by Joan Kelley, oneLifemaps Director of Facilitator Development
Do you ever feel stuck in between relationships, emotions, life?
A few weeks ago, I went to the funeral of my dear friend named Marlyn. A community of faith who had walked this road with her for several years gathered collectively. Tender words were spoken and people were challenged to go and live the legacy Marlyn had lived out in her faith and her 38 short years of life.
For me it was a day of contrasts and finding a space somewhere “in between” to settle. It was sad to let someone go, but incredibly joyful to celebrate Marlyn’s new home. It was easy, but it was hard all in the same moment. How could we be at the funeral of a friend who I saw 4 days ago and still have a text message from on my phone? Death felt like the end today, but I know full well that Marlyn is fully alive. I struggled with singing “It is well with my soul,” but at the same time had absolute full assurance that it is and will be “well with my soul.” Tears flowed and laughter happened in the next minute. Death had caused us all to gather there together, but the day was all about life. How can grief and gratitude and sadness and joy all reside in one room and one heart all at the same time?
I think living in these in between spaces is difficult at times, because the uncertainty that lives there too. I want to move one way or the other, but I’m are unsure of what is next. I live in more questions than answers. I want to move on, but I know you need to move through. But I think it is in these in between spaces where growth and creativity is found. I truly believe the uncomfortable feeling that is found in this space is God working on my heart. It’s my mind and heart stretching so new places and discoveries can be found. I need to realize that most of life is spent residing here in the middle. Most of life is not the high peaks and low painful times – it’s spent in the middle.
So what do you do when you find yourself in this middle ground – sit and watch life go by until the next peak or find a way to stretch and grow and move within it? It's up to you. Instead of wishing the tension away, might you choose to look for what there is to learn from living in the tension found between pain and love, between hope and sorrow, between life and death. So what’s the point of learning to live in the in between spaces? Living in the reality of what ‘is’ offers a moment by moment connection with God, others and your true self. I believe it to be, as the Bible says, ‘life that is truly life!’
“Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing.” Phillipians 2:15-16