I ran across Brett Eldredge’s and Sadie Robertson’s music video The Long Way today. Lyrics always unearth those deeply buried emotions and hidden longings inside of me.
As I listened to the lyrics I imagined my husband and myself. I would love to show my husband where I grew up and take him the long way around my town. Instead, it seems like it’s taking a long time to get there.
I often ask God, “Will he ever be allowed to see my world?”
I’ve seen his world. I live in his world, and it’s now my world too, but a part of me longs for him to experience the part of the world that built me. It caused tension for us when we were dating long-distance. Nothing can draw a wedge like the frustrations of applying for a U.S. Visa. Lately, I rarely bring it up. People in America don’t understand why it’s not easy for him to just come over for a visit. Unfortunately, the world is unfair and certain citizens have more privileges than others. In this twisted life, my passport carries a different weight than his does.
After being rejected twice for the tourist visa, I’ve more or less suppressed my desire for him to come to the U.S. I may joke about it with friends or lament about how the process is not based on any type of merit, but on the whim of the U.S. Embassy employee of that day. That person can refuse to give your application a second glance and decide you don’t have strong enough ties to your home country even with being a landowner, having a company in your name and all your family living in Uganda. It’s hard for me to imagine that if I needed to return to America for an emergency there’s no guarantee my husband could go with me.
When I heard The Long Way all those longings came rushing back.
I want nothing more than for Ashiram to sit around the table with my grandpa as we play a game of chicken track, listen to crazy Grandpa Bingo share his orphanage and war stories, take that gravel road flanked by corn fields to the house where I spent every summer growing up, go lay in the hammock for hours at Arbor Hills, hug every person in my family, be attacked by my nephew Caleb, go two-stepping and stumble all over each other on the dance floor, take a picture by the wall that always reminded me of us when I would drive to volunteer at the Juvenile Detention Center and experience the churches and places that transformed me into who I am today spiritually.
As quickly as the tears come expressing my deepest desires the thoughts come about how the deepest longings never satisfy us if we aren’t truly satisfied in Christ first. There’s a good chance that we will fight all the way to America, Ashiram might experience racism first hand, and the memories won’t be as blissful as I imagine them. But still, the desire remains as steady as my heartbeat. I trust God’s perfect timing and plans for our lives. It might take a long time, but I still want to take him the long way around my town. One day.