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Part of our move to Saudi Arabia involved my husband going there first, leaving the kids and I with family in the US. We knew there would be a separation, but hoped it wouldn’t be that long. After a few setbacks in the visa process we began to fear the separation dragging on indefinitely.

Fear, isn’t that always the kicker? It’s so hard to have trust and faith in the middle of fear. It’s so hard to move forward in confidence when there is fear. But isn’t that truly where trust and faith are needed most and have their most power? Can we really trust, can we really have faith, if the answer is always obvious, a forgone conclusion?

So, naturally, as humans do, we began to second guess our decisions. Was this the right move? Was it worth it? Should we have just stayed put?

This letter to my husband during that time was my attempt to trust and have faith in the middle of swirling, fearful doubt:

I was thinking about you. No surprise, I know. You run through my mind throughout the day, throughout the night. Wistful moments, happy memories, missing you. I was thinking about our last conversation. I know you want to fix this. I just want to make sure you know I think you did everything right. You have absolutely done right by me and by our children. I’m sad about not getting to be with you, but I’m ok. And I know everything will be ok.

You know how we were talking about if we knew then what we know now, would we still move forward with this job. I still say probably not. But it’s not because I regret the choice or think it was the wrong choice. I probably wouldn’t choose this for myself, because it’s really hard to choose something like this for yourself. It’s really hard to say yes to pain and longing and heartache. But there are lots of things in my life that even knowing the beauty and the growth that came through some aching experience, I’m not sure I would be able to choose it again for myself. I know its worth and yet I can’t bring myself to choose it again. That doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice or the wrong experience. It simply means I’m human. I’ve told you before that I want to hold on to this, and I mean it. I think there is something beautiful and valuable in all this pain, even if I can barely stand it.

As hard as it is for me to see beyond my aching in this moment, when I can manage it and I can see the bigger picture: I think you made the right choice. I think you made the best choice for our family. I trusted you when you made the choice and I continue to trust you now. Thank you.

My heart is so full as I reread that letter with the gift of hindsight. My husband truly is a wonderful man who absolutely does right by his family. He did make the right choice. I am so very blessed to share my life with him here in Saudi Arabia.

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