What is the in-between? It is a somewhat awkward, uncomfortable, and uncertain place to be. Many things can happen during this time. It’s like the third point between our starting point and our destination. A time of growth, pruning and purifying. Sometimes, we might not be sure where Jesus is leading us. Yet, sometimes we have an inkling. For example, a career change, choosing what you want to study, improving our relationship with someone, or healing a past wound. There are many in-betweens that we go through in our lives and it is easy to want to mark things off as complete. But, we must also remember that we are on this journey towards Heaven and nothing will be fully complete until we are reunited with Jesus.
In navigating the in-between, it is important recognise where we have come from and where the Lord wants us to go. This will help us to keep focused on the place where the Lord is leading us. Throughout the journey that we are on, we might have many questions, doubts, and fears that run through our minds. This might lead us to disappointments with ourselves and with God who called us to begin this journey in the first place. However, we must remember that it is neither about making a perfect journey nor is it about reaching the ideal destination that we have in mind for ourselves. It is about desiring what the Lord desires for us and giving Him the freedom to lead us where He desires.
Trusting Jesus with our In-Between
To me, the process of navigating this journey is like the passage in the Gospel of Matthew where Peter walks on water. When Peter sees Jesus walking on water, he calls out to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matt 14:28) Jesus does so, and Peter courageously gets off his boat and onto the water and walks for a few seconds before he starts to feel afraid and doubt sets in because he takes his eyes off Jesus. He begins to sink and in humility and trust, Peter cries out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” and Jesus rescues him. Likewise, when we allow the Lord to challenge us on our journeys, we must move in courage that He will rescue us even when we fail. We must allow Him to pick us up and hold us upon the waves. I think that the most courageous thing that Peter did in this passage was allowing the Lord to call Him out onto the open waters. Let us trust that the Lord holds us and reaches out to us when we make mistakes, let Him be the one who leads us through this awkward, but holy and sanctifying time.
Befriending the Unknown
image by Helen Thomas Robson
A friend told me that I needed to be comfortable with discomfort. I was stunned and wondered, “What does that even mean? Does that mean that everything that I do will constantly just be full of discomfort? I don’t really want that!” But upon reflecting on what she said, I came to the realisation that the comfort that I can find in the discomfort is only in Jesus Christ! To be comfortable in the discomfort means that we rely totally and fully on the Lord and not on our own strengths. We recognise that even though we are called to go somewhere with the Lord, that what is more important is WHO we are on the journey with. When we see that the Lord is our constant through the storms and waves of life, we can move in our uncertainty and learn to accept that this is a large part of our life here on Earth!
Staying on the Journey
We think that while we are making our journeys that it is essential to get there the fastest that we can. Then, we get so focused on getting to where we are meant to be that we get agitated and frustrated at why we are moving so slowly! Eventually, we forget that while on any journey that we make, there is also a time and place for us to rest. These pit stops along our journey can be sitting still with the Lord in prayer, or listening to His heart for us – or even complaining about how long this journey is taking. As we each continue our own mini-journeys throughout life, let us remember the words of St John Paul II, “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure!”