Today has been a rough day.
Well, in all honesty, it has been a messy few days.
And by messy I mean, just plain hellish.
Have you been there? Where you turn one way and think its clear to walk across the road, and then BOOM!! you get hit head on by a train of sh*t. (This is all figuratively mind you).
That is where I have been the last few days. In just a shocked state of mind, due to the over the top nature of what is happening in my world. (And this has nothing to do with the election.)
Do you know that feeling? Or am I crazy? Probably a little of both.
The shock is now starting to wear off and the feeling of just utter suck is taking its place.
The feeling of shock sticks with you for a bit of time, and then you realize you have to move, sure the movements are a little stiff, but soon you become like the Tin Man after he has been oiled up, your joints begin to move. Life continues to go on. Or so we like to think.
This is the in-between place.
The in-between place is where you are not sure where to go or what to do. The place where you live in the anger, and the shock, or the grief and hurt. It’s what we do in this in-between place that makes the difference.
Now keep in mind, the in-between place is not some far off land, oh no, it is very much the here and now. Planet Earth. It is happening next door to you, at your work place, in your marriage. The in-between is the valley between the mountains. The in-between is the dark before the sunrise.
Have you ever lived in the in-between?
Do you know what it feels like to live in the moment where your marriage is over? To hear the words you have cancer? Or the moment you find out your family is devastated by the loss of life? When truth comes out and breaks the hearts of all those around? When lives are struck with the brokenness created by this place in the in-between.
The in-between is hard. It’s where the waiting, the learning, the testing, the trials live.
Tears, broken hearts, grief they all live in the in-between. But so does love.
If we didn’t love, the in-between would be doable, but instead because we love, we can be hurt. And that, my friends, is what makes the in-between hard. It’s the loving.
Loving in the in-between is the hard part. Partly because if we didn’t care, then the hurts, grief, and brokenness wouldn’t mean anything, but then again, neither would the triumphs. And the triumphs make this in-between time livable.
It is the victory of finding a friend that was hidden behind a tough exterior, the joy of hearing a story of breaking down walls, or the energy of mountain top stories. All these things fuel our stay in the in-between.
Friends, this side of heaven is a hard pill to swallow but is so filled with hard fought victories, that we can’t even think about giving up. Sure, it would be easy to give in and give up, to stop loving, to let hate and anger rule your heart, but then you would miss out on so much. Moments of true bravery. Moments that matter more that the situation that brought them on. Where perfect love, really does cast out the fear of failure, insecurity, and heart break. Moments that define your life story. Moments that make the hard, broken moments all worth it.
Writing this out, doesn’t make the hurt less, or the shock easier to deal with, it is all still there, oh man is it, but I am believing for beauty from the ashes of my in-between. Beauty from the midst of the fires of Mount Doom, if you get that reference we are friends, where the ash is so thick you can’t see your own hand in front of your face.
Beauty will come in the in-between, but we have to be willing to see it. We have to be willing to keep loving, to keep living, to keep marching on with our stiff bones, and broken hearts. To keep keeping on as my mom says.
Together, my dear ones, we can make the in-between a place of love, although not void of pain, but a place where the through the pain we join together, carry each others burdens, forgive one another, and keep on keeping on, until we reach the mountain top, or the other side of heaven.
Still, I am learning,