Today, in the Philippines, it's my boyfriend Enric's birthday + gosh it just pains me not to be there!
Not only am I not there, but the package I sent him for his birthday 3 weeks ago still hasn't arrived + I don't even know what country it's currently in...
I keep staring at the same tracking update I get over + over + hitting the refresh button:
"Your package is moving within the USPS network + is on track to be delivered to its final destination. It is currently in transit to the next facility."
Does anyone actually know what this means?
I've learned that this is just something that comes with long-distance relationships--it's a waiting game. You're waiting for the next time you're both free to have a video call, the next time you can see them in person, + finally the time when you will live under one roof and you won't have to say goodbye at the end of the day.
Thankfully, if all goes well, we should be reaching the end of our waiting game soon.
But for now, I'm celebrating Enric + another year of life with him, with words.
I want you, right now, to think of this past year of being in a pandemic.
Think of someone who has helped get you through it.
Well, as you may have guessed, Enric is my person.
Several family members + friends were involved in supporting me in my unique situation + my mental health battles, but Enric was really in the thick of it.
He was the one I cried to on the phone late at night.
The one constantly praying over me before we said goodnight.
The one who was patient with me when I felt too numb to talk + just wanted to be alone.
He would even sometimes stay up with me as I drove the 45 minutes to go to therapy in another town, despite the crazy difference in timezones (14 hours).
Having someone in a relationship struggling with their mental health really adds a whole new level of complication, but Enric approached it with grace.
We have said over + over again that this time apart during COVID did wonders for our relationship. A huge part of that is because of Enric's daily choice to love me right where I was at.
He never tried to change or "fix" me--instead I felt his soul hold mine when I felt ashamed + confused about the dark thoughts + nightmares coming from my own brain.
Now, I can look back on 2020 + see more than the hardship--I see growth + life.
Like a bloom in the dead of winter, Enric's love came to me.
It blossomed before my eyes, in God's perfect timing, as He knew I would need Enric in the trials of the coming year.
Trying to picture navigating the horrors of this pandemic without him isn't even possible--he was there in every part of it, his love covering me as it grew from the cold dark earth around us.
The more his love covers me, the more I see His love covering me--the perfect love of God the Father.
I see God's love shining through Enric in the way he loves me each day.
Now when I look at these roses he gave me on the coldest of days, I think of him, + how he is the true rose that bloomed in my winter.
My winter rose.
Now, let's go back to that person I had you think of earlier.
Do they know how much their presence has meant to you? If not, I encourage you to take a moment to express your gratitude.
Let's spread a little love in this cold, cold winter.
P.S. Let's show Enric some birthday love by telling him happy birthday in the comments below!