rejoicing in the in-between

My life is currently residing in what I call the in-between.

I’m living between what was and what is going to be. I’m living between the life I’ve known and loved in Nashville and the life I hope I love in Birmingham. I’m between houses, between jobs, between families (my Nashville family and my family in Trussville), between normals. Nothing is as it was, and yet I’m in the awkward middle where I haven’t yet fully moved, fully changed jobs, fully embraced what’s next. I spend my days working and my nights packing, my weekends moving and every other spare second trying to fit in all my people in one place or the other.

And, truthfully, a lot of July was spent simply wishing away my time left in this in-between… not because I’m eager to leave Nashville, but because these months of preparing and waiting are somewhat-dreadful and totally exhausting, to say the least. And yet these are the months that, if used well, will set me up for success in my move. If I work hard these months, I’ll be able to afford the things I need to get my wee art business off of the ground while not sacrificing the financial peace that I’ve deeply enjoyed these past few months. If I pack up my home and bring my things to Birmingham over the weekends, I’ll be able to spend my last weeks in Nashville enjoying this sweet city and getting the next steps for my business underway instead of being left in an overwhelmed panic. And if I wake up early before work and stay up later after work loving on the people that God has given me in Nashville, I’ll be more connected to my people here and set in motion a pattern of intentionality that I hope marks my frequent visits to Nashville and allows me to keep these friendships I’ve so treasured. This in-between is full of purpose… and yet so, so difficult.

And of course this has gotten me thinking about all the other kinds of in-betweens in life… the seasons where purpose is abundant and yet that doesn’t make it any easier to get out of bed in the morning. Because as much as I understand and treasure the good that this season is doing in my heart and in my life, what I really want is the rest that it will bring me later. I’m ready for one place. I’m ready for a schedule that I set, for time with my mom, for my time in Nashville to be my bi-weekly luxury where I see my people and do my art and work my favorite shifts at Honest. I’m ready to have the time to create new products to launch, to have a studio to myself, to work from home, and live in the same city as my little brother. And that is what makes this time so difficult. 

If you’ve ever lived an in-between, you know what I’m talking about. When you can envision the beauty of the end result, what you hope will happen, it makes it hard to live in a time that is not that. It makes it hard to live in a season of less-than-ideal, where you know there’s purpose but it’s painful and drudgery all the same. And yet God gives us these seasons on purpose, never wastes our waiting, and calls us to be faithful even in seasons where things are hard and exhausting and mundane. He carefully crafts the “before” seasons… the ones before the move, before the baby or the husband, before the answered prayer or job opening. He weaves these seasons into our stories not because the rest is never coming, though our most ardently-prayed prayers may be answered with the “no”s of God’s grace, but because He teaches us lessons that matter most in seasons that don’t seem to matter at all.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4

I feel like maybe this is a strange verse to put in a blog about the in-between and drudgery of the mundane, maybe especially because I’ve so recently endured a season of excruciating suffering and used this chapter as a lifeline. But what I’ve found that I need in this time of boring and monotonous, more than anything, is to cling to the promises woven into this psalm. I daily need to remember that the Lord is my Shepherd, my Protector and my Provider. I need to remember that He is with me, even here in this spaceless space, and that I don’t have to fear. This is the place where I learn that He alone is enough, where I learn how to go to my Good Father for His comfort, and rest in the promise that His steadfast love will follow me all of the days of my life… not just the ones that I like.

And the beautiful thing about this time is that these days are also precious, and not just for the good that they’re gonna do for my future. They are the days the Lord has made, each and every one, crafted to mold me into a more beautiful reflection of my Love and my King. Each day holds something special, even if all of them are filled to the brim with the world’s most boring activities (aka packing and fixing my household appliances and cleaning). These are all opportunities to worship, to love my best friend well by being diligent to give her a clean space to move into, to care intentionally for the gifts of friendships Jesus showered on me here in this beautiful city. This is a beautiful time of learning to finish a season well, to appreciate the fruits of my three-year-long-labor here, to thank God that I have a home and friends to say goodbye to and a job that I never want to leave.

And no matter what your days hold right now, whether they are full of waiting or drudgery or dreams come true, Jesus made your days too. He’s given you precious moments to enjoy and opportunities to love the people around you. Take heart, dear ones, because our God is with us. His steadfast love and mercy and goodness will chase us all the days of our lives and leave us rejoicing even in the in-between. And we are going to learn to walk fearlessly and joyfully no matter what our days do (or do not) hold, knowing that this place is not our home and that we will surely dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

All my love,

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