I love blogging, and I think I’ve fooled myself into imagining that I’m writing my own little magazine publication of thought-provoking articles sprinkled with interesting personal anecdotes. When I write, I dream that it means something, that I’ll get lots of visits to my blog, and that “my readers” (that imaginary group of people sitting by their computers just waiting for my next post) will gain something from the time they spend at Peace Along the Journey.

Tonight, I’m ditching all of that. I’m in need of a good dose of online journaling, a flashback to the days of Xanga and the therapeutic act of sharing my thoughts just because they can’t stay in my head any longer. So, dear readers, if you’re looking for some insight into Taiwanese culture or you’re hoping for thoughts on adoptions or you’re just in the mood for a glimpse of my experiences and musings, please skip this post and come back next time. [Disclaimer: No guarantee that my next post will hold any better material, but one can hope.]

Here we go.

Tonight, I miss Charles. In fact, I’ve missed him all week. (Sappy enough? Stay with me; it will only get worse). It is HARD living halfway around the world from your fiancé!

There has been a big missions conference happening at Charles’ church all week, so between his extra tech duties and the time he personally wanted to spend at the conference, he’s been very, very busy. When the time difference between you and your fiancé is 12 hours, a very busy week translates to little to no time together. Oh, and when your time difference is 12 hours, you never get to be together except via video chats even on a good week. Oh, for this year to pass quickly.

Charles is coming to visit me in Taiwan at Christmas, and since quarter 1 of the school year ended just yesterday, we’re halfway to that visit. Still, it seems like an eternity.

And yet, it’s a little hard to believe that we’re finished with quarter 1 already (teachers measure the year in quarters and summers and Christmas breaks, you know). It has been a good year so far, and I don’t want to miss anything God has for me here, but there are moments when I want to fast-forward to June 29 and start my life WITH Charles.

Sometimes I feel guilty for missing him so much and for complaining that he’s not here. I mean, a year ago this time I was desperately wishing for a significant other in my life, and look how far I’ve come! I don’t want to be someone who takes for granted the wonderful people, experiences, and gifts that God puts in my life. On the flip side, as a good friend has reminded me more than once, if I didn’t miss Charles a whole lot, that might indicate a problem.

Well, right or wrong, I miss him like crazy. Added to my loneliness are several stresses: the pressure of a busy school year, wedding planning from afar, and the upcoming transitions that, joyful though they will certainly be, will upend my world and bring a fair amount of grieving (saying goodbye to places and people I love) to my life.

Today, I cried. And I napped. I napped because I didn’t want to cry anymore. I cried because I was tired and overwhelmed with a to-do list the size of Tapei 101 staring me in the face. And do you know what I wanted more than anything to give me comfort and keep me sane in the midst of this kind of pressure? The only thing I can’t have right now: Charles near me–Charles available to listen any day of the week (remember, 12 hours time difference means that my evening is his morning, and since we both work…well, you get the picture) without a computer screen and 7,000 miles separating us.

Nothing has been normal about my relationship with Charles. We met online, we dated online, we met in person and twelve days later, we were engaged. And now we are facing the year of our engagement with only two weeks of seeing each other in person before the month of our wedding. I knew this wouldn’t be easy, but I’m surprised at just how difficult it is.

If you’ve made it this far through my ramblings, I’ll ask you this: please pray for me. I’m lonely, and I’m tired. I’m trying to balance work, relationships here, time with my fiancé, wedding preparations, devotional time with God, exercise, etc. I’m constantly caught between wanting to soak up this last year in Taiwan and experience it for all it’s worth and looking and planning ahead to a very different future. I’m not sure where I belong, and I feel like half of me is missing most of the time.

Everybody has his or her own problems. I know that I’m not unique in my pain or frustration. In fact, in comparison to a large majority of people in the world, my “problem” of missing my fiancé is simply laughable. But it’s real to me. And thankfully, it’s real to my God.

I know this year is all worth it, but “worth it” can still be overwhelming. I’m praying for God to turn my eyes to Him in the midst of pain, frustration, and confusion. As my mom always says, “This too shall pass.” I just hope that it passes quickly or that God gives me the strength to make it through…or both.

5 thoughts on “Lonely

  1. Dear Friend,

    I love you very much. I am sad with you. The Lord is sad with you, too. I am praying for you. I enjoy hearing your thoughts and your feelings.Thank you for sharing your heart in this post. It helps me to know how to pray for you better. This time for you is hard. It is sad. It is overwhelming. I know there are good moments, joys and blessings mixed in there, too. I don’t know if I could do what you are doing. Being far away from the one you love for so long. I do pray that God would comfort you. That He would wrap his arms around you, draw you into His presence and just pour out love on you. I pray that He would turn your face towards Him. That He would fix your eyes on Him. That He would bless you deeply. I pray that times passes at just the right speed, that you have strength and energy for each day and that He would use this time as He wills for you. Blessings upon you!

    p.s. I actually do sometimes sit at my computer, especially when fb is boring, and wish that there was a new post in your blog to read. :)

  2. Hang in there… I can only imagine how hard it is but trust me… Some day you will be angry that he left his underwear on the bathroom floor! Praying for ya…

  3. Christel. your mom ad I have a box of old letters that chronicle our frustration, loneliness and hopes during the two years of our engagement that we were separated. For us she finished the last two years of college while I begin two years of ministry in Taiwan. There were times we wondered if our hearts would break because of the separation. Now, looking back, we both see the Sovereign foundations that were being established in a relationship that lacked to one thing for which we most longed: the opportunity to just be near each other. I have no doubt God will use the time apart to draw you closer than you can ever imagine. Be assured you have parents who do understand and are praying you guys will continue to let the Lord shape you to love Him most so you can love each other better.

    On another note, I am like Megan, I look forward to your posts and they help me to pray as well.

  4. Aw, sweet Christel. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I certainly will be praying for you. I pray that He will fill you with joy as you spend your last year in Tiawan. I pray that He will give you peace as you are away from Charles. Most of all, I pray that He uses this time to grow your love for the man He has chosen for you. I love you, sweet.

  5. Thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement and your prayers. Knowing that friends and family are praying is one of the most powerful sources of strength and hope. I love you all.

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