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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Where I End, You Begin

Every single day that I've been here, I've thought What will happen next? Being on a 1-year contract leaves a great deal of uncertainty in my mind and I don't do well with uncertainty. I prefer my life to be mapped out so I can know what to expect and how to reach my goals. My mom told me not to worry about it, to enjoy the adventure, and then in the last couple of months or so to start planning. But no. Every single day I've thought about it and worried about it.

I've often found that when I'm struggling to understand God's will, He sends understanding through a song. It may be Christian, it may be country, it may be a simple song someone strummed on a guitar, but it's in the words that my heart finds rest. Today it was The In Between by Lindsay McCaul. The main idea of the song is that in the time of restlessness between no longer and the not yet, all God is asking is that I trust Him in the time of inbetween.

This is the perfect call to a TCK. I've lived my life inbetween. Inbetween cultures, languages, contexts, families, religions, educational systems, if you can think of it I have lived between it. This liminal existence was so ingrained in me that even after I had lived 17 years on a small campus, I still felt like I lived in limbo, waiting for the next experience to begin.

It's not a comfortable place to be--this inbetweenedness. Here I am excluded based on race or language or diet or perceived status. I'd forgotten what it meant to be left out, at least where I lived before it was my choice if I didn't want to join the group of young people who got up at 6 am on a Saturday morning to pray or walked around campus memorizing King James verses from a brown plastic verse pack. But I had the luxury of surrounding myself with people who spoke English, preferred a healthy diet, and were astounded when I assured them I was not American.

The feelings of liminality, of being between, was kept inside me. These feelings were rooted in being between multiple cultures of my past, my home life, and my public persona. They had little basis or influence by the people I encountered. It seems like a paradox, because I did experience liminality to a deep degree, but it was not because the host country didn't welcome me. I chose to keep it at bay. Here, the reverse seems apparent in the microcosmic profusion of cultures.

I'm facing yet another crossroads. I seem to have seen several of these recently. Career changes, graduate studies, a year here. Then what? What will happen next? Struggling to learn how to trust in the inbetween.

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