Monday, August 17, 2015

In between

I'm neither here nor there, neither in the groove nor out of it, neither on the road nor aimlessly wandering. 

I am in between. 

It's an empty place - a quiet space - almost a vacuum. Between what I have known and what I will know, I am in that curious state of nothingness that begs for an answer, a voice, an activity, anything to fill that void. 

It is a dangerous place - an eerie space - more silent than a whisper, and just as elusive. It's uncomfortable. I am tempted to go back to what was, what I knew, not because it is a better place, but simply because I know it, and I know what to expect. Yet because I know what to expect, I dread moving backward in that all-too-familiar direction. Too long I have wallowed in its mediocrity and sameness. Yet the future - bright and glittering- is unreachable, shiny, taunting me with its promises of a better life, whatever that means. 

It looks as though I am stuck here - here in the present, here in the in-between. Here the echoes of what was ... are too loud, and the promise of what will be ... is too far off to provide any satisfaction. 

This is the void. This is the awkward silence, the silence of 'becoming'. 

It is empty ... and dangerous ... and absolutely essential. Here I can ask myself the tough questions from which I have been hiding. Who am I? Why am I here? Is this all there is? Is what I have known all that will ever be? Can I not hope for something more? Will I ever stop feeling so lifeless? Where is the joy I was promised? Can I ever learn to listen for - and hear - that still small Voice again? 

Other voices clamour around me to fill that silence with uplifting music, with many words, with groanings and fervent prayer, with busy-work. Yet the only sound my soul makes is that of a small, frightened child - so frightened that she dare not make a sound or she will be discovered. I hear the rapid beating of my own heart, as if I have stepped off a cliff with no assurance that anything will be there to keep me from falling to my death. There are moments of abject terror - of a panic so great that it steals my breath from my lungs.

The questions continue, go deeper, persist in spite of the pleadings of some part of me for them to stop. But they don't. Where did the Light go? Will I ever see it again? Why is it that others seem so satisfied with the status quo ... and I do not? Do I really know what it is that I am looking for? If I don't, then how will I know it when I see it? (Or WILL I see it?) 

This hurts. It's painful. I can't describe it well enough; only those who have been here will understand. I can talk to them, and they can encourage me to persevere, but it seems I can't make anyone else understand. "Why are you so dissatisfied?" I hear them say in my mind. "Why are you putting yourself through this?"

Nobody wants to hear about this place. They want me to be as I was, or they want me to be as I will be. They are just as uncomfortable with this awkward place in my life as I am - perhaps even more so. Everyone wants the finished product, something recognizable, something to point to and either pray for or praise God for. Not this. Not the transition. Not the uncertainty. Not the pain. Oh most definitely not the pain. 

I know that so many will not understand.  This fact tears at the fabric of my being, for I have spent my whole life trying to do whatever I could to make people approve of me, to like me, to hear me, to understand me. Yet I know - I KNOW - that so many people will think that I am sick, or sad, or crazy, or backslidden, or ... or whatever they will think. Yet I am so desperate for answers that I must face the monster of "What will people think?" and put it to death in my life. I must exist in this place of emptiness, of the void, no matter what people think.

This, THIS is in between. This is not comfortable. Yet it's all I know right now. Like the caterpillar in its chrysalis, I am being de-consructed; the person I was is no longer the person I am. I am being changed; into what, I do not know. It is too soon to tell. I am only beginning.

All I know for sure is that it will be different. Just how different, or what form it will take, is completely unknown to me. The only One who knows is the One who compelled me to enter this place, this space where all else fades away ... except change.

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