Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Land Between


The Land Between
by Jeff Manion

When we moved to Bogota a year ago, I knew this was going to be a big transition time for me.  For our entire lives together, my husband and I were leading up to something.  Always preparing always transitioning.
Suddenly with one move we were there.  We were living internationally, focusing on one job.  During this time I realized that I would have to transition as a person.  Leave the old behind and learn the new.  The old included supporting during long absences of my husband, a stable life in one town for many years, living close to family and being in a country and culture I was familiar with.  The new includes moving every couple of years - to a new country, learning to survive with a different language and no long-time friends or family close-by to lean on.
A time of transition, a time of in-between to learn a new life style, a new way of being a wife and growing into a new person.
It's one thing to know that you will be going through something and transitioning but it's another to experience that transition.  It's never as easy as you think it will be.  Two years to transition into this new life, to figure out my new role to see where God wants to take me.  A time in-between.
In his book, Manion compares these important times in our lives to the years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.  He challenges:  "Many seasoned spiritual advisers propose that this is the only space in which radical, transformational growth occurs.  God intends for us to emerge from this land radically reshaped...  The Land Between usually forces us to choose one way or the other...  The habits of the heart that we foster in this space - our responses and reactions- will determine whether the Land Between results in spiritual life or spiritual death.  We choose."
Looking at the response of the Israelites contrasted to the response of Moses during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Manion encourages us to cry out to God.  To lay our weariness, our questions, our uncertainty at His feet.  In response, God spreads out our burden making the load bearable.  "He reminds them that 'God is faithful.'  God will provide for you when you are stretched, pulled and tested.  This is a comfort when we travel through the Land Between.  The Scriptures tell us God will be faithful.  He will provide what we need each day.  Through the confusion, pain, and dying dreams, our Father in heaven desires to guide us at every turn."
The Land Between always demands a change and a response.  As we move from one period of life to the next, the response to that change is always in our grasp.  We choose if we will grow into the person God wants us to be or if we will sit in the wilderness griping and complaining.
The choice is up to you.

2 comments:

  1. Needed this reminder. We are going on our 5th overseas post, the last being the hardest one of all for lots of personal reasons. Having this vision of the wilderness helps in working through the transitions, finding thriving versus just surviving.

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    1. Hold onto the vision of thriving. God will work in your life in amazing ways molding you into a new person during this time!

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