What is this “in-between place?” It’s that place where we feel stuck in the middle between belief in God and not trusting him. Or, wanting to trust him, but not be willing to let go of our comfortable familiar.
This was my reality. I spent way too many years stuck between faith and fear. Taking action by faith meant letting go of what I was used to, of what seemed to work for me. Even when it was obvious it wasn’t working for me. I was distant from God. Relationships hung by a fragile thread. A puff of a breeze of disagreement or disappointment could shatter them.
When confronted with God’s call to change, why do we choose the familiar? God always wants what’s best for us. Why do we hesitate to reach for it with him? Fear? Pride?
For me, it was the fear of giving up control. I felt safe in my familiar, in letting me think I was in control. I wasn’t, but I let myself stay in that delusional thought pattern.
Other fears operated as well: the fear of failing, of rejection, of being branded ‘not good enough.’ I heard this message as a child. It became so ingrained, it motivated me to be in control when I grew to adulthood.
Yet I stayed stuck in the in-between place. On the one hand, I needed and wanted to change. On the other, I kept defeating myself by returning to old patterns of behaving and thinking, by reaching for the familiar.
Through the prayers of my wife and friends and our church family, I persevered. I eventually bit the pride bullet and went to counseling.
Fears of rejection and failing diminished. God showed he does not reject me; he does not hold my mistakes and sins against me. I held my mistakes and sins against me. I believed the childhood lie I would never be good enough because I’d failed so many times in the past. The ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy.
As I sought God more and more, I discovered he never meant for me to change myself. He unveiled it’s impossible for me to change me. We can only change through him.
He has always found me good enough. He created me that way. In fact, he chose to create me. The person who is me. With a unique purpose and a unique plan no one else could fulfill. And it wasn’t because he has a strange sense of humor. He created me for this time and this place to build his kingdom by serving others with the gifts and talents he placed in me. Gifts and talents the Holy Spirit nurtures and develops into manifestation.
Over the past two years, God has transformed me into a new man, a better husband, a better father, a better servant in the church. I’m still working on improving in all these areas.
Oh, yeah, he’s even working on my being a better writer.
How have you handled being stuck in that in-between place?