I’m currently sitting in my new home, in Nebraska, USA looking out to snow ridden streets with two rings on my finger while I type my first blog post as Mrs. Bethany BADEER. It still feels like a dream sometimes but I sit here with a thankful heart, never forgetting all the prayers that brought me here. The wait was long but my, oh my, IT WAS WORTH IT.
My family and friends would always tell me during our season of waiting: “Beth, once you are together again, nothing else is going to matter and this time apart won’t seem as painful”. They were right. I am blessed with a multitude of incredible people in my world.
During the year and a half Gideon and I did long distance, never did I ever think I would be writing these next 6 words BUT… I am thankful for long distance. Yep, I just wrote that. Like any trial you endure you can’t really see the impact or the work God is doing because your heart is heavy, your face is wet from tears, you feel lost, confused, frustrated and straight up overwhelmed. All completely valid emotions.
I never scale my hardships with others because everyone’s hard is different but I scale my own hardships. An example of a small hardship in my own life was the HSC in year 12. (If you aren’t from Australia, firstly, it’s the dumbest thing you’ll ever have to do in your schooling life. Secondly, HSC stands for your higher school certificate. You work all year on assignments + exams and each mark goes towards your final testing for each subject you choose. The end of year exams are spanned across 6-8 weeks from memory and they go for around 3-4 hours each. The mark you get then determines if you can get into university and study for another 3+ years… sounds fun right? No thanks, I hated school).
I rate this hardship as small because it was NOTHING in comparison to losing my father. You get me?
Long distance was honestly, without being completely dramatic, one of the hardest things I have ever endured. It’s not something you can explain, nor is it something people can really empathise with unless they’ve been through it too.
Gideon and I, as I mentioned above, did long distance for a year and a half. In that year and a half he came out to Australia twice. The first time for 7 weeks, when he proposed. He then went back to America for 3 and a half months and came out again for 2 weeks. Our next stint apart was 6 and a half freaking months. By the grace of God and only by the grace of God, we did it.
This photo was taken by my talented friend, Bobby, for our engagement shoot.
I guess I should mention once Gideon and I got engaged, we got straight onto applying for a K1 finance visa. There is so much paper work that goes into this, it’s honestly ridiculous. But I can completely respect America and the counties visa/immigrant laws. It all makes sense but it’s not fun to go through. It’s just one big waiting game and for the majority of the time you are spent in the dark with no communication from the consulate office. From first submission to my visa interview was 9 months total. During this time I’m not advised to go to America on an Esta (travel visa) as I already had an immigrant visa pending. Hence why Gideon always came out to Australia. He did 12 flights in less than 6 months. Flying from the midwest to Australia is LONG.
Remember how I said I scaled my own hardships? And how long distance was one of the hardest? I also said at the beginning of 2018… “The more impossible my situation seems the more it gives God a chance to shine His light and show His unfailing love and glory in my life”.
A statement I wrote a whole year ago could not be more true. The past year felt very much impossible and it’s only because of God that I got through.
The bigger the trial, the bigger the blessing.
God taught me many valuable lessons during long distance but I would really love to share a few in-depth.
Build the foundation of your relationship on God and not on each other.
This is a valuable lesson for any Christian couple but God really took advantage of the fact that Gideon and I literally couldn’t be together. You see, not only were Gideon and I separated by distance but also by time. There were only a few hours in each day that time zones allowed a decent hour video call. For me, it was the middle of the day and for him it was the night. We operated on completely different days and as much as I HATED this, God used it. Like He uses everything. It allowed my heart to settle, rest and rely in my Saviour more than Gideon. Gideon and I spent a lot of time in our long distance part of the relationship with God apart that it made for a firm foundation as we embark on the wild adventure of marriage together.
God’s strength is all you need.
Can I get an AMEN!???
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I was weak, I am weak. I will happily boast of my weakness because through that God works and His power is strong and made known. That’s what this is all about. I said it before and I will say it again. I couldn’t have endured the last year without my God. There were many times where I felt like it was all too much. My mum and step dad can attest that I spend many nights crying, worried and even doubtful. I got angry at God. I was in the dark and didn’t understand his plan. My life was in limbo last year and it was horrible. I’m not going to sit here and write that in the moment it was the best year ever but looking back it was my most growing year ever. I now know my God and His strength on a whole new level. I know my Gideon more. I know myself more. All because His grace is sufficient.
