The Land Between
The land between is the territory between where you want to be and where you have been. Carol Harrison describes the struggles of the land between.
The Land Between by Jeff Manion
Have you ever felt like you were trying to survive in a dry desert, a land between where you had been and where you wanted to be? I know I have. I even read a book, The Land Between, written by Jeff Manion which talks about finding God in Difficult Transitions. On the back of the book it says, “Fear of an uncertain future. Unemployment. Foreclosure. Illness. Family crisis. Welcome to the land between: where life is not as it once was, where the future is in question. Life is full of unwanted transitions. It is our response to the land between that will determine whether our journey through the desert will result in deep, lasting growth or prove destructive to the soul.”
Israel’s Journey Through the Desert
This book takes a look at the Israelites journey through the desert for forty years before they entered the Promised Land. They grumbled. They wanted to go back to Egypt even if it meant slavery. They wondered why God had brought them out into the desert. I have felt that way a few times in my life when a health crisis changed plans or finances left more month than money and I had no idea how it would turn around or a loved one or friend dies sooner than expected. You have your own stories to fill in these blanks and the ways you dealt with each puzzle piece is part of your journey.
Sometimes the puzzle pieces of life don’t fit together or seem like they are missing all together. We face a season of uncertainty. Life is not what we expected. A feeling of being overwhelmed and under-appreciated sets in. We might question if God cares about what is happening. We cannot control the circumstances but we can have a say in what our attitude is on any given day.
Overwhelmed in the Land Between
One evening, not very long ago, I felt very overwhelmed. My youngest daughter who has some special needs and still lives with us was sick with a bad sinus infection. My husband’s pain incapacitated him and I was recuperating from lung infection and asthma. I felt physically drained, emotionally fragile and at times even spiritually dry. I worried about my other children and grandchildren and things they were facing at this time. I wanted to be able to help them but I knew it was beyond my ability to do much. I could not fix anyone’s anxieties including my own.
I’m Not Superwoman
Forgetfulness troubled me after a couple weeks of struggling for breath. Negative monkey voices chattered incessantly and tears threatened to leak out at any old time. Being thankful got harder and harder to do.
One evening I turned to my husband and said, “I feel so overwhelmed. I don’t feel I can even do a fraction of what needs doing. I think my superhero cape is in the wash.”
He chuckled a bit and nodded his head. He often asked me at times like this if I thought I was super woman trying to do more than could reasonably be expected of one person. That night I acknowledged I wasn’t a super woman.
Life continues on no matter how we might feel. Tough stuff happens. We sometimes make wrong choices. Sometimes the circumstances we find ourselves in are beyond our control. Plans need to change and the struggle to get past overwhelm brings tears, self-pity and a genuine need for help.
What do you do when you are at the end of your rope, when your super hero cape is in the wash or has shrunk beyond use in the dryer? What can I do?
I was forced to rest. Thoughts of all the things I could not do or do well tormented me. I needed to change my focus. Just like God led the Israelites each step of their journey and was their Provider, their Good Shepherd, their Great Physician as well as their judge when they needed it, so he is with us.
God Wants to Meet Us
As hard as the tough times can be to survive, God wants to meet us right where we are. He wants to use these times to stretch us, teach us and have us rely on him. God desires to meet us right there in the chaos and upheaval, the uncertainty and the feeling of overwhelm that won’t go away.
I am not superwoman. My superhero cape is not in the wash nor has the dryer shrunk it beyond recognition. I struggle with changing seasons of life, ugly puzzle pieces that I don’t want to be part of the picture of my life. I too complain, have the wrong attitude at time and wish for the comfort of the familiar. Yet when I take my eyes off my own trouble and do like Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” and remember the promise in John 16: 33 where Jesus says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I know who the superhero is –Jesus who has overcome the world. He is the author of my faith. He provides all I need. I simply need to trust him.
Where are you at today? Do you feel caught in that land in between? Reach out for help. Look up to Jesus and open your heart for all he wants you to become during this testing ground of faith.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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