The past thirteen months have been ... interesting. I've labelled this season the 'In-Between'. It's been a testing season. A waiting season. A dry season. A searching season. A trusting season. But it's also been one of rest (something I find difficult to do).
For those who receive my newsletter, you may recall mention of a car accident I was involved in last year. As a result of that accident, I now have chronic neck/nerve pain which has impacted my ability to perform my 'day' job, and other areas of my life. Long story short, the processes involved with all of this have been drawn out, humiliating at times, and have removed everything I worked hard for, for many, many years. It's been all-consuming, and a time of swallowing my pride, grieving over the loss of what I've achieved, and trying to figure out what's next. At times, I've felt like a pawn in a game of chess. Powerless to move unless it's within the boundaries set out for me. I've been frustrated. I've been depressed. I've felt worthless. And all the while, I've wondered, what's next?
Even though there is no end in sight at the moment, this 'in-between' has also been a time of blessing. Blessings that I would never have thought possible. Blessings that I would never have experienced if life had been all smooth-sailing. As much as I would prefer life to be comfortable, I'm also reminded that it's in the hard times, those soul-searching dark moments of life, that we grow and experience God in incredible ways.
This 'in-between' hasn't been without a lot of discouragement - when I see what's behind me and can't see what lies ahead. When I see what I've lost, yet can't see the next step. When I wonder if God's forgotten me. But Philippians 1:6 reminds me that God began the good work in me, and will continue until it is finished when Jesus returns, and I am encouraged that He still sees me, and that He hasn't finished with me yet.
This 'in-between' has taught me what it means to be fully surrendered. Worship songs mention 'surrender', but I've never fully experienced it until now. When everything is stripped away, when everything is beyond my control, I've had no other choice but to hand everything to God and completely trust Him. My hands and my heart are fully open in surrender to where He leads. And it truly is an incredible experience to let go and let God, not just in words, but in action.
I have also been reminded of the promises in Isaiah 43.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. (Isaiah 43:2-3).
And I can attest to the fact that He has been with me through this whole journey. Guiding me, comforting me, holding me. I don't know what's next, but I am trusting God.
If you are facing an 'in-between' season right now, I pray that you will know God's presence and peace. You are not alone. He is with you and will not let you go.