The In-Between

I live in Lawrence, but will soon be living in Tonganoxie.

I am the pastor of Easton and Southern Heights UMCs, but will soon be the pastor of Tonganoxie UMC.

I am in the process of preparing to pack and leave one home while thinking about what we need to settle in to our new home.

I am in the process of trying to end my time well with the congregations I currently serve while trying to begin well with my new congregation.

This in-between time is weird.  I feel it in the physical and emotional realities of seeking to be fully engaged in multiple communities.  The in-between isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a weird one.  My experience of these weeks is that in the in-between time moves both slowly and quickly, that it is both draining and energizing, that it is both scary and exciting.  I find myself feeling extremely grateful for the love of family, the support of colleagues, and the presence of God in this in-between.

What experiences of the in-between have you had (or are you having)?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “The In-Between

  1. Jan Todd

    Jeff,
    I feel much the same. I believe that the glue of God that holds us together is agape – unconditional love. The conditions are changing, but the love we experience in God remains and sustains as we adjust.

    Wrote a song about this of course – called “Bend in the Road”. Hope all continues to go well and will be praying for you, Heather and Hannah.
    Grace, Jan

    • Jeff Clinger

      Thanks so much for the comment, Jan. I hadn’t thought about “Bend in the Road,” but just pulled it up to give it another listen!

      Am praying for you and Mitch during your transitions (and waiting) too. Looking forward to serving down the road from one another.

  2. I am becoming a parent, but I am not one yet — not completely. It’s just Eric and me, but our lives have already been changed. We are excited and we are terrified, joyful and anxious. I want these last weeks to speed by so we can meet this little one face to face and, at the same time, I want to slow things down so I can do all the stuff on my list and fully enjoy this time with just the two of us before things change. And I am giving thanks that we are not moving right now! Blessings on your time of transition and in embracing the in-between!

    • Jeff Clinger

      Mira, that is a GREAT example of an in-between time. I remember we went to go see a movie the night of our “due date.” It was this surreal evening as we had been counting down, but now didn’t really know what to do.

      Blessings to you and Eric both during this in-between!

  3. Teresa

    I’ve had many experiences of being “in between” over the years. Life is a series of ongoing processes…eventually one long process that ebbs and flows. The wearing of many hats builds strength of character and stamina. Blessings to you, Jeff, as you manuever your “in between” time.

  4. DC

    I’ve found that life holds so many in-between times, Jeff. I used to dread them, but have found that we learn from those times and it makes us a better person, a better parent, a better teacher, a better friend. Do you remember when Janeal and Michelle sang “A Bend in the Road” for your farewell service at RUMC? It’s such a beautiful song and I think their two voices blend so well in it. They’re both going to sing it again on graduation Sunday this year. Like you, both Janeal and Michelle are also going through bends in the road, looking forward to sometehing new.

    • Jeff Clinger

      Thanks, as always, for your comment Diane. How fun to know that Janneal and Michelle are singing that again this year!

  5. DC

    Teachers are supposed to spell everything correctly – so make that “looking forward to something new” from the end of my comment. Oops!

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