Up until the day we were married, my husband and I lived in separate cities. This was nothing new to countless couples; however, we were also separated by the boundary line between two separate countries. For months, our goodbyes were at the end of whirlwind weekends where one of us had flown in and flown out in a matter of a few short days. Though we closed in on the physical distance between us as our relationship grew more serious, the separation was often heart-wrenching for both of us.
I can easily remember back to when my husband and I were courting and how I longed to become his wife. I was so eager to create a home—and our own traditions and enjoy many of the activities that proved impossible with the geographical distance separating us. I was longing to create a circle of friends together with him, to join a church, and to enjoy hobbies together.
When we became engaged, the feeling only intensified. As I practiced walking down the aisle (that I had practiced walking down since I was 6), I was elated with the reality that we would finally be together. We would finally sit down and have dinner together on a regular basis, not once a month. I grew excited when I thought about spending more then eight days together, as that was our record going into our marriage.
During those days I remember telling myself, “soon there will be no more goodbyes for days, weeks or months at time.” Finally, we would settle into the routine of consistently sharing every day life with each other. Even with all of the newlywed disagreements and idiosyncrasies, I was still excited for our new life together.
In my perfect little imaginary world, I pictured us both coming home from work at five and spending long, blissful amounts of time together. Ironically, four months after we were married, my husband was on a plane headed to the opposite side of the country for a week!
After all the time we spent apart working opposite shifts, and crossing borders each month, after all the wishing and waiting for our married life of “togetherness” to begin, I didn’t have long to enjoy it. My husband’s new position at work put him on the road over 20 weeks during our first year of marriage.
I will admit that there are still times when I wish that he could be home more often, but I have learned to be thankful that we are together, that we are married and that he comes home to me at the end of each weekend. I am thankful that I have a husband who loves and trusts God, and who took a position, which guaranteed a huge pay cut, in order to follow the Lord’s leading. Today my husband is using his talents to reach the youth of this nation and to honor the Lord, not for a prestigious resume or a successful lifestyle.
I am blessed, and I am continuing to learn the lesson of what it means to have a thankful heart. I will admit that I don’t completely have a handle on the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5 that says “in all things, give thanks,” but taking hold of this simple yet difficult principle has allowed me to enjoy more of each season that the Lord puts me in and brings me through.
Regardless of the season each of us finds ourselves in, it is a season for thanksgiving. Circumstances can always be more difficult then they are, and truth be told, there will always be someone who is in a worse situation then you are. Trusting God in all things and choosing to look beyond where we are in the moment builds our faith and allows us to see the blessings that surround us every day. Situations may not become easier, nor will circumstances go away but taking the time to count your blessings will often change not only our attitudes, but our outlook. Being able to see the good things—the small miracles that surround us every day—is something we all could do more.
My husband travels often with work; I’ve grown used to it. This upcoming spring he’ll be away more than he will be home, but he’s still coming home. He greets me at the door with a hug and kiss, and with loving words he tells me how much he missed me, and for that, I’m thankful. This, like anything else, is but a season in my life. It is the current chapter of the book of my life, and I’m thankful for it. In looking back on what seasons I have lived through, I would rather be here then anywhere else.