So much of our life is lived in the “in between”. Between growing up and growing old. Between arriving and departing. Between questions and answers. Between the first time we leave home and arrive at our destination; between the time we leave childhood and arrive at adulthood; between the time we leave doubt and arrive at faith.
It is like the time I went skydiving. Out of everyone on the sketchy rickety plane, I was the only one who admitted to being deathly afraid of heights. Seriously, I was “that girl” who couldn’t even watch videos on YouTube of skydiving without feeling super queasy. So, of course, the adrenaline-junky sky dive instructor selected me to jump first.
I nervously smiled and started to inch and waddle my way toward the airplane doors. As I got closer to the edge, I quickly decided to shut my eyes. “Maybe it’ll be better if I just don’t look,” I encouraged myself. Seconds later, I hear the sky dive instructor on my back scream out,
Cue the tragic skydiving pictures.
(Yes, my eyes were closed the whole time. Yes, that’s a double shakka.)
And just like that, I entered “the space in between”. The space between the airplane in the sky and the dirt on the ground. It is the space that is both completely terrifying and unbelievably exciting. When you skydive, you experience both the excitement of flying and the terror of falling. It is in this space that something indescribably sacred begins to happen within you. The “in between” becomes this sacred place.
“God help us not live only for some distant day when the in between will be no more, but God helps us step into the mystery of that sacred space in the here and now…knowing that it will be the place of genuine change and transformation.”
But…what is that “sacred space”?
There is this incredible story in the Bible.
It is the coming of Jesus to the disciples on the sea in Matthew 14:22-33.
“It involves this ‘sacred space’ that Jesus invites Simon Peter to step out into. It is the space between…between the boat and Jesus…between letting go and being taken hold of…between the old and familiar and the new and the unknown…between dependence and detachment. It is a space that is both completely terrifying and unbelievably exciting. It is the space before your answer has come or your problems has been fixed. It is the space where you must trust the heart of God alone for your life. It is the space of genuine transformation.”
– Jim Branch
Right now, it’s safe to say I am definitely in the “space between”. Ever since I moved to California, got engaged, began working full time for WEND… I have never felt more scared, overwhelmed, in over my head, or alive and full of purpose in my life. I have no idea what I am doing. But everyday God is teaching me something new – whether it’s big or little. I am learning so much. And it is everything I have ever prayed for. But it’s not easy. I prayed for God to go “all out” with me and my life, and now the push is comin’ to shove. I feel him stretchin’ me…I feel him pulling me and tugging on me as if he’s tryin’ to make my little arms and legs stretch out long like Gumbi…haha. And to be honest, most times it feels super uncomfortable and unsettling. But I know this is exactly where God wants me to be. I gave him permission to do whatever he wants with me – now he is. And now I have to let him, even when I don’t exactly like it. Even when it means spending most of my days working alone in my apartment or in a coffee shop. Even when it means feeling insecure about not having a job with a paycheck, health benefits, or staff. Even when it means taking “big girl” risks or making decisions with unforeseeable consequences. Even when it means having to hustle extra hard to teach yourself everything you never majored in or learned in college… (someone please tell me why I never took a single business class in college..but took jogging 3 times..Lord help me..hahaha.) The struggle has been real y’all. And I feel it every single day. From the time I wake up to the time I return my head back to the pillow. I have so much to learn. The space between where I am now and where I want to be is so big.
But someone once told me,
“May the space between where you are and where you want to be inspire you.”
All that to say, this is all apart of the adventure. The adventure is almost entirely in the “in between”. And through the real life mess of it all, I know this is how you grow. It’s kinda like gettin’ growin’ pains all over again…but not the physical kind you feel right above your knobby knee caps when you’re 13…haha..it’s more of the emotional and spiritual kind that you feel weighing on your heart and mind like a ton of bricks.
