In-Between Moments Are Where Growth and Fear Both Live
God doesn’t close one door without opening another, but it can be hell in the hallway.
Hillary Clinton's pastor emailed that to her the morning after the election. Throughout the whole campaign he would send her morning devotionals that would keep her rooted in her faith.
This devotional speaks to anyone though, regardless of what the cause of your hopelessness is. It's anchored in God and faith if you need it to be and the phrase "it can be hell in the hallway" can be as secular as you want it to be because the truth is we've all been there.
We've all stood in the hallway, whether we put ourselves there or got thrust out the door at someone else's hand.
It's synonymous with the lyric I've been using to guide my writing for weeks now:
"Here's to the view from the tile of the bathroom floor, ain't we all been there before. And the hell bent sun that's going to come up the next morning."
The tile floor, the hallway, the shades of gray that are basically a mood ring that changes at its own will — they're all where growth happens and the deepest of reminders that this is why it's called a growing pain.
When I read the devotional it also reminds me of a word that keeps popping up for me - surrender.
At the top of every year I choose a word, usually come June of that same year, I don't remember the word I've chosen and instead I'm overwhelmed by the word that keeps choosing me. I've been battling with the word "surrender" for months now, trying to figure out what it means and the role its meant to play in my life. Lately it's gone beyond just popping up alone, now it has partners in crime, it comes with "patience" and "faith" and a reminder that certainty isn't in God's plan and that's okay.
The more I stand rooted in the present the more I'm able to see how much I lack when it comes to patience and faith and serenity. My need for certainty comes from the anxiety I relate to gray moments. It comes from being faced with my limits as a human being. I can't provide everything for myself and I've never been able to, even if the need for survival made me think that I could.
There's a space that I can't question - it's where I sit, hands folded, head down, asking for calm in my heart. It's the first time I've found myself here while my life is good and happy. I know how to surrender to end of life situations and when praying means praying for an end that is not painful for someone you love. I know how to pray on behalf of someone else, I don't know where to start for myself. I have very little practice praying to God and asking Him to help me trust in the present happiness.
This unsettled feeling in the midst of a lot of goodness is why I find myself titling pages with "Consistency" and "Patience" and "Stability." Defining those words through faith all lead me to "Surrender." I just have to get used to being here.