Today I had to swing by campus and let me tell you, it is a strange feeling being surrounded by students and being barely graduated myself. I'm stuck in the middle here. I'm graduated, I'm even (almost) staff, but most of my friends are still students and I'm hardly older than them. Yet there's a clear gap between me and these students I don't know, whether self-imposed or otherwise, and it says: peer is no longer the right word.
And it is all over the place lately that I feel like I'm in limbo. I'm not a student anymore, but I'm not yet working on campus. Although we're praying for the miracle it would take to get me fully funded in time to leave mid-September, I'm not certain when I'll be leaving. I can't put down anymore roots here--I'm leaving--but I can't put them down in Romania yet, either. When I got back last summer, through lots of prayer and awesome wise people, I learned how important it was for me to be where I was, to seek the Lord in that place and time. No living for the future or the past or anything like that, but asking the question, how can God be glorified in what I'm doing here?
But this is hard without a definite amount of time here. And I realize that as uncomfortable as this sometimes makes me feel, it is no accident. There's no plan for me to lean on. There's only the Lord. I know that maybe this is old news, and it's not that I've never relied on him, but this constant process of turning to him, holding onto him and having no other comfortable thing in which to place my trust--it reminds me again and again of who he is and allows him to become bigger in my life than he's ever been. Whether or not it's old news, it's good news.
I thought about calling this post ''holding pattern'' or something like it, but then I realized that while the picture looks more or less right, the connotations are totally wrong. There is no stagnancy, there is no lack of progress, but rather an abundance of it. For me this means he is preparing and changing me for the fulfillment of a promise--I couldn't tell you when (although still praying and hoping for mid-September), but I can tell you I know he'll get me to Romania.
So now to turn it outward, at long, long last: I wonder about this middle ground. It's not the jobs we're trying to secure, it's not the marriages many of us hope for, maybe it's not the hopes or plans we had. Perhaps God is still leading us toward these things, and perhaps not. I swear he loves to surprise and trick us into better things--my foster mom used to always say "God ain't no fool" and, no kidding, some of the best things he's done in my life only happened because he's smarter than me and I didn't see it coming, would never have guessed it.
And then, maybe it is those places, our jobs or families. Maybe in the things we thought were secure, that we'd understand everything and it would all click, he's revealing even more how much we need him. But this middle ground, it is fertile ground, let me tell you. I'm willing to bet when I ''land'' in Romania it will feel even more like this--I'll be able to put down roots in a way I'm not able to right now, but it will be unfamiliar and certainly more than ever they will have to go through him. This is the point, yes?
It's getting way too muddled with metaphors at this point, but it's like being repotted. You are a plant, and you've been in a pot. So then God removes you and you must root yourself in him or you will die (or at least get all shriveled and crunchy). But when you root yourself in life, Life with a capital L, you grow and thrive and live forever. Seems like a good end of the deal to be on, to me.