Never have I felt the weight of the words in Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4 as I do now: “There is an appointed time for everything… A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.”
I am feeling these contradictions right now. My mom is in the hospital in Florida. Meanwhile, my son Zachary is getting married this weekend in Boone, NC.
My heart is pulled, and I feel…”between.”.
Between worry and wonder.
Between sorrow and celebration.
Between ache and thrill.
I remember other “between” times.
- Between the time two little sons needed lots of attention and energy and the time when they headed to college far away.
- Between writing in my journal and writing a published book.
- Between being a young, married woman with lots of selfishness and being an older and gentler wife with 25 years of marriage refinement behind her.
- Between doubts about my writing and confidence in my voice.
- Between moving forward with my dreams and taking several steps back.
What about you? Are you in a “between” time?
Where does God want us to park our hearts?
What does God want us to do now?
Ecclesiastes assures us that God knows and sees the “between” times in our lives, and that gives me comfort.
In my favorite devotional, The Blue Book, Jim Branch writes in the “Between” section this prayer that I’m repeating:
“O Lord, our God, so much of this life is lived in between; between the now and the not yet, between arriving and departing… Help us not to live only for some distant day when the in between will be no more, but help us to step into the mystery of that sacred space here and now—knowing that it will be a place of genuine change and true transformation.”
I love the words, “the mystery of that sacred space here and now.”
So with what attitude of our hearts and with which actions can we show God that we are accepting the sacred space of between?
Today I did something unplanned but something my heart, and God, knew I needed.
I went to Barnes and Noble.
Doesn’t sound sacred, does it?
But for me it was. You see, my mom is the one who gave me a love of books. And my soon-to-be-married son Zachary is a lover of words too. In fact, recently he said, “I find God when I write and read.” Yes, me, too.
I wandered around the book store for a couple of hours, reading bits and pieces of all kinds of books, including ones I knew my mom would like and others my son would be pulled to. I felt my heart fill for both of them, as I stood in the sacred between space which connects all three of us.
And I found the rest and steadiness of this “between” time.
Blessings, friends, in your “between” times. May you find the sacred space of your time now.
Blessings to you and your family, Melanie. I feel as though I can almost hear the beating of your heart in this post. Intimate and engaging, friend. Praying you y’all.
Thanks you so much for your prayers. It’s a reminder we need so often.
I needed this today- to have my eyes opened to the sacredness of the between time. Thank you Melanie. And I’m praying for your heart and your mom.
Thank you Kristen. It must be a human thing-to look behind and ahead but need to practice the now.
I needed this too, Melanie. Thank you. I’m praying to see and enjoy the beauty of the in between and I love how you’ve inspired me through your own beautiful but difficult experience. Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate your son and pray for your mom’s health.
Thank you so much for this reflection, I can relate on so many levels. This in between place can be unsettling and difficult. I think acknowledging that we are in such a space is so helpful, and you have given us a guide as you write from in the midst of this place. Thank you so much! ❤️
Beautiful words. Thank you for reminding me that God has a plan and the waiting is the in between time for me.
What beautiful writing.
Today I was just thinking about how I am always working to the “next thing” and missing what used to be. I am always afraid I won’t get it done in time. What is “it” and who sets this “time”? I’m talking crazy things like a decluttered house and a successful career and what people will remember about me when I’m gone. CRAZY stuff!! It all matters but it only matters if I enjoy the “between”. Oh … your words could not have come to me at a better time. Thank you.
I am so glad! Thank you for sharing. Praying rest and presence today for you.