explain,” he said
Wiping tears from his eyes.
“I’ve been coming here for months
And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.'”
“I know that my appearance
Is not like all the rest
“But I really do try
To always look my best.
“I always clean and polish my shoes
Before my very long walk.
“But by the time I get here
They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.”
My heart filled with pain
and I swallowed to hide my tears
As he continued to apologize
For daring to sit so near.
He said, “When I get here
I know I must look a sight.
“But I thought if I could touch you
Then maybe our souls might unite.”
I was silent for a moment
Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison
I spoke from my heart, not my head.
“Oh, you’ve touched me,” I said,
“And taught me, in part;
“That the best of any man
Is what is found in his heart.”
The rest, I thought,
This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am
That his dirty old shoe touched my soul……
~From the book “Just an Average Joe” by Joe Gonzalez (2005)
Found it interesting when I read it years ago. Touched my heart. Hope it touches everyone’s heart.
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)