In our family the rhythms of our lives are in the midst of change again. Change is always a part of life, but some changes alter more of the tempos and cadences we are accustomed to. When that happens it leaves us feeling a bit “at sea”, a bit unsettled until the new rhythms begin and repeat with regularity.
Our three oldest grandchildren have produced the shift this time. As a result, their families (and even we) are feeling the movement. None of the changes caught us off-guard, but gaining a steadying balance is still needed. Each of these grandchildren is entering a new season, a new environment. Because they will walk through this one outside of home base it makes the ebb and flow of the rhythm less settling.
Our oldest granddaughter begins her life as a nurse. She has completed her BSN and then passed her NCLEX. In a few days she will begin a nurse residency program. Then in a month she will move into a condo on her own for the very first time. It’s an exciting time for her and we all look forward to see what will unfold in this new chapter. It’s time and yet the dailyness of her life will not be something her parents get to observe from the front row seats.
Her brother, our middle grandson, will leave for his freshman year of college in three weeks. We have celebrated him as well as he takes this next important step into adulthood and prepares for his future. We wonder how the Lord will work in this tender hearted young man’s life as he enters this new phase of his life. It is time and he is ready, but for his parents the rhythm of their days will shift. They will rejoice in this season of launching and yet feel pangs of missing the sounds and sights of both young adult children on a daily basis.
Thousands of miles away our oldest grandson, a college junior, is stepping into a different culture with a different tempo as he begins a semester abroad in Chile. He has wanted to do this for more than a few years. This opportunity excites him as he one day hopes to pursue some medical missions trips as a physician to other parts of the world. When we spoke to him before he left, he shared the excitement as well as the sadness of leaving the family he loves. For his siblings and parents, the shift while expected and planned for, can feel seismic.
A new tempo, a new rhythm will begin in each place and each home and will become familiar, but for now it is not yet here. It seems as if life at present is in the “in between”.
Life in the “in between” strikes me as something we should be more accustomed to than we often feel.
You see, as believers in Christ, we are living life in the “in between” in many ways now. We are in the process of transformation, the molding of our character, and the altering of our thought processes to align more with the truth of the Gospel. We live in a topsy-turvy, chaotic, sin-riddled world where fewer things make sense every day. We are also living with the anticipation of the Lord’s return. We are “at home” here and yet “not home”. We are in the “in between”.
I think living life in the “in between” is something Christ experienced as well when He walked the earth. He experiences it now as He waits for the Father to send Him for us.
The “in between” shift is an assignment time, a learning time, a testing time, and a preparation for what is next. For however unsteady or unfamiliar the new rhythm may first feel, if our eyes remain steadily on Him the change will not upend us.
The Lord invites us to the “in between” because it is there we come to know Him and ourselves better.