“Let God to the hard work.”
Standing there ironing, the words barreled out my husband’s mouth to pierce the wall of my doubt.
Oh, how easy those words sounded but the reality was entirely different. I wanted to trust. I wanted to lay it right in God’s hands. But the “what ifs” and “when” kept rattling around in my mind.
What if it doesn’t work? What if we don’t have the support? What if it fails? When will God do what He said He would? When will we be beyond this season?
There I was standing in the gap between where I was and where God was calling me to be. Standing there torn between leaning into His truth and reverting to what was comfortable. Standing there wanting to leap but wanting to retreat.
Have you ever been walked through an in-between season?
In between seasons are often seasons filled with great transition, where you are neither in one place or the other. You are no longer who you were, but you are not who you will become — a season of shedding, releasing the bonds of the old to walk freely into what God has created for you next. You find your faith stretched, your will tested, and your patience increased. Oh, yes! The place of ALMOST but NOT YET.
When God stirred my spirit it was time to transition back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for six years, I was ready (or so I thought). Moving forward, I prepared my resume, filled out teaching applications, and purchased new outfits for my job interviews. Surely God would move in my career as I had in the past.
Little did I know, God was about to teach me something new.
Yes, my resume was ready. Yes, I filled out teaching applications to go back to be a high school teacher. Yes, I had my cute outfits prepared for job interviews. But no interviews came.
For months, I was applying for jobs and going to job fairs. There I was working on my doctorate, over ten years of teaching experience, and no one even wanted to interview me. Never have I been in this place. Where was God’s favor?
I knew God called me back to the workforce. I knew He stirred a desire in me to continue my career. So why would He awaken a dormant hope and not open a door for me?
Everything in me screamed quit. My ego was bruised. My countenance was fallen. I was starting to lose hope. Then thoughts like “Maybe I didn’t hear God,” “Maybe I missed my moment,” and “Maybe I am not good enough anymore” echoed in my head.
Enough was enough.
Sitting on the edge of my bed tears falling down my cheeks, I could not muster a prayer out my mouth. Thankfully, I serve a God who knows how to hear the quiet pleas deep in my heart. At that moment, my hunger for God and fulfilling His plan for my life outweighed my craving for returning to where it was safe. Surrendering my will, I decided to trust God knows all the details. Even in my in-between season, He was there guiding me, shaping me, and preparing me for what was ahead. I could not go into the new season with some of the old ways and old thinking. When I questioned His favor, He was protecting me even from myself.
While walking through the in-between season, our vision is being adjusted. Often we don’t recognize the hand of God in our lives, and we question if He is near. If we are not careful, we allow our short-sided vision to keep us stuck in a place we were only meant to visit.
This is why Isaiah, 43:13 is so encouraging. “I have always been God. No one can save people from my power; when I do something, no one can change it.”
The door God opened for me was mine. After a year of applying for jobs, going for interviews, and trusting God, I did get a job in education that was beyond anything I ever thought I would be able to do. A position that allowed me to keep my family first while building my career. God knew what He prepared for me; He just had to prepare me for it.
As I have walked through the in-between places, there are a few lessons I have learned.
- Lean into God. Walking through the in-between season, God is not directing us north, south, east or west. God is directing us UP! He wants our thoughts, our hope, our focus on Him. He desires an intimate relationship with us.
- What you think matters. When you are in the in-between place, how you think about where you play a significant role in how you walk through the season. We are responsible for taking every thought negative thought captive and using our words to speak life. What we think becomes what we say. If we continue to allow thoughts of doubt to linger in our minds, doubt will become the words we speak. If we choose to focus on the faithfulness of God, then praise will overflow out of us.
- Pray. Consistent and fervent prayer makes a tremendous difference. When we are in the i-between place, God is not testing us or withholding His favor from us. Quite the contrary. God is showing us how to rely more on Him than our plans, education, or work ethic. Prayer keeps us connected to Him and hearing His voice.
If you are in the in-between season, remember it’s just that a season. We are meant to walk through this place into the life God has called us to live. A life called out of fear, out of depression, out of doubt, out of complacency into a life of freedom. So lean into God, be aware of what you think, and develop a healthy prayer life.
A Little About Mamie
Mamie L. Pack has a heart to see women live a full, free life in Christ. As military wife, mom of four sons, mentor, and educator, she has spent a majority of her life developing and equipping others. Whether in print or in person, Mamie’s vulnerable, transparent, and energetic communication style leads others to experience God’s redeeming love. Using practical strategies and reflective techniques, she encourages women to take ownership of living loved.