Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Space Between

Be still. I guess I took that literally.

At least where this little slice of my life is concerned.

Several weeks ago, in a somewhat heated exchange with one of my children, I finally shouted, "You can't hear me if you're trying to talk over me!" My boy, startled, stopped talking and began to listen.

It wasn't my proudest moment as a mother - yelling back and forth with one of my children, as if I was a child myself, until we were both trying to talk at the same time and neither one of us could hear anything the other was saying. But, God - as He so often does - used my weakness, and my child, to reveal something to me. Something I've been pondering for few weeks now.

You can't hear Me if you're trying to talk over Me.

It was time to put down the microphone in my own life.

And, just listen.

So much change is brewing in my life right now. God is moving in and around me - using outward circumstances to mold my heart into something softer. Something only His prodding could bring forth in me. And, while I'd rather just be left well enough alone, I have learned that He simply won't do that.

Not when His will and my good are at hand.

There is this place - this precious place - where God can do His best work in my life.

It is the space between.

It's a place that's neither here nor there. It's where uncertainty lingers and a season of waiting persists. It is where the soil in my heart is most fertile and where God does this sowing and more sowing and I must wait in patient hope as He does His work - not knowing what He'll reap in His time. Throughout my life, this space between has looked different - taking on various shades and colors and carrying life-changing lessons for me.

It is where I hear Him if I will listen.

My life right now is rich with these places.

A new life is growing inside of me - our fifth child. I'm a mother, again. And, yet, I'm not. I have four children. Or do I have five? I'm waiting to meet my child, and yet I feel him or her bounce and play and grow and this child is as real to me as the ones I feed and snuggle and touch and - yell at. I am, once again, part of this great mystery. God knits and forms behind this belly-curtain that keeps His work hidden and as my body changes and groans and aches and pains take up residence, I must simply wait. And, I learn that in my weakness, He is the strength I need.

The space between.

I have had horrendous insomnia with this baby. I lay my head on my pillow at night and hope to sleep until morning. But, somewhere in the darkness, I lay awake and stare at the spinning shadow of the ceiling fan. It isn't night. It isn't day. But, it is here - in this place between evening and morning - that God comes near and my secret longings and feelings and fears and hopes spill out into the darkness and He becomes a trusted Confidante and willing late-night/early-morning Friend and I learn that His presence is the best rest for my soul.

The space between.

My husband's workplace is going through all kinds of change. God has always provided for us - but what if? What about? We are in a season of uncertainty and my mind wanders to which of the "what ifs" and how many of the "what abouts" will come to be. I must live in the in between and it is here that I learn to sing, "The riches of your love will always be enough."

The space between.

We all live in these places, don't we? Our personal lands of the space between? Will I get the job? Will I have children? Is this baby ever coming out? Will I get married? Is there someone for me? Will God heal me? Her? Him? Will the hurt ever go away? How long, Lord?

Waiting. Waiting. More sleepless waiting.

But, in this waiting, God does His best and most marvelous heart-work in us. It's where He teaches us to trust, to rest, to cling to the only real hope we have - Jesus. As I learn to open up my clenched fists and let go of worry and unrest and the mountain of "should be" that I've built on the alter of my own desires, God fills my open hands not with answers, not with solutions or to-do's.

But, with all I need to know while I wait and wonder:

In the morning, when I rise,
Give me Jesus.

When I am alone,
Give me Jesus.

When I come to die,
Give me Jesus.

You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

I'm still waiting. I'm still carrying our little one and living somewhere between Momma and - Momma. I'm still staring at the shadow on the ceiling. And, my husband's work - well, I surely don't know.

But, I have found new contentment in the listening and the waiting.

Learning to open my clenched fists and finding that with open palms, God is able to fill the space between with the only promise my waiting soul longs for:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.


  1. What a fantastic post! And throwing in the truth via old hymns - perfect touch. Praying for you all. May God's peace continue to surround each of you.

    Miss you.

    Have you read Jeff Manion's book on this topic? It's on my to-read list.

    Finally, 3am for you is 8am for me, so Skype me sometime if you can't sleep. Would love to catch up.

    1. Jess - Thank you, friend. I haven't read Jeff Manion's book - will search it out!

      MIIIIIIISS you! Yes, we need to Skype! :)

  2. Hey Girlfriend-
    This and all of who you are spoke to me so much today. Dealing with incertainities of an illness my son is passing through called POTS and trusting God during the space between. Thank you for putting out there what God is putting in you. I turned around and you became this spiritual rock of a mama. Love you. Andrea Ruggeri

    1. Andrea - You bless me. Thank you, friend. Will be praying for your little buddy.

  3. Amen, Sarah, amen!!!! (((HUG)))

  4. Ahhh, yes....the waiting room is such a hard place to reside in. Yet, it truly is the place where He teaches us so much faith. A beautiful post.....praying peace over your heart, dear friend. gosh, I miss u!! We need a dinner date...can we meet in the middle????;)

    1. *I* miss you! SO wish we could meet up for a chatfest. :) Could really use some Jo time. Love you!

  5. A beautiful post........so well said. I'm sure you echo the voice of many of us. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I don't know you, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you that God has used you so amazingly in my family's life. You have said the words that my husband and I so desperately needed to hear. Thank you.