Finding Joy In the ‘Gap’ and the ‘In-Between’

I haven’t moved house in about 10 years.  I feel a little bit out of practice. I am convinced this will be the best move yet and here I am writing my blog instead of pulling up carpet.

We have  a few things going on. Our main bathroom is being renovated which means four people are using my ensuite …(one of them keeps using my towel!)

We have been having  dinner around the coffee table for four nights runnning, because the entire contents of my kitchen rescue drawer (the one that holds the paper clips, the scissors, the nail clippers, the nurofen syringes, the stamps, the batteries, the matches…,(you know the drawer I mean) is on my dining room table and I keep getting distracted.

My garden is a little prettier and I’ve managed to add some colour …img_0631I am in a ‘gap’ season..a season in between ‘where I was’ and ‘where I am headed’.

I am sitting in the story of Joshua. Joshua is coming to the end of a ‘ gap’ era…a forty year ‘gap’ .When Moses died, a whole month lapsed before God spoke to him about what he had to do next.  Joshua had been in a ‘gap’ for forty years. I like to think Joshua is ok with the month of silence and grieving but somehow I’m not sure.   The ‘gap’ for Joshua  began when Joshua heard his peers speak a negative report over his nation way back on his return from Canaan.  Over the forty years, he had watched those peers and an entire generation die out. Forty years BETWEEN when he saw the land and when he would possess it. I have never had to do the ‘gap’ that long but the last few months have certainly felt like forty years. When God spoke, his gap was over and  while new gap was about to be engaged.

“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.”  (Joshua‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬) Joshua stepped out of one gap into another… one that would require all that had been forged within him dusing another gap.

That  gap…the ‘in between’, the now and the not yet…it is a place we are all familiar with because a lot of our life is spent in the gap…the gap between when God spoke and when we stepped into the promise, the gap between when he promises and when he delivers, the gap between when ask and when we receive, the gap between when we see it and when we receive it, the gap between the old and the new, the gap of grief, of loss. When God spoke to Joshua the gap, the in between was over.

That gap…it sends me bonkers!!! But it makes up so much of my life.  We want to live in the highs of hearing and receiving but the in -between, the mundane has so much to offer us…it is where our hope and our faith and our trust is revealed, built and forged.

Moses spent forty years training Joshua to move but the gap between when Joshua first knew that he would be one of two of his generation to enter the promised land and the moment God spoke to him to tell him to get the people  ready …that gap fogres Joshua into a great leader. He didn’t just sit there and wait…he spent that  forty years getting himself ready to lead a nation ….he even had a time frame. He spent his ‘gap’ serving his leader, his deliverer and preparing for the day his leader would die and he would cross over.

Back in February of this year, God gave a us a clear directive…’get ready to move to regional centre and be prepared to serve under someone else’s leadership’. He spoke through a man, he spoke through scriptures and he spoke through dreams and made it very clear. in the initial stages we wrestled and tussled and tested. It was an important part of our in between.  It wasn’t until May that Steve was asked if he would consider moving to a regional centre and serving under the leadership of another Pastor. What was February to May about…it was our gap, our in between ..where life goes on as unusual except it wasn’t what it seemed. I still had to do laundry,  make meals, pastor and preach, teach, work anc do life as if the gap was none existent. There was nothing we could do to delete the gap or change its parameters. A new gap happened when we said ‘yes’ to this new adventure:  A gap between when we said yes and when we would leave Hills. That gap closed last Sunday when we officially handed  our church over to a new Pastor. We still haven’t moved or started our new era. we are in between.  There are still so many ‘in betweens’ and I have come to realise that life is made up of the gaps and the in betweens How we handle them and navigate them is our ‘walk of faith’.

The gap can be a difficult place for those of us who like to have all the answers and be in control. The feeling of not knowing and having to trust God  is a vastly different feeling to the one where we have the answers and can make clear decisions.

I am embracing the gap, choosing the process it well. In a few months time this gap will be over and I will be stepping into a new ‘gap’ where God will speak his promises, a directive , give me a clear vision for what is ahead and then I will have to execute what will be required to build me to match that promise and be what he is asking if me. What does this gap requiring of me?  I don’t particularly like the ‘in between’ but life is mostly all about that. .The type of faith I need for this gap feels different to the type of faith I need for other gaps in my life but it’s still faith…

My current  ‘gap’  is multifaceted. I am living in a house that is no longer my ‘home’ but still do not have a house to call home in Bendigo. Steve and I have been called to leave but we haven’t yet left. We have broken camp but have not yet arrived at our destination. Next week Steve will move to Bendigo and my life will continue to pour itself into brown cardboard boxes. My kids are still attending the school that will no longer be their school. That ‘in between’ is strange and emotional for them and difficult to navigate as a parent. I have moved a lot as a kid but my kids haven’t so how I navigate change is vastly different to them

Even the weather is in between and Somewhere between winter and summer . It is confused which means packing up my winter clothes is not an option but neither is packing up my summer stuff. I am closing out the chapter of Melbourne on some things but not others.I don’t know where home will be or what it looks like, how my kids will go in their new school or what my day to day will even look like… none of that is really meant to bother me but it can.