If you are facing hardship I encourage you to lean on God, don’t be scared, He can take it. Even if the pain doesn’t go straight away I promise when you spend time with God He will show up, hold your heart and carry you through. He will give you peace, He will give you joy. Let Him. Take one step at a time and don’t look too far ahead.
Mathew 6:27 – Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:34 – “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
ALWAYS find the blessing.
I’ll be the first to admit I struggled with this one. For the most part, I consider myself a really optimistic and happy person. But I let 2018 get the better of me. I’m not wrong when I say it was a hard year but I was wrong to allow my focus on negative circumstances outweigh the good. Because friends, there is always SO much good. God blesses us all day everyday, we just need to open our eyes and see it.
Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
When we are so focussed on the bad, we miss the good. That is exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us to wallow in negative thoughts, he wants us to focus on all the bad that’s happened. He’s an asshole and he will do anything to try stop God’s plan for each of our lives from unfolding.
God created us so intricately and our minds are a powerful thing.
What are you giving your mind power to?
Is it positive or negative?
Are you focussed more on the blessings God is giving you or the lies the enemy is feeding you?
Be careful with your words + what you are asking and sowing into others.
This one was huge in the season of waiting. You don’t know what people are facing and it’s SO important to be kind, gentle and thoughtful with our words.
Gideon and I had a lot of unnecessary questions + statements from people during our season of being apart and now even as a newly married couple. I’m sure if you sit and reflect, you have people asking and saying unnecessary things too.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Before I speak I try my best to be mindful of the other person and their individual situation. Asking questions to yourself like:
Is this going to empower the other person?
Is it going to upset them?
Are you asking this to know or because you genuinely care?
When people try to sow into you be discerning in who you take advice from. I was listening to a podcast by Rachel Hollis and Her husband Dave the other day (Amazing couple) on relationships. Something they said really stuck out to me and is super pivotal being newly married. They said something along the lines of “If someone gives you marriage advice and their marriage isn’t thriving, you don’t need to take it on board. The same if someone who is overweight and tries to give you advice on being healthy, you don’t need to take it on board. Where is the fruit?”.
I’m so thankful for this past season but I am also thankful for this new one. I can’t believe I am finally married to my incredible Gideon!!!!
You guys, marriage is the most precious, beautiful and pure thing I have ever experienced. I am soaking up every part of this gift from God. Marriage is the beautiful analogy of the Fathers love + heart for His children. I feel like I am experiencing and understanding God more than ever before, in the most captivating way.
Marriage is Agape.
Marriage is a choice.
Marriage is sacrificial.
Marriage is strong.
Marriage is a covenant of love between two people before God.
Gideon and I did a lot of praying before we decided to elope but after reading the word and what God says about marriage we decided a sacred ceremony between God and us without any distractions was a perfect fit.
We originally planned to get married in the mountains in Colorado in early January but in the middle of marriage counselling we had a change of heart and wanted to do it a week early in Nebraska. We said our vows and exchanged rings in the most enchanting wooded area in Pioneers park. It was -1 celsius. We had our marriage counselor and ordained pastor, Jim Hitch, marry us. His wife Kathy as a witness, our beloved friend, Lulu as another witness and our incredible + talented friend, Ben, capture our story + love for the day.
We filled this glass jar with sand signifying an unbroken unity between us.
It was everything and more. It was simple, sweet and so God focussed. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Gideon and I have been married for 2 weeks and I am loving learning more about him. He is honestly the most patient, humble, loving, gentle, caring, and God-honouring man I know and I am SO proud to call him my husband.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Photography: Our incredibly talented friend, Ben Weber, captured our day so beautifully. Photography is such a precious gift and Ben does it so well. He was able to have fun with us and tell our love story through single images. We now have these treasured memories forever because of him. We are so thankful for him, his time and his chilled + fun nature.
Dress: I originally bought a wedding dress online. It was beautiful, long sleeve lace with an open back. It was a traditional wedding dress but the moment I put it on I cried because it just wasn’t me. A few months later my family and I were at our local shopping center and came across the most beautiful boho lace dress with big bell sleeves and I was in love. I tried it on and felt so me. It was from purity lace designs.
Makeup: I did my own make up. I used raww cosmetics a completely natural Australian brand.