I have been thinking about this concept for a while now, and have hesitated tackling it, because I am still learning and uncovering truths. In fact, this is why there is a delay sometimes in my blog posts. I don’t want to publish something that is only half thought through- sometimes a week to refine it just isn’t enough. But I had to pause and accept that I will always be learning and uncovering truths so long as I’m curious. So to only publish things that I felt I had a really good handle on would result in never speaking about what is on my mind and heart.
So here’s where my thoughts have been lately…
Have you ever set a goal and knew the outcome you wanted but found yourself struggling in the space in between?
Maybe you are training for a race and you feel the strain on your legs and mind, but still have miles to log and weeks to go before race day
Or maybe you went to the Doctor to run some labs and are feeling anxious while you wait for the results
Or you and your partner got in a fight and aren’t speaking to each other
Your baby isn’t sleeping through the night
You have an illness and you feel overwhelmed at having to slow down despite the amount of things that you feel need to get done and the people who rely on you
Maybe you know you are dying…
But aren’t we all dying?
Have you ever noticed how difficult those in between spaces can feel?
Often those moments take the most time and really try our patience. Your mind races through every possible outcome, and you question your ability to endure.
But the prize isn’t in the outcome- it IS in the spaces in between.
Hal Elrod uses goal setting to explain what this space is meant to achieve, in his book The Miracle Equation:
“The real purpose of every goal you set is to become the type of person who can consistently set and achieve significant goals..it’s to develop the qualities and characteristics of a goal achiever. It is who you become through the process that will serve you for the rest of your life and trumps any short-lived achievement”
The same could be said for being caught in the middle of a trial. What qualities and characteristics are you learning through this process? Who are you becoming?
Another thing that came to mind was a verse in the bible, James 1:2-
In the LDS church we have a different translation of vs. 2-
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions;
and then back to the KJV of the Bible:
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
These moments can be the most sacred spaces in our lives. The test that shows us who we really are- all our weaknesses and strengths. In those spaces we come to understand God, others and ourselves better. We feel suffering and injustice one moment, right next to a sense of release and love the next.
These days are our phases of growth. It wasn’t the day you made the choice, or the day you see the results that really matter, but what you do with the in between.
If we always felt the consequence of our actions immediately afterwards, we would be conditioned to respond in certain ways. It is only with the space in between that we have the opportunity to reason and make choices. It shows us what we truly value, and who we really are.
It is also in these spaces that we realize- we need help! We require eyes that can see beyond our understanding, but how? Those in between spaces are where God is waiting. But you have to ask him first. He will never infringe on your agency.
I kept singing that Dave Matthew song as I wrote this, so I think added the ending lyrics here feels right:
The space between
What's wrong and right
Is where you'll find me hiding
Waiting for you
The space between
In your heart and mine
Is the space we'll fill with time
The times you are sick helps you appreciate the times you are well
The race shows you what you are truly capable of
The emptiness and pain in the disconnect from your spouse might show you what you truly value
The wait for the results might help you see how strong your faith is
Your baby not sleeping teaches you complete unselfishness, and cements your love in a way that ease can’t
Maybe knowing you are dying is helping you to really live.
What you do with the space in between is what matters most.