Jonathan and Michelle wrote this script which I have retyped here.
“As a brief background, we started our long distance courtship during our uni days overseas, and got engaged last year.
Although we were friends for many years before our courtship began, we struggled very much in the initial years of our relationship. Both of us have very different personalities and perspectives, which initially attracted us together but made growing closer over the distance extremely difficult.
Unlike other couples, we didn’t have may opportunities to grow together in the same place and church. other than holiday or weekend visits, our communication was limited to [hone calls, Skype, Facetime and online chats (though we thank God for modern technology)
Things went downhill after I alone went back to Malaysia after graduation. Along with the increase in distance and time difference, so did the ;tension between us. There were many days where we both felt stuck in our problems with no clear vision forward. We also had serious doubts on whether it was wise to move to the next level in our relationship. There were many unique challenges in long distance relationship which we felt no one could comprehend.
however our most desperate point in the relationship was also our turning point.
we decided to seek spiritual guidance and practical wisdom from parents and leaders. Particularly, we decided to have a chat with Pr Chandran. i did not really know Pr Chandran personally at the time but was encouraged by his heart for relationships and families. We met up several times and after much prayer and support from loved ones, I made the decision to move to Australia to be closer to my now wife-to-be. Over the last few years, we have been blessed to have Ps Chandran walk with us as our long distance counsellor, doing relationship and per marital courses over Skype.
Although some would say we were on a tough journey, we have made our decision to move forward together in marriage and will be exchanging vows in a few months time. We sincerely believe we would not have gotten this far if not for the time, effort, love, sincerity and mentoring we received.
if we can summarise the life lessons we have learnt through this journey:
1. A big part of surviving and growing through courtship (especially long distance) is the desire, commitment and perseverance to work it our. After each night of argument, there is always a new day to start again with God’s grace.
A verse we have cose to our heart is Lam 3:22-23
2. commit the relationship to the Lord and trust that He will heal, renew and refresh us. We learnt the lowest times: our hope in God was only uniting factor in the relationship. THere is only so much we can do with our own strength.
3. Be willing to seek help and accept wise counsel of others. God meant courtship to grow in the presence of other relationships! There are many who have gone before us who can provide Godly guidance.
Pro15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Today this couple is happily married and doing well for themselves!