A lot of you know that I’m engaged while living here in South Africa. Carly lives in Nebraska, and will finish up her degree at UNL in three weeks. I wouldn’t recommend long engagements to anyone, especially Christians, however when you are separated by God’s call to minister the gospel and 10,000 miles of ocean, you fight through it and endure.
St. Augustine offers a wonderful comfort for why longsuffering and pain usually always result in sweet victory. He says:
The victorious general marches home in triumph, but there would have been no victory if he had not fought, and the greater the danger in the battle, the greater the joy of the triumph…There is no pleasure in eating and drinking unless it is preceded by the discomfort of hunger and thirst…It is customary, too, for girls who are engaged to be married to delay the wedding for fear that a husband who has not suffered the trials of a long courtship may think his bride too cheaply won (Confessions, p. 162).
Well, it wasn’t Carly’s decision to delay our wedding to make me suffer, but she did willingly and joyfully join me on this adventure knowing that would be our road to travel. It has been hard and wonderful. And I’m thankful that in God’s great wisdom and insight, he thought it good for both of us to endure this time apart to make sure that our life together would not be a cheap victory.