Saying goodbye to your long-distance boyfriend when your next visit is uncertain can be excruciating. As you search for the end of the indefinite calendar space between you, worry and anxiety creep in.
Yet we give fear an advantage when we take legitimately hard-to-swallow facts — “We don’t know when we’ll see each other again” — and over-inflate them into lies: “We’ll never see each other again.” Playing God, we call the outcome of the next round before it even begins, and we may even convince ourselves it’s not worth continuing.
That’s why — in a strange, surprising way — not knowing the future can be good for us. The existence of uncertainty allows us to hope that things can actually turn out better than we think they will.
Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t. Still, the unpredictability of tomorrow enables us to put faith in the God who cradles our future in his hands.
And it compels us to return to the facts we know. Philippians 4:8 says that when we’re anxious, we should think about true things. Truth grounds us in reality when are hearts are trembling.
When you’re faced with uncertainty in your long-distance relationship, stop and remind each other of the facts. Reflect on the truth you know about your relationship, time, and God.
1. Facts About Your Relationship
First, take time to remember how much you care about each other. While you can’t control an unknown future, you can eliminate uncertainty about your feelings for one another.
Here are examples of ways you can remind each other of the strength of your relationship:
- We both want to see each other again
- Missing each other means that we truly care
- This experience is strengthening our relationship
2. Facts About Time
Next, use the facts in your favor. Your separation may feel like it’s lasting forever, but that’s rarely the case when you look at the numbers.
After framing the timeline of your relationship in perspective, the future can seem a little less overwhelming.
- We’ve already made it ___ months
- The distance will be over in ___ months
- We’ll have lots of free time around Christmas/New Year’s
3. Facts About God
Finally, the most important facts to remember are truths about Jesus Christ. He’s the one person who never leaves and whose plans never change.
Tell yourselves truth about the loving nature of God’s relationship with you, such as:
- God will provide the strength to endure this
- Challenges in life help us grow closer to Christ
- Our greatest hope is in Jesus Christ
Next Step: Pray
Once you’ve remembered these facts, take time to pray together. This advice is straight from the Apostle Paul while he was stuck inside under house arrest:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Both when we were dating and now that we’re married, my husband and I have always found that praying to God brings great comfort in anxious times. It doesn’t matter if our prayer is answered in the way we want. The simple, humble act of praying itself brings peace.
That’s the promise of Philippians 4:7. When we pray, peace beyond comprehension flows into our minds and creates an impassable moat to guard us from fear.
God cares about you as his child, and that’s why he hasn’t left you devoid of information. In times of uncertainty, prayer is a means for us to thank God for the facts we do know and trust him for the future we don’t.