I wonder what you would consider to be your gap?  Can you identify at least one part of your life that is in between? With out faith it is impossible to please God so it suggests to me, the gaps are such a gift to exercise faith and an opportunity to bring God pleasure.

What is something God has promised you but you are still in that ‘in- between’  place, somewhere between the hearing God’s  promise and recievinv it?

What have you asked God for and he has yet to come through?

What miracle are you waiting for or believing for? The gap is the period of time that you have no control over.

How do you handle the ‘gap’?  What is God requiring of you in the gap?
Are you getting frustrated or anxious in the gap?

When God gives a directive but the details are not forth coming and the time frames are uncertain we have a mandate to trust him. I love that we heard from God back in February, well before we were asked to do what he had put on our hearts. It brings a sense if security and grace for the season ahead.

I have been intentional about this curgent gap  I am in. I can’t hurry it and if I try and delay it it will prove more difficult.

When you look at scripture there  are many real life examples of men and women of faith …who navigated the gaps and in betweens well.

Abram was called to leave Ur. There is this space between when he was called and when he arrived.  When God told him he would be a father to many nations  the gap between when God spoke and when Sarah finally fell pregnant was long!

Joseph gets a dream at the age of 17 and his gap  is traumatic and difficult and long.  He doesn’t lose it or mess up his integrity during the gap between his dreams and when he finds himself standing on a global stage while his family bowed before him.

Moses experiences his burning bush and  he returns to Egypt. Ultimately he is meant to get the people of Israel to leave Egypt. It doesn’t just happen.  The gap between the bush and the exodus is tedious and challenging.   The wilderness years are a gap that was bought on by doubt and fear and negativity from a handful of leaders. Millions of people are impacted by a few negative statements that mean the people of Israel spend a longer gap than they were meant to wondering around in the desert’

David is anointed as a king but the gap between the announcing and when he actually becomes King is roughy with challenges that build him as a leader.

Nehemiah…felt a burden for a city called Jerusalem..a city that had been broken and its people displaced. He is serving the King of another city but his heart is not there ..it is back in Jerusalem.  Eventually God provides him with the opportunity to go to Jerusalem. There is a gap between when he feels burdened and when they starts to build. That gap is strategic. He uses the gap to spy  out the land, to pray, and to plan. The gap is not wasted.  It is a time he uses wisely to prepare his heart to project manage, lead and do what God has asked him to do. The gap is not meant to be a time of moaning, anxiety or disappointment.  it is meant to be an opportunity to grow, build faith, develop trust and character.

I guess when I consider the gaps and the in between my life…I realise that we often miss the importance of them…and we don’t make the most of them. Gaps are strategic and useful.  I am so keen to move past the gap that I can lose the point of I don’t know where home will be or what it looks like, how my kids will go in their new school or what my day to day will even look like… none of that is really meant to bother me but it can. I don’t know where home will be or what it looks like, how my kids will go in their new school or what my day to day will even look like… none of that is really meant to bother me but it can. I don’t know where home will be or what it looks like, how my kids will go in their new school or what my day to day will even look like… none of that is really meant to bother me but it can. I don’t know where home will be or what it looks like, how my kids will go in their new school or what my day to day will even look like… none of that is really meant to bother me but it can. them.  My gap right now is helping me let go of the familiar and what I had planned. God has not told us to sell  our house or register our kids in a new school.  He has told us to move..it is now up to us to make the most of the gap….get his r house in order, prepare our family and do what is necessary to enter a new era in the best possible way.

This gap we have been in all year is much shorter than we expected…how often do we put our own time frames on the and it never lines up with god’s times…we really shouldn’t be surprised at how he works things out and sets us up.

This in between, tha gap years are facing between what you are believing for and where you are right now….it is a gap that you may well be frustrated with or anxious about but you simply need to trust and prepare…when you have a word from God the gap is such a strategic and important part of the story. Lean into it and discover what God wants you to do …I don’t think he intended for you to be anxious, fretful or freaking out. I am off to pull up some carpet and make the most of the gap I am in.

 

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2 thoughts on “Finding Joy In the ‘Gap’ and the ‘In-Between’

  1. Gorgeous Jenny, thanks for this. I guess we hate waiting in this” have it now” world. I don’t like gaps either. But they are important preparation times xxxx

  2. Thanks for sharing that. I know well what that gap looks like, i guess we are going through the same things. That waiting period in between the old and new. I know when we get to that new thing in God there will ge blessing involved through obedience to him.

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