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The Tension of the In-Between

January 5, 2019 3 min read

2019 is a little rocky so far.

I am stuck in this in-between, like a kid right before they go to college, like those days between winter and spring when our world can’t decide which season it’s in. In less than a week I will travel back to my other home, the one that’s 9,000 miles away. All the goodbyes will have been said, the final hugs given, the last million kisses given to my nieces and nephew. I’ll go back to the world of Facetime and sweating and a 12-hour time difference, a world in which I honestly love and miss dearly.

Right now, my room is a chaotic mess of clothes littered on the floor, my passport and visa paperwork half finished on my desk, books piled high on my bed, a dead Christmas tree wrapped in plastic in the corner just waiting for my dad to help me carry it outside. Nothing says a change of seasons like a very dead Christmas tree in a trash bag. Down the hall, a suitcase and lots of gallon size bags are on the floor. The guest bed is covered with Christmas presents and chocolate and the things I can’t actually can’t live without in Thailand.

But this week, I am still here. I’m still in the States, still bundled up in sweaters and soft blankets. I am in the in-between, a space between the now and the not yet, a place of tension and unsettledness. It’s the kind of season when I don’t need an alarm, because my mind will jolt awake well before my room fills with the sound of buzzing and beeping.

The in-between.

These are the days I find myself longing for my home in Mae Sot while clinging to the familiarity of faces and places of my home in Indiana. And these days, I am learning to make space for the tension of the in-between. I’m learning not to fight it or try to make it go away, because some seasons are simply filled with tension and transition. Some seasons are filled with what feels like war even when there is peace.

I like to make sense of things, to find solutions and answers and neatly packed boxes, but what I’m learning more and more about this in-between space is there’s really nothing to figure out. There’s nothing to fix. There’s nothing to neatly organize. These kinds of seasons can just feel messy. They can feel tense. They can feel like that old game I played with my cousins as a kid, the one when we would stop and start when the other yelled, “Red light! Green Light!”

So these days, the ones filled with the tension of the in-between, I am not trying to solve or fix or wish away anything. I’m not trying to stay, and I’m not trying to run away. I am simply holding “here” and longing for “there” and living in the deepest dependency on the Father.

And in the midst of it all, I am reminded that these days will not last forever. No season does. The tension will give way to something new, something wonderful or something completely difficult or maybe a little bit of both. When those days come, I will need to learn to navigate something new. So these days, I will embrace the tension, hold the tension, make peace with the tension of the in-between.


  • patty January 5, 2019 at 8:12 am

    love you. praying for you.

  • Carol Metzler January 10, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Oh my dear, dear Katherine, I just finished reading this. What great truths you share. I understand so well what you have just shared. I feel like I’ve been living in the in-between, too, with the remodeling, the surgery, and things all over the place in places where they don’t belong and I long to have my house clean again and everything in it’s place (this is small stuff).
    That being said I’m not going to be traveling 9,000 miles away, from cold to hot, or 12 hours ahead of the time I’m living in now. I’m so glad you have the heavenly Father to travel with you and watch over you! I’m so glad that you know Him and trust Him. That you lean on Him and ask Him to guide you all the way. Grandpa’s and my prayers are with you dear one, don’t ever forget that and that we love you so very, very much. Sleep well tonight and know that you are covered in prayer by so many who love you.

    PS Thank you and your family for The Frame (Christmas present) we are enjoying it very much. Heather sent us two pictures today and they came through nicely.

    Love you Grandma & Grandpa M.

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