Eric lives his life in preparation. I’m not going to try to fully explain his thought process because I’d probably get it wrong somewhere along the line and paint an imperfect picture of him. He has caused me to think about how I view preparation. For Eric, preparation never ceases. It is a constant state of mind. I’m not meaning to describe him as some sort of hyperactive planner, I definitely wouldn’t call him that…but there is a very large difference between the way the two of us naturally process through changes in life.

I’m finding, as I count down the days until Eric comes home, that I’ve started to go into survival mode. It’s been a surprisingly good week and a half despite limited correspondence and we’ve officially rounded the halfway point [Bon Jovi is screaming in my ears…a lot]. All these factors have made it really easy to start thinking “ok, 2.5 more weeks. I can totally do this.” Which is definitely not a bad thought to have…but it’s really easy for the devil to slip in to those thoughts and mutate them. At some point in the last day or two, I began viewing the end of these 2.5 weeks as some sort of finale. Even as I tell myself over and over that none of the habits I am forming now can ever end, I got it in my head that I’ve made it through…I’ve survived. That made today really hard. Today and yesterday felt like really long days, which makes 17 days sound atrocious.

Throughout the past 3.5 weeks, and really the 3 months before that, I have been preparing for Eric to be gone. Now, in the 2.5 weeks remaining, I need to start preparing for him to return. This is more than the list I have had going since he left my car of all the things I want to accomplish. God has shown me how to rely on Him 100% as my source of joy, peace, security, and comfort. And that can’t change just because Eric gets home. I need to begin preparing myself to keep the Lord first, even when Eric is tangible. From the minute Eric steps off his plane in Minneapolis, really once he lands in the United States, it’s go time.

For about the last 6 weeks of the spring semester, Eric and I took a break from sweets and junk food. I’m not telling you this so you can think we are this stellar couple, willing to give up all things delicious in this life…I’m telling you this because I’m an epic failure. I made it through the 6 weeks (cheating only once…I found a Friendly’s in Ithaca, NY!) but when it was done, I “allowed” myself to indulge a bit. I was careful to not overdo it and always thoughtful before I drank another coke or ate another cookie, but it still began taking over my thoughts whenever present. The fact that I refrained from having a second homemade chocolate chip cookie is great, but if I spent the entire time fighting myself in my head? Because for one minute (or hour, or day, however long) I told myself I was free to enjoy whatever I wanted, I have had to spend the last month telling myself I don’t need to.

Addiction and habits can form in whatever context. Behavior, substance, attitude, whatever.

So when Eric gets off the plane, I can’t allow the devil to snake in and tell me that I can make my focus all about Eric. Not even for the first few hours I get to see him. I hope that I am the only person who struggles this much with breaking bad habits. [Seriously, if you could be in my head when there is a plate of cookies on the table or a lone can of coke in the fridge, it’s ridiculous.] The Lord allows us to go through trials, and teaches us how to persevere. It is a daily choice to worship my Savior rather than sit here pining after Eric. I love him. A lot. And the best homecoming he could receive from me is one that is focused on Christ and continuing to put into action all that He has taught me in Eric’s absence…the only difference will be that I will get to enjoy it alongside my fiance.

Ok so picturing this has brought me to a slight tangent…I love this verse:

“What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

I get a really great image of the Spartans in “300.” Invincibility. We sing a song at Hope that quotes this verse and whenever we sing it I wish I could be back in the days of King Leonidas (ok, or the Israelites entering the promised land) and go into battle with that kind of power propelling me forward. How could anyone have any fear of death with that kind of leadership? [I love how often the Spartans laugh and look forward to their “beautiful death”] If the Church lived fully devoted to Christ and confident in the promises of God, who could ever stop us? Anddd coming full circle, what if we lived in preparation of battle for our King? The Spartans devoted their lives to it…are we really called to live all that differently?