Between Spaces

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Anxiety settled in during May, and I weathered a rough couple of weeks. Hence, the silence in this space. I don’t publish when I’m struggling to keep my head afloat. The clouds have lifted, for which I’m so deeply grateful I could click my heels like a leprechaun.

Still, I hate dwelling in the state of “between” things, the space where I’m not where I was and not yet where I want to be. I want to be at a final destination, in a settled place. I want stability in my grasp for an extended time. I want more than just bread for today. I forget there’s no guarantees in life. All I hold is this moment. I can’t fast-forward, rewind, or pause.

I fall in two places: hurrying my way to a “final” destination and building a home prematurely rather than contentedly pitching a tent. Both pitfalls make me forget the wonder of grace.

When I’m over-focused on where I want to be, I rush. I hurry. Everything slowing me down is an infuriating obstacle to overcome. Cars in rush hour or mucking up a construction zone are my nemesis. I reduce them to antagonists keeping me from the places I’d like to go.

I lose the wonder and reverence for their stories. Those drivers are people with dreams, hopes, and destinations too. Mine aren’t more important than theirs, however much I might think it at the time. In my hurried state, I make myself the center of the universe and resent anything or anyone hindering my progress.

On the flip side, when I’m looking at here and seeking the beauty of now, I find it. Life springs up bubbly and surprising like the pop of a champagne cork. Purple hills glow in an Arkansas sunset. Roadsides are blanketed with crimson heather rippling in beams of sunlight. Below a clear blue sky, yellow wildflowers carpet the floor of a pecan grove while black cows lazily graze.

There’s wonder and joy in those places. These little moments are like manna from heaven for me, a day’s supply of nourishment. My heart swells, and I breathe deeply.

And sometimes, I find my brain screaming for a pause button. Stop. Stop right here. I don’t want to move forward. Can I stop here permanently? This place is beautiful and comfortable.

I want to shore up more than my day’s supply, and I cling to the moment with a death grip leeching as much life from it as possible. I become unwilling to trust that tomorrow might hold as much (or even more) wonder as today. I forget the breath catching moment is a gift, not something I earned.

I can’t hold time or the moment forever. The sun sets, and darkness settles for the night. Wildflowers fade. Changes will come. I can’t stop the passing of time. I fear the changes. Transition is inevitable.

This doesn’t mean transition is always bad; darkness dissipates as the sun rises again. Spring comes, and the barren twigs leaf out again. Everything passes. Good or bad.

In the midst of the anxiety of trying to get somewhere (or stay somewhere), I forget the wonder of grace, of being held by God. Somehow there is always enough for J and I. There’s not necessarily much extra, but there is somehow enough for our needs. In bizarre ways and circumstances, God provides in ways I don’t understand. We’ve got some weird stories from the past four years.

God continues to remind that He is worthy of my trust.

And I find myself clinging to these words in my prayer life lately.

I will trust You.

With job situations. With my infertility. With our adoption stuff. With our family. With my health.

I don’t ask for things to work out a certain way; it’s not about trying to force God to earn my confidence. I’m slowly uncurling my fingers from the illusion of control. There’s so much I can’t control anyway, so why spend so much energy freaking out about it (Mt. 6:25-34)?

I’m learning instead to settle into the arms that brought me here thus far; God hasn’t dropped me. I’m learning to rest more deeply in God, as I wrestle with fear and uncertainty.

God is quiet in the midst of this. I’m learning how to trust even as God doesn’t swoop in with lightning and thunderclap moments. In the uncomfortable silence and stillness, I’m learning Jesus is here too with me. I’m still welcome. I’m not abandoned. I will trust.

It doesn’t feel good exactly. But, when did growth ever come easily? In the darkness of the earth, the seed sprouts, pushing its way up to the surface and light.

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