Posted by: R M White | 01/27/2017

Interim Places

Interim Places

It’s not easy. It can be embarrassing. It can be boring. It can be exciting, novel, difficult, inspiring, energizing, even draining – emotionally, physically, sometimes spiritually. Life is filled with random times we could also refer to as the ‘waiting room’. We sometimes enter this interim place with it being part of a well thought out plan. Sometimes, we come here unexpectedly – catching us off guard.

How we set our minds and attitudes during this time not only affects our stay but our eventual moving on – to that desired appointment with life, or into a new – unprecedented place that was handed us.

For the past months – a little over a year, our oldest son lived here in our home. It wasn’t his plan but a series of unfortunate events made it impossible for him to continue in his little house on his own. No details here but I do want to note that he came here knowing he was welcome. Sometimes a person realizes they have to take a deep breath and accept that they need help. We are fortunate and happy that we were in a position to let this happen.

He wasn’t the only one of our four young adult children to enter our homes for an undetermined waiting time. In fact, all of them have for various reasons flown back to their original nest … and every single time it has been great. Honestly! We raised them to be appreciative people and hard workers. They learned well and put it into practice in life.

You know that expression, what goes around, comes around? Or the philosophy of giving back? Well, it is truly a joy to be in the helping position. But, seriously, only we and the Lord himself know the countless times we have been on the receiving end. At least four times in our marriage we have crashed into the lives of family while we – husband and I (usually with our little ones beside us) waited for our new path to unfold. Preparation for the mission field, returning from the mission field, or the furloughs from that work … those were our interim places. Weeks, months … all spent in waiting. So many emotions exist in those moments – while there is joy of being with family or friends, there’s also a measure of stress, of restlessness, of an ever-present desire – like an itch waiting to be scratched – to be independent once again.

Even though we may be robbed of our independence for a period of time, we fashion what kind of wait this will be … we have daily choices about this intermission in life and every one involved is affected by them.

A couple of thoughts here. Sometimes waiting places don’t involve a physical move. It’s an emotional or spiritual waiting for something. Could be a young woman, waiting desperately to say the words: “I’m pregnant!!” Or, a writer who has been creatively sharing their soul and are so ready to receive that publisher’s call that their work is finally going into print. One of my most desperate waiting times was to find that a lump was benign – now, that’s a scary, ominous wait!

Whatever the wait, here’s few to choices consider.

  • Attitude – never enter into this time with the thought that you are owed anything. Every single breath of life is a blessing. No one owes you a thing. Not a single thing. And so, you come to the table with gratitude, you lay your head down to sleep with thankfulness. You accept the warmth of the place your in with a humble heart. You use the words “Thank You” often and with flourish!
  • Helpfulness – you help out! Every chance you get you exhibit your gratitude by actions. Ask what you can do, but also, whatever your hand finds to do to make life easier for those around you, you just do it. With a happy appreciative heart you gradually forget about the waiting in serving others.
  • Choosing joy – yes, even in times like this, or in spite of, or because of this you decide to live with a joyful spirit. And express it with smiles, laughter, acceptance, interaction, and humility.
  • Gumption – decide not to be a slacker. Get up each day with purposed activity – don’t waste precious moments in life in depression or laziness.
  • Discipline – it all takes the practice of discipline. It can be hard I know but, seriously, you can make it better with a conscious effort.

So, yes, our family went through an interim place with our oldest son. He handled it with dignity, a hard-working mindset, and now he’s living back on his own again – far, far away and he is missed. Waiting times haven’t left and actually we spend our whole lives waiting for one thing or another.

Within a couple of weeks Jared returned for a few of the Christmas holidays and four of the men of the family took a day to rent a trailer and move the rest of his belongings. His wait was over – a dream job, a new home and settling in to his next adventure.

jareds-move

I am patiently waiting for the next visit from that dear son. But, not just me! His youngest niece ran into the children’s section of our local library this past Friday and hollered – “Where’s Jared?” and again she entered the church building foyer Wednesday evening and the first thing she said was: “Is Jared here?” I’m thinking we need to go visit him and let her see that her beloved Uncle Jared has a new home. A new beginning.

Interim places – just a part of life.

 

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31
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