In between an ending and a new beginning lies the wilderness - or at least that’s how I think of it. It is an adjustment period. It’s a time when we move from what was to what will be – that’s probably more of an emotional or mental or even spiritual movement.
In the wilderness we come to see that what was will change. We don’t know what the new normal will be - and we become impatient, wanting to know. And that’s part of the wilderness because searching and wondering and wandering is necessary for us to move from where we were to where we will be and to what we will become.
Often this time is about looking at priorities and our life values - what’s important for our lives and what’s not as important. It can be a time to rethink our purpose and goals for life, and maybe, for our families and relationships. It can be a time of assessing how we do life-balance.
- Are we more focused on “doing” vs. “being”?
- How do we balance our time - work, self, family, rest, exercise, talking, listening, giving care, alone time, prayer, meditation, serving?
- Do we show love? Not that we can do enough to be right or perfect. Do we know we are loved?
- Do we know value and forgiveness from the One who made us and redeemed us? Can we see our God with us, leading us in and through this wilderness time? Is God working in us and through us because our God values us?
Maybe we just want it all done – let’s get back to what was. But can we? What’s at stake? What more needs to happen in terms of health for our world? What more can happen for growth and transformation in us?
The wilderness is difficult and frightening, and the answers and movements are not simple or easy. A phrase I heard, “What God sees as a comma, we might see (or want to see) as a period.” That’s why it’s important to have a support system around us and a sense of resilience within that says I will be ok...I just may have to adjust my definition of ok. It also helps me to know a God who values me and lives with me and, by grace and love, guides me and transforms me along the way.