How to Handle the “In Between”

The week after Christmas tends to be an awkward week for me. The whole month of December, I anticipate Christmas. Everything I do centers around Dec. 25. And then once it’s over, I’m not quite sure what to do.

I could relate to writer Marcus Hathcock in the recent RELEVANT Magazine article, “The Thud After Christmas” when he said, “There is a huge build up to Christmas… You get the feeling that the world is getting ready for something big and mysterious.”

Then Christmas happens and life moves on the next day as if it were never here. Marcus likened it to the radio stations instantly going back to their regular programming: “No tapering down the carols, just a clean break. A thud.”

I love how he uses the word thud because that’s exactly what it has felt like for me. I’ve asked myself a few times: Now What? What’s the next thing to look forward to?

This week, I’ve struggled with being in the in-between. Christmas is over and 2012 is on the horizon. I have my share of concerns about what the future will hold and what changes might occur.

But one thing has brought me true comfort and peace as I wrestle and grapple with the in between.

Going to God in His Word to be reminded and assured of his promises.

I easily forget that Jesus is enough. We hear it so much but it’s so true. He is all I need as I anticipate a brand new year that will hold only the Lord knows! This doesn’t mean that I don’t plan, work hard, make changes, set some goals, and more. Those things will happen.

But the point is that my eyes should not be on myself and what concerns I have. Or how I feel. Or frankly what I need to do. I actually end up getting depressed when I look too hard at myself.

My focus should be upon Christ, his Word, his ways, serving Him and His people. And above all to fulfill what I’ve been put on this earth to do- to know Him and make Him known.

I’m never disappointed when I begin placing my trust in what He says. And somehow, when my eyes are upon Him instead of self, I always end up finding true joy, comfort, and satisfaction. All the things that I’m pretty sure I was looking for in the first place.

Over the past few days I’ve noticed that the thud is slowly fading away and my anxiety about 2012 is turning into excitement and joy about what God will do and reveal about himself.

Have you felt the thud or struggle with the in between?

Partnering with RELEVANT

RELEVANT magazine is pretty familiar to most of us in Christian publishing today. Relevant first published in 2003 and since then, they’ve had a base of more than 75,000 readers. Relevant’s companion web presence, RelevantMagazine.com was launched before the print publication.

Relevant explores the intersection of faith and pop culture with the tagline “God. Life. Progressive Culture.” Their articles feature fresh spiritual voices, often profiling young musicians, authors and entrepreneurs like Paper Route, Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Margaret Feinberg and Sarah Cunningham. Relevant also offers political spotlights, social issues, and reviews of recently released media selections. I’ve enjoyed writing for their women’s online publication: radiantmag.com.

In the past few years, we’ve had the privilege of working with Relevant as they’ve sponsored our past three events through the RightNow Campaign. They’ve also exchanged ads in our leader magazine for sponsorship. Recently, we’ve partnered with Relevant in a different way and just this week, several of our small group Bible studies are now live on their store.

In the future, Relevant hopes to add video previews for each of our products. We’re really excited to continue building our partnerships with Relevant and being open to how God wants to use more of our resources on their site.

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