The season I find myself in is so….different. I know–life is made up of transitions. You go from one season to the next, from one grade to another, and so on.What I am finding difficult to navigate currently….is the in between place.
I see pictures of “first day of school.” And rightful celebrations of kids moving from junior high to high school, or from elementary school to junior high. And for a minute, I panic, thinking I’ve done everything wrong because as a homeschooling family, we don’t always tidy up finish lines and beginning lines with a neat little bow or a ceremony.
I am frequently caught totally off guard by a child who declares with joy and pride, “I finished my math!” And then I have to scramble to see if I have “what’s next” on hand, or if I need to order something. And because we don’t follow the same school schedule, I find that we “start” a new school year at all the “wrong” times.☺️That’s part of the beauty of our homeschooling adventure-I don’t have to work within the rigidity of anyone else’s guidelines, I can just let them work at the pace their hearts’ desire! But one of the downsides is that not all of their accomplishments are celebrated in the same way. My big two kids didn’t do a “graduation” from junior high into high school….mostly because we were plugging away, Elijah was diagnosed with cancer, and when our heads stopped swirling for a minute at some point this year, we realized the big two were already well into their high school requirements and had gained a lot of important life experience in the process. I just didn’t realize that they were ready for a “graduation” of some sort until the time had already passed. It’s not all bad. It just leaves you with a sort of in-between feeling.
And, we are “in between” in the church department. We were very involved at our previous church, but with a child with cancer, a church outside our community, and a husband who works every other weekend, it just wasn’t going to work for this season. We’ve had some neat opportunities at various churches in the valley, but our bottom line is that Elijah still has to be well to go under anesthesia…and so we can’t risk having him in a class with other children (most of the time). Which means, we are just kind of in-between.
And Elijah. He has had no new growth for the last 6 months or so! This is amazing and so encouraging!!!! But he is still at 10 weeks in between “surgery”, or exams under anesthesia. So, we aren’t quite in the thick of it as we were, but we aren’t free of it either. We are just kind of…..you guessed it. In between.
And our house…..we are bursting at the seams, but we can’t afford what would be a good fit for our family in this area. Do we move to Waco, Texas, where the Fixer Uppers are?😂😂😂😂😂. Or do we stay in our bursting our seams state and try to make better use of our space?
All this to say….sometimes the in between place is hard to navigate. Sometimes you long for a heavenly home, where aches and pains don’t follow every breath, and bills don’t seem to crash over you, and doctors appointments don’t dictate your schedule, and “pokies” aren’t part of your two year old’s familiar existence.
And yet even in that heavenly longing, you still marvel at how these once tiny ones are growing into amazing, wonderful people who have their own ideas and opinions and interests. Even as I long for sleep and for my mind to think clearly, I still feel my breath catch in my chest and my heart beat with joy as I get a middle-of-the-night arm flung across me or stuck under me.
I don’t get to know how many days Elijah has. I don’t get to know how many days any of my children have, or how many I have myself. I only know that I have a today to live, and a heavenly future to hope for with certainty.
I don’t get to know how long it will be until we will be really involved at a church again. I only know that there are people to love in my community right now, and I can love them even while I’m in the in between place.
It’s like this picture. Swings make me sick to my stomach. And this park is right across the street from Sloan Kettering, the hospital where Elijah receives treatment. The in between place can kind of beckon to you, to stand there and notice everything wrong with the place you’re in, or let you give all your excuses for not stepping into the joy and potential of the moment, even with all its imperfections. But that wouldn’t be very fun at all. So I got on the swing.
Honestly, I don’t think I’m doing my best here, in the in between place. I long to live with the kind of passion and fire that has always marked my existence, but on most days, I feel more like I’m surviving. I go back and forth between wanting to solve the health mysteries that plague me….and just wanting to ignore them to the best of my ability. I long to make sense of things, here in this in between place. More than anything, I want to experience the nearness of God in this place.
But at the end of the day, no matter what *place* I find myself in, He is here. He is worth the battle. And I know I have today. So Lord, give me the grace and the strength and the courage to love well in this place, until I’m in the next one.🙏🏻❤️ Even when the swing makes me sick and I don’t like where it is….help me to get on and enjoy the ride anyway.
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known…
The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
The laws of the Lord are true;
each one is fair.
They are more desirable than gold,
even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.
They are a warning to your servant,
a great reward for those who obey them…
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalm 19:1-2, 7-11, 14