So much life is happening in such a short amount of time. My life has changed so dramatically in the matter of 3 months, I simply cannot imagine what it will be like a year from now. (Dude, a year from today I’m gonna be married…like what? I seriously feel like I just got my braces off yesterday…haha…dude, mama was right..this growin’ up thing happens fast.) But you know what… it is kind of insane, because as I look at everything that is going down in my life right now… I realize that I am actually living my most impossible prayers. I am not even joking. I am living the life I prayed about when I was in the darkest and most hopeless times of my life. Many people might not know this about me, but a few years ago, I was in a really rough place. Looking back, I remember there being so many days when I didn’t even want to wake up. I remember laying in bed and just daydreaming and praying that I could be in heaven already. I was so tired of being in pain and suffering…I just wanted to be with God in heaven. In a place that was perfect. Free from confusion, pain, stress, brokenness, chaos, and monotony. At the time, I was really struggling with my health (had migraines and double vision nearly everyday) and with problems at home. There were so many days I laid in bed desperately wanting this numbness and unexplainable pain and achy-ness to go away. I have journals full of my prayers for God to take away my pain and to save me. For three years, I felt so numb I couldn’t even get myself to cry or let out a genuine laugh. I remember making a promise with God that if he brought me through this time that I would give him every part of my life. I remember thinking, “if you can get me through all this, then you must exist… And if you exist, even though I still probably won’t understand you God, I’ll try my best to give you everything I’ve got.” Week after week, I kept writing letters to God in this little journal on my bed stand. Praying he would get me through the darkness. One day, I remember my cousin sent me the song “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham. That day, for the first time in months, a tear finally fell from my eye. And suddenly, my heart didn’t feel so numb anymore. I felt something. And I didn’t have to force it. That day, it was almost as if I felt my formerly cold numb soul beginning to thaw. After that day, I kept listening to that song on repeat, because it was the only thing that really stirred up my affections and let me feel something – I was so desperate to just feel something…anything. It’s so crazy. Because as I look back over the years, that song has followed me and been the soundtrack to some of the biggest moments of my life. That was the song I played when I went through the hardest summer of my life, right after my freshman year of college. That was the summer I started to talk to God out loud while driving in my car. This was when I really started to get to know God – in an intimate one-on-one kinda way. That summer He got me through one of the most challenging times of my life, and after seeing the way he worked. My sophomore year of college, I decided to officially give my life to God and got baptized in Belize. While I was getting baptized, the song “You’re Beautiful” played in the background. God took the song that I heard in my darkest of days and turned it into the most beautiful thing. God saved me. In every way. He took everything in my life, and completely flipped it upside down. He completely pulled me out of the darkness. And he gave me a completely new life & restored soul. When I thought I had no purpose, God had something else in mind for me.
I used to not want to live on this earth… I just wanted to be in heaven.
Now I desperately want to live (and as fully as possible) and bring a bit of heaven to this earth.
I am in awe about what God has done. As I look at my life, every single detail of it, I am in disbelief. Every time I really let myself think about all that God has done – especially while prayin’ or singin’ to God – the tears can’t help but to overflow from my eyes. I am simply overwhelmed by what he has done, is doing and is capable of doing. I am simply in awe and disbelief of the way he’s not only heard but is beginning to answer the prayers that I muttered “night after night” year after year.
So this is my prayer today:
“God, may I never settle in this life. May I never turn my back on you. May I never forget who made me and why I am here. May I never forget where everything comes from and where everything will return to. May I keep giving all that you’ve given me right on back to you. I am all yours. Thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for letting me be your kid. Thank you for letting me live this life with and for you. Thank you for giving me so much grace and mercy for all the times I fall short and mess up. Thank you for letting me get to be with you forever. I am so in love with you. And I’m so grateful for you. And I can’t even comprehend or explain how my heart feels. Keep doin’ werk on me God, even when it hurts. I wanna be more like you. And I wanna live life the way you made me to live it. I wanna use everything you are givin’ me.I wanna bring hope to this world. I wanna bring a little heaven down to this world. Show me how. And may you continue to work in a way that can’t help but to make the world notice you and come to know, love and live for/with you.”