The Tension of the In-Between

“My heart doesn’t want to be in Texas right now. I don’t want to look at the red dirt or tall grass- though it’s beautiful. I want to be looking out my window at Salem and see Romanian rooftops. I want to cuddle with Marshy and be having tea while I spend time with Jesus. I want to be at home or in the thick of the foreign, and today I am somewhere in between.”
– June 24, 2012

That’s an excerpt from my journal, just after I’d returned to Texas for debriefing after being in Romania. I was tired. I was jet-lagged. I was torn in the tension of wanting to just go home and wanting to be back in the thick of things in a foreign land. But I was stuck in Texas, a place that was not quite either one.

I think it’s something we all have to wrestle with at some point- the tension that comes from wanting to be in another place, doing something different than what we’re doing in the place we actually are. I don’t think that tension is a bad thing, though; we just need to remember that God places us in different locations at different times for different seasons. There’s a reason we are where we are, just as there’s a reason we were in the place we left. There’s even a reason for those in-between places we don’t particularly want to be planted in, places like Texas.

Because I needed that time to think a little before I went home. I needed the time to enjoy my last few minutes with my team, people I’d grown quite close to in a short amount of time and may never see again on this earth. I needed to be surrounded by those people who love Jesus, by red dirt and humidity.

Because it was in that place that I came to write this:

You have made me glad by Your work in Romania. I saw so much that could have broken my spirit, but You revealed Yourself and Your purpose to me. I saw Your love for the gypsies and the poor and the lost. I saw Your answers to prayer, Your steadfast love. I saw Your hope. And because of it, I was able to walk away from Romania awed by You. I am able to sit here saying “how great Thou art!” Thank you, Lord. I love You. Let me not forget what I’ve seen and what You’ve spoken these past two weeks. Let me not forget.

You’ve spoken to me so much while I’ve been gone and I know You want to keep speaking Your heart to me. I want to hear it. I want to listen when You speak, Holy Spirit. Help me to hear and to do as You lead.

“You have stirred my soul; I am overwhelmed. I just came to be, that I may know such love.” -Robbie Seay Band

And He has spoken. A lot. And I’ve heard Him. And He’s said some big amazing things and some scary things and some things I’ve had to wrestle through. But He’s led me through it… and the desire to sit and listen came from one of those in-between places I didn’t particularly want. It came after praying and wrestling with that tension of the in-between.

There’s a purpose for where you are. There’s a purpose for the in-between and the valley, just as there’s a purpose for the destinations and the mountaintops. Believe it. Ask Him to show it to you. Then stand back and wait to be amazed.