The Blessing of the In-Between Space

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leah abraham -the blessing of the in-between space-3

There’s a tree outside my parents’ house I affectionately named Delilah when I was younger.

She’s a grand, magnificent beauty that flowers at the early signs of springs and dies as the autumn sun sets.

Growing up, I watched the tree intently throughout the year and remembered the Aslan covenant—Winter will end. This too shall pass. New life will tear open this earth and burst. The flowers will one day bloom.

Now, nearly a decade after I named the tree, I find myself neck-deep in a season of transitions and thresholds. I can’t help but wonder if there were promises I overlooked or was not mature enough to understand.

There’s an in-between space I find myself eager to exit. I am ready to forgo the harsh winter and fall into the promise of spring. But what if there are blessings lingering in the in-between space?

This past weekend when I visited my parents, I took some time to observe and listen to Delilah. She is showing early signs of blooming. In a few weeks, pink blossoms will arrive. A few weeks after that, the pink blossoms will disappear.

But the true gift was that of right now, the middle space between the birth and death. In the quiet, I sat and wrestled to be still. After several minutes of restless wiggling, I found a steady, deep pace of breath. My mind wandered to worry to joy to disappointment to excitement to shame to hope … and back to the tree. And over again.

This in-between space brings with it all the emotions and baggage of an old life I’m grieving. I’m embracing the death of something that was and making room for something that will be. Of course, it is complicated and frustrating.

Feel it all, I whispered to myself. Cry, laugh, die, resurrect.

I sighed and relinquished myself into John O’Donohue’s wisdom:

“For everything under the sun there is a time.
This is the season of your awkward harvesting,
When the pain takes you where you would rather not go”

If you find yourself in the in-between space today, stuck in the middle of the harsh winter and the burgeoning spring, know that the promise is in the winter and in the spring. It is also here, right now.

May you wrestle with your mind, your body, your soul and your God. There is no way past it, but through.

Feel all the feelings. You can be certain that ALL the feelings will rise and fall and jumble inside of you. If you’re like me, it might be hard to name them all. That’s OK. Try your best not to deny them their rightful space in you.

Cry. Laugh. Die. Resurrect. Again. Again. And again. 

Don’t be afraid of asking big questions. Or of adventure. Or of asking for what you need. Be gentle with yourself.

Surround yourself with poetry, sisterhood and emergency chocolate. Have a dance party, occasionally.

When you are healed and whole and on the other side of this space, remember to whisper love songs to yourself in gratitude. Remember your body that kept you alive and beating through the strange season. Remember your mind that processed ALL THE FEELINGS. Honor yourself through prayer and kindness.

Welcome yourself to the right now. To the in-between space where grace awaits to embrace you, just as you are—perfect, bursting with promise.

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Leah Abraham
Leah is a storyteller + writer + journalist + creative + empathizing romantic + pessimistic realist + ISFP + Enneagram type 2 + much more. She lives in the Seattle area where she works as an education reporter and features writer. Bonus facts: She loves the great indoors, hates to floss, and is obsessed with Korean food and her dorky, immigrant family.
Leah Abraham
Leah Abraham

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Comments

  1. Tracy Nelson says:

    Leah, oh MY. So beautiful. So true, yet SOOOO hard. To feel ALL the feelings in the in-between is nearly unbearable, but you are right – so necessary. Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom, sister. And the chocolate, and friends, and dance parties — YES! <3

  2. Love this Leah! And, what’s wild is that in-between space can return during another season of your life/our lives, like it has for me on various occasions and like it was recently for me. You are such a gifted storyteller/thinker.

  3. Anna Smit says:

    Thank you for this encouragement. I need to remember this too: “Feel it all, I whispered to myself. Cry, laugh, die, resurrect.”

    Impromptu dance parties with my girls = best medicine.

  4. Deborah Hudson says:

    I’m squarely in that inbetween space now. I’m saving your words to sit with me in this time. Thank you.

  5. This is a beautiful picture of how to embrace being in that in-between place. Thank you for your words. Have you read O’Donohue’s blessing For the Interim Time? He seems to know these places well.

    • Leah Abraham Leah Abraham says:

      Oh my. I love that poem! Thanks for sharing it with me. I’m relying on his blessings quite a bit this season.

  6. This “spring” (it’s snowing today) has been so metaphorical for me with its endless delay and the requirement that we live for now on the memory of other springs that have actually come– also in their own good time. Thanks be to God for the “Aslan Covenant” and the promise of God’s presence in every season.

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