The Time In-Between

As a totally single woman for most of my 20s, I spent years feeling frustrated and stuck in the “time in-between,” struggling at times to enjoy life while waiting for the dream of marriage. A dream that was God-given and God-breathed. But it seems the God-given dreams are he ones that take time to fulfill. Maybe that’s because He’s writing an epic story, and an epic story requires “time in-between.”

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Have you heard Francesca Battistelli’s song “The Time In-Between”? I heard it years ago, and resonated with the lyrics:

Don’t take much for this crazy world to rob me of my peace
And the enemy of my soul says you’re holding out on me
So I stand here lifting empty hands, for you to fill me up again
But it’s the time in between, that I fall down to my knees
Waiting on what you’ll bring, and the things that I can’t see
I know my song’s incomplete, but I thank you [and I’ll sing] for the time in between

This morning my little sister had this song playing her room. The lyrics sang me back in time, as if giving a bird’s eye view of the past ten years, bringing back a flood of nostalgia.

As a totally single woman for most of my 20s, I spent years feeling frustrated and stuck in the “time in-between,” struggling at times to enjoy life while waiting for the dream of marriage.

A dream that was God-given and God-breathed.

But it seems God-given dreams take time to fulfill.

Maybe, sometimes, that’s because He’s writing an epic story, and an epic story requires “time in-between.”

While driving home yesterday, I was overcome with gratitude for “the time in-between.” You see, yesterday marked the very last day of touring by myself. My next tour will be after I’m married, at which time James will begin traveling with me on each tour. (!!!) I am so beyond thankful for that, and yet surprisingly find the thought bittersweet. There has been something so precious about doing these tours just me and God.

If I had immediately gotten married at 20, like I longed for, there are so many things I wouldn’t have done, so many ways my life would be different. I don’t want this reflection to sound like getting married young is a bad thing, because it’s not. That too is a gift. But for me…

Waiting so long created an epic plot line for an epic story.

I mean, in every movie I’ve ever watched, the dream isn’t fulfilled in the first ten minutes. It’s the suspense and anticipation that keep me watching the movie; the continued longing that makes the conclusion that much more beautiful. Waiting as a single woman for most of my 20s, made the gift at the end of the wait so much sweeter, and the story so much more riveting to tell.

Waiting gave me the opportunity to stop waiting on other dreams.

I didn’t have to put off my dream of writing and speaking until my kids grew up or my husband was settled in his career; I could do it right away! It provided the opportunity to do these Father-daughter tours, just me and God trundling across the country.

Waiting bore the sweetest memories.

And wrote the sweetest love story with me and my God. The past few years of traveling and speaking on these Father-daughter tours are some of the sweetest memories I have in my entire life so far. They have this special place in my heart that nothing and no one can diminish — not even my current human love story. They are some of the most beautiful memories — the ones I’ve made just me and God — and they’ve shaped my life.

Waiting drew me to my knees.

The unfulfilled longings kept me on my knees. It provided an opportunity to grow so much closer to God, and learn how to lean on Him first and most. It’s so easy at times to start to rely on James in a way that I should be relying on God — and I think if I’d gotten married at 20, I could have easily slipped into relying on my husband’s walk with God, instead of having a thriving walk with God of my own.

And waiting gave rich, deep friendships.

I was talking with one of my best guy friends the other day, and told him what a gift from God he had been to me. Throughout my “time in-between,” he brought so much joy into my life, and helped me learn a ton about myself and about what I wanted in a future relationship. And then, as another gift from God, we both got engaged within a couple months of each other, and will be getting married this summer, again with a couple months of each other.

I am sitting here thoroughly blown away by God’s grace and work.

Even the “times in-between” are not really just a time in-between. They’re full of life.

In a sense, every day is a “time in-between” two things, but some seasons feel more like a pointless waiting game than others.

And yet it’s those seasons of waiting when God comes and writes the most beautiful story. Not just in fulfilling the promise we’re waiting for, but the most beautiful story comes actually from and in the time of waiting. 

From here on out, I want to start looking for the story He’s writing in each of my future times of waiting. And then, by faith, I can thank Him, even in advance, the way I’m siting here thanking Him with all of my heart, for the time in-between.

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