The Blessing of the In-Between Space


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.