The Confusing In-Between

Every time I attempt to get settled, put roots back down, and move on with my life, God reminds me that I am not in control.

When I found out a few weeks ago that I won’t need to move to Texas to help with my mom (we’re looking for a small group home to move her into) I began to feel very unsettled. I launched a new job search and started looking on craigslist for a small house to rent.

At every turn I get a big “no” from God and that bugs me.

I realized today that this is what Peter Scazzero is referring to when he talks about “waiting in the confusing in-between”. It’s one part of the grieving process and comes after we begin to pay attention to our emotions.

Hmmmmm. Didn’t I just post a little big ago about feeling overwhelmingly sad?

So I guess this is the part that I need to embrace…the confusing in-between.

I hate waiting for subways, buses, airplanes, and people. Like most New Yorkers, I struggle not to finish other people’s sentences. I talk too fast.

My greatest challenge in following Jesus Christ for over thirty years has been waiting on God when things are confusing. I prefer control. I understand why Abraham, after waiting eleven years for God’s promise of a son to come true, took matters in his own hands and had a baby the “natural way.” Birthing Ishmaels is common in both our churches and personal lives. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7) remains one fo the most radical commands of our day. It requires enormous humility.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – pages 145-146

I keep wondering what I am going to do when I grow up…where I am going to live…what life is going to look like for me…and God is not giving me any hints.

And so I wave the white flag of surrender.

I ask God to give me the strength I need to accept the unknown, to be okay with feeling unsettled, to not have any sort of consistent income, and to be content being a guest in someone else’s home.

That’s tough for a Type A person who enjoys being established and productive.

But it’s where I am, and where I might be for quite some time, so coming to grips with that fact is a struggle. Accepting the confusion of being totally up in the air, disoriented, and disconcerted as part of the grieving process is hard, but I know it will be good for me, and an experience that will increase my trust in the One who delivered me from captivity.

7 thoughts on “The Confusing In-Between

  1. I don’t like that you have to deal with this. But as I had my physical heart ripped out–you’ve had your spiritual and emotional heart torn to pieces. Always know you can ask for help. Id do whatever I could to help you!

  2. Oh Athena, How I love to read how God is working in your life! Everyone of us who has left SD have experienced the same emotions and the same uncertainity. I remember the night we escaped from the heavy chains SD put us in. There aren’t words to express how I felt when I found out my husband had been seeing the same things, yet we were not free to express that to one another for fear of losing our spouse and children to SD just like we had seen happen to your son Ailen 6 months before. Finally, our communication was free again and we could tell each other what we were really thinking. Then, after traveling for 6 days across the country back to our family, we were left to start our life over. Where would we live? We didn’t have any money! SD got all that! Then, where would my husband get a job? If a potential employee called his former employer, Winepress, what would they say? Well, we know the answer to that!
    Thankfully, we had a forgiving family ready to meet us with open arms and help us pick up the pieces after we had been duped. God has literally took what was meant to completely destroy our family and turned it around for good. It didn’t happen over night as there were a lot of burned bridges to repair, a lot of grieving over things we had missed like weddings, birthdays and births and grieving over things we had lost like material possessions and trust in others. BUT, one thing we didn’t lose and thank God you didn’t either was our hope and faith in Jesus Christ and His love for us! My famous line after we left SD was, “I KNOW the sky is blue, I KNOW the grass is green and I KNOW God is real. Anything beyond that, I am waiting for Him to show me.” And He did! He will for you as well.
    Waiting wasn’t easy, but it was peaceful. We waited for 8 months and God blessed us with a beautiful, modest home perfect for our needs. Our children have come through and are thriving in college and the pursuit of their God-given careers. And most importantly, God has beautifully shown us how great His love is for us and led us to a church where we could heal and learn to trust again.
    The absolutely best place to be is waiting on Him! His plans are perfect and He always does exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ever ask or think!

    Praying for you as you wait!
    Love You!
    Stephanie

  3. Thank you sweet sister for being such an encouragement to me! I trust God that He will redeem all that was lost and give me even more just to prove His love for me….in His timing and not mine! 🙂

  4. Athena – I’m glad you’re sending updates. Jim & I will pray that God will give you a home and some more authors so that you can make a living. If I come across any authors who need help, I’ll certainly refer them to you. What a nightmare you’ve lived through. However, I know God can restore your life in every way, including letting you use your incredible talent for Him. Just remember you are loved by me and I’m going to be praying every day for restoration. Thank the Lord for what He has already done.

    Hope you have a wonderful Easter.
    Joyce

  5. I read your post with much interest and compassion. Thank you for sharing from the heart and helping us all see God’s hand through our own experiences as you recount yours. I am reminded of a “confusing in-between time” for me when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was uncertain of my future, my family, my dreams, even my life. But I learned an amazing thing. I learned that the sweetest victory is found through surrender! Isn’t that just like God who says the wise are made foolish and the last becomes first? Like you, I did not want to just “keep” my faith (through my cancer experience,) I wanted to “build” my faith, to sieze the opportunity to grow deeper in love with Him and bear more fruit. That could only come through complete surrender, not my heart (which was already His) but more through my daily living – a surrender to His Almighty power to do as He pleased with my life, a surrender to His Word to strengthen and guide me each day and hour and a surrender to step out into the unknown with the confidence that He would provide what I needed for the journey. I, too, am a Type A personality and enjoy an organized and well-planned environment and lifestyle but all control was essentially snatched from me through my cancer. I found myself living minute to minute and discovering supernatural peace through the process. But isn’t the truth that we are never really in control anyway – that it is God who is in control of all things? He just lets us THINK we are in control.
    I am humbled to be currently working on a presentation to the medical students at my university/hospital for a class on medicine and spirituality. In my reading of academic articles, I was taken aback by one that listed surrender as being a viable coping technique for healing! How about that? I liked that because I could relate to it in some ways. Certainly spiritually. Interestingly, we find there is hope, even freedom, through surrender that cannot be fully understood unless it has been experienced.
    Athena, you are blessed to have the insight and long-term vision to know that God will see you through this in-between confusing time. He certainly saw me through. I ended up publishing a book with your help to describe my experience that is now encouraging hundreds of others. You, of all people know, who in their right mind publishes a book before ever publishing an article or at least something else? Me! But God used my obedience and perseverance to bring Him glory, honor, and blessing.
    Praise God for the victory through our surrender. He is in already in our tomorrows.

    • Yep Karen…waving that white flag seems to be a daily event for me…It’s nice to know I can trust the One I’m surrendering to! Big hug to you, my friend.

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