Living in the in between. Between heaven and earth. Breakfast and dinner. Joy and grief.
In some ways, we are all living that space. The in between. How do we live it well? Love big, breathe deeply, worship boldly, live humbly…in faith. What happens when everything we had planned just crumbles at our feet? When the earth beneath us quakes? When the shift is so slight others don’t notice, but inside you are a mangled mess? I wrote to a friend recently that my threshold must be smaller than others. Grief takes up so much space. To grieve well I must allow breathing room. To love big I have to accept love, to be loved. To breathe deeply I must pause and be still. To worship boldy I need to be equipped. To live humbly, I have to have thick skin and a tender heart. I need Jesus.
We need Jesus.
Because we are all living in the in between.
Striving in the waiting.
Resting in the waiting.
Learning in the waiting.
Waiting on our Lord…to answer, to show, to move, to grow us into better and bigger and smaller and more humble human beings. Ones that love fiercely. Ones that love gently. And boldly and bravely and humbly and more peaceably than any others here on earth. Because we are being loved and filled by the very Spirit of our Creator, God. His breath fills our lungs and we are overwhelmed for him, with him, by him, because of him.
As we wait for eternity, we also wait for the money to pay the bills, the fevers to go down, the prayers to be answered, the doors to be opened, the bodies to be healed, the hungry bellies to be fed, the pain to go away, the pregnancy tests to be positive, the adoption referrals to be accepted, the apologies to be made and the hearts to be changed.
As we wait, we have things to do. Dishes to wash and laundry to fold. Children to love, work to be done.
We have crevices of time and life seems to be backwards. So many words and no space to say them. So much time and no money to travel. So much to do until our bodies fail us. So much time until there is no more.
The space of time. How will we fill it? Emptied of void and shallow and guilt and shame, to be filled with him. Only him and all he brings, what he is, who he is. He is love. He is hope. He is peace. And healing and depth and light and forgiveness. He is why we wait, who we wait, while we wait. He is I AM.
And our lives are not according to our plan. My plan was never to lose a child. To miscarry. To fail and yell and miscommunicate or offend. My plan was sweet and simple and peaceful and kind. The Lord planned rescue and redemption before there was time. The Lord knew our hearts in the dark even there he could find…us, his children, his beloved. His created. His plan to redeem all our faults from the beginning. His gentle whispers, weaving love throughout lives. This is how we live the unplanned life. Resting in him, the Planner, the Redeemer. Trusting in his kindess. His love.
Even knowing our backstory, our force, our harshness, our eagerness to take control, he waits. He waits as we wait. He knows what we don’t. And gently so gently whispers truth in our hearts, our broken and grieving and calloused hearts, cold. He breathes life. He gives light. He makes us new.
Sharing our stories of the Lord redeeming this unplanned life. Living unexpected, fully immersed in his love, trusting his plan and not our own. Will you share what the Lord has done in your life? He transforms. He redeems. He rescues. We won’t always understand this side of heaven, but we know that he will work all things out for our good, even if that good is not ours to have until eterntiy. Have you seen glimpses of heaven here on earth? Have you seen the Lord open doors? Restore? Bring light into dark spaces? Have you seen the goodness of the Lord even when things don’t work out the way you expected them to? Have you seen his answers…even the ones we don’t want…turned from ashes to beauty? Life come from death? Healing come from pain?
Or…are you struggling with that now? To see. To trust. To feel loved? How can we help with that? When all seems lost and hopeless? What will it take to bring you back to the Lord? You are searching for answers…there is only one. He is the one you are seeking but how do you find him? Tender hearts. Open eyes. Prayer. Together. Community. Believing. You are loved, beloved. His. Belong.
You see, it’s his faithfulness, not my own.
It’s his love, not mine.
It’s his strength, in my weakness.
It’s his grace, in my despair.
I am nothing. He meets me here. In the nothing. When things fall apart. When the shift happens. When the answer to my begging prayer is no. He knows the agony. The wait. And he tells me his peace, his hope, his faith, his love, his grace, his mercy, all that he is, is also for me. I simply have to ask. And believe, that this world is not the end. It’s not the prize. It’s not what I am living for.
Simply put, collectively, we are a mess. Our priorities get skewed. Our views aren’t complete. And everyday I need the re-focus that time is not eternal .
Thank goodness my thinking is not the standard to which I must live. Thankfully his grace covers all. Thankfully, this too shall pass and his plan is perfect. Thankfully he is Sovereign and even though things don’t always work out the way I want them to, I know he is trustworthy. I have seen it in my own life.
And now, I hope to see it in yours! Would you share your stories with me? How have you seen the Lord take your plans and shift them to his own? How has the brokenness of this world threatened to take you down, but the Lord opens doors for redemption and beauty? How has your plan been interrupted? How have you let the Lord use your unexpected or unplanned life?
I am looking for some guest posts! Please email me with your story. I am excited to collaborate. I love doing ministry together. You can email me here, email@example.com I will answer each one, but please allow 2-3 weeks for a response.