The In-Between Places

“Egypt’s prince became Israel’s deliverer – but somewhere in the middle he had to become Midian’s shepherd so he could learn how to lead in a godly way.” ~Shannon Primicerio

I’ve probably read those words about Moses a minimum of five times without ever really seeing them. This time, they jumped out at me. I’m going to blame it on the fact that I’m smack dab in the middle of the “Midian phase.”

Midian for Moses was an in-between place – a step away from where he didn’t want to remain, but not quite where he wanted to be. It’s a place most of us dread – a place of transition and change. Midian was a necessary tool in shaping Moses into the leader God desired for him to be, but he didn’t know that when he fled Egypt.

That’s the thing about in-between places. They never make sense while you’re in them. Sometimes you look around and ask, “God, why am I here?” But He never seems to answer, unless He gives you the occasional, “You’ll see.” But it would seem that you never “see” soon enough.

It’s frustrating to live in the in-between places. Sometimes all you can think about is how this isn’t where you want to be – even when you know it’s so much better than the place you left. Or worse, you turn out like the Israelites when they were waiting in the desert. You start to miss the place of bondage from which you fled. You start to think, “At least then I knew what was going on. I have no idea what’s happening here!”

But the thing is, God doesn’t want you to live in bondage. He doesn’t want you to merely exist; He wants you to thrive. So He takes you out of those places where you are slowly fading and He leads you into another place – the in-between place – because He knows the in-between places are necessary if you want to reach the other side.

So don’t dread the in-between places, even when they don’t seem to make sense. Don’t you know that God is making a deliverer out of you?

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” ~Job 23:10

The Blank Page Before Me

I honestly would have slept right through the welcome of the new year if it hadn’t been for all the people in my house. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just a day like any other. I’ve never gotten caught up in the “brand new start” and resolutions that were meant to be broken. Which is interesting, because this year is a new start if I’ve ever had one.

I didn’t mean to quit my job in December; that’s just when it became clear that I couldn’t stay any longer. My decision shocked a lot of people. My friends, co-workers, parents… even myself. You try dreaming of something for twelve years and then realize God is calling you to something much bigger. That the dream you clung to as a child was only a small part of God’s dream for your future.

I know in my heart that the changes happened slowly – that the dreams shifted gradually. Still, it feels as if I woke up one day and found that I was a completely different woman.

Everything is new in 2012. New job, new vision, new possibilities, new challenges. I’m excited and scared all at once. Excited to see these dreams unfolding, but scared that they won’t work out exactly as I planned. Ecstatic that I’ll soon be a published author, but afraid of the new challenges that will come with this responsibility. Thrilled that God will be there to walk me through this process, but nervous that I won’t always be able to interpret His voice.

I stare at the blank page before me and wonder if I’m crazy for even considering pursuing writing full-time. I can relate to Moses when he asked God, “Who am I?” But the same words God spoke to Moses resound in my heart. “I will be with you.”

On that promise, I pick up my pen and begin to write this new chapter.

I Will Be With You

When I think of the changes life brings and making Jesus home even in the midst of the turmoil, my thoughts immediately turn to Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3. It’s probably one of my favorite Bible stories. I love the way God just shows up and confronts Moses, and I love seeing this great saint struggle with his calling. It makes me realize that I am not the only one who sometimes doesn’t like where God is leading me. It makes me wonder if maybe there is hope for me and my stubbornness. After all, look at what God did with Moses.

Here’s Moses. He has fled the country of his birth and is living in the desert with a foreign people. Suddenly, God appears on the scene in the form of a burning bush. Moses is a little curious as to how the bush is on fire but not burning up, so he goes over to check it out. God calls his name, reveals his great plan for Moses’ life, and commands him to go where He has destined.

If I were Moses, I would be a little concerned too. He begins an argument with God that lasts over halfway through chapter four. Only after exhausting every excuse (which God is easily able to combat) does Moses venture back to Egypt to save his people. And while Moses argued long and hard, I gave in after God’s first answer. Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you.”

That promise has carried me through most of my life.

“God, who am I that You would ask me to organize a conference for the girls in my youth group?”

And God said, “I will be with you.”

“God, who am I that I can move 450 miles away from everything I’ve ever known to work with the missions organization I’ve supported since I was a child?”

And God said, “I will be with you.”

“Who am I that I can write a book, take it along to some writer’s conference, and present it to a publisher?”

And God said, “I will be with you.”

It’s the promise that keeps me alive. No matter how old I get, no matter how far I travel from the place I was born and raised, God will go with me. He will be the home that I had thought I left behind.

You may be asking God, “Who am I…?” Rest assured that God will always answer, “I will be with you.”