Thursday, August 13

i'm not prepared

The "in-between" gets a pretty bad rap. In fact, I've probably written four posts about the "in-between". It's this ridiculous phenomenon in time where you're waiting for something-anything-and minutes pass by like hours, hours pass like days, and days seem to never end.
(In case you're not human and you had never experienced it at all.)

Often this time is marked by the waiting for medical news, a job offer, discipline or punishment, baby news, graduation dates, buying a home, etc. Big or small, waiting for life-changing news creates a sort of agony...an agony like no other.

However, as I think about my own in-betweens and waitings, I feel a little grieved for the time wasted.  I feel like I'm missing something by scratching off the days and not taking something from them.  My waiting turns into a plea, a bargain for my own agendas.  There is always something I want in the end, an answer that suits my needs.  So, waiting for the answer presents an inner wrestling.  What happens if the alternative happens?  What if I don't get my way?  What if the answer is the one I didn't want?  Then I'll be left with disappointment, fear, anger, worry.  And, for me, all of these emotions and feelings will most likely be directed at God, though I won't call it out that way.  I'll have to be angry with Him for not giving me what I wanted.  I'll have to be disappointed in coming to terms with Him knowing better than I do.  I'll have to be fearful of losing control over my life.  I'll have to worry that what I want will never come to be.

So, instead of facing these, wrestling with Him and me, and me again, I'll just agonize and fill the space of the in-between.  I'll keep myself incredibly occupied and never visit these questions.

Or, of course, the opposite could happen.  What if I do get what I wanted?  What happens when the news is good?  Do I look back and remember how much I pined and prayed and begged for the news, for what I wanted?  Do I look back and realize it was never in my hands, but always in God's?  Do I look back and know how much I really wanted it?  Well, not if I was too busy denying all the opportunities to know myself and know God a little more.

Because that's what the 'in-between' offers...lots and lots of opportunities.  Opportunities for new beginnings, for imagination, ideas, fantasies.  Opportunities for growth and chances.  There is a part of us that knows this and wants so badly to go ahead and yearn for it.  Then the other part of us kicks in and reminds us how awful we'll feel if we yearn and don't get it.

I won't sit here and say there are three easy steps to sitting in the waiting.  I won't even tell you it won't be difficult.  Instead, I'll tell you, maybe that's the point.  You see, once you get the good news you've been wanting, you'll move forward with those plans and ideas.  You'll celebrate-as you should!  But will you realize what was on the line?  Will you realize how much it might have cost you?  Will you realize that with joy there is always a chance of pain, of sadness? 
(If not, I urge you to go see 'Inside Out'...or really any movie on the human condition)

The alternative is you'll get the bad news and you'll be full of sorrow.  You'll have to grieve all of those things that might have been.  You'll run through the gamut of hard emotions and probably be unsure of what to do with them.

So here's my plan: to sit in the in-between and take in all it implies.  I'll go ahead and imagine the possible and impossible, I'll be excited for the opportunities and new life it could bring.  I'll even make some mini-plans for what could be.  I'll also understand the possibility for sorrow and disappointment.  I'll also understand I could get the exact thing I do not want.  Simultaneously, I'll speak to God about how unfair it is that I have so little control.  I'll ask Him why my plans don't equal or govern His plans.  I'll tell Him I don't think I can handle disappointment or bad news.  I'll let him I believe it is my heart's deepest desire to live a good life, and that this thing which means so much to me today, seems like a good way to a good life.

Then, I'll remember He is in control.  I'll remember all the times He has worked and weaved His way through my life and how good that has turned out.  I'll tell Him I'm afraid to let go and let Him have control, I'm afraid of how I'll react, and I'm afraid of the outcomes of bad news. 

He'll say, in the kindest way, "I know, and I am prepared".

After all, aren't we all, each day, in the 'in-between'?


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