I often start my day with a poem or blessing – to get my mind moving, to get beyond the thoughts rolling around in my head. More often than not, these words of others bring together ideas I’ve had but were unsure how to express. This morning was no different. From John O’Donohue, I read “For the Interim Time.” Here’s the last stanza:
What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.
The Interim. That’s where I’ve been for months now, maybe even years. The path I was on has faded away. The path I’m looking for is not yet found. I reside in those hours of dawn, before the sun has risen, when the shadows still play with the mind – seeing things that aren’t there and unable to see what is.
The interim – a time when what was no longer is and what will be is not yet. And so, I wait in this interim space – no more, not yet.
I wait patiently, sometimes. I wait with a calm heart, mostly. I wait for my life to be revealed to me.
I’m consistently on the verge of tears. Yesterday I started going through a special drawer in my desk – my warm fuzzy drawer. On days when I wasn’t sure why I kept going, when the stress was too much, when the negative emails weighed heavy on my soul, I had this drawer to turn to. It was full of notes I received from youth, parents, staff and church members over the years. On retreats we call these “warm fuzzies” – you might call it a note of appreciation 😉 I still had a couple carry over notes from my time at St. Luke’s!
These notes help ground me in the place where I still am. These notes also give me courage to move forward to something else. Notes from middle school and high school students – they had no idea the impact of their words when they wrote them. I hold onto them now like a safety blanket – to be reassured that I am loved and capable and full of grace, to be reminded that I fulfilled a purpose and made a difference. These reassurances and reminders are crucial during interim times.
Interim times can make me feel insecure and unsure. Interim times can be unsettling and unsteady. Interim times can bring up doubts and failures. Interim times cause me to question and wonder, Is this the right decision?
I’ve been in interim times before but none quite like this – none with such certainty and confidence coupled with sadness and grief. I’m wiser now, more mature, more experienced. I feel the difference in this time – more reflection and silence. Sure, I talk it out – I am (mostly) an extravert! However, I find the silence to be just as important – sometimes more so. Reading, reflecting, meditating (in yoga – I’m not to the point of doing it on my own yet!) – these are all ways I’m seeking the silence, the still small voice waiting to be heard.
This is difficult but I feel the refining taking place. A new day is dawning…I just don’t know what I’ll see quite yet. Slowly the shadows will fade and, under the bright morning sun, I’ll begin to see my life unfolding before my eyes, a gift I never expected and yet always wanted.