Saturday, January 19, 2019

The In-Between.

"To go TO something, you must go THROUGH something."—Bob Hazlett

It was January 7, 2018 when I heard this phrase from the guest speaker, Bob Hazlett. I could tell that I was going to need my kleenexes when he started to speak. I grabbed my pen and little travel notebook where I write song ideas, shopping lists, to-do lists and inspiring messages from speakers. I couldn't write fast enough, in between blowing my nose. His words stirred my creativity and began to replenish my happy but greatly depleted soul.

January tends to be a month of trying to find ways to fill up my empty soul. It's an In-Between month for meIt used to feel like a "new year" season, but not anymore. No resolutions or goals for the new year. Just recovery and tying up loose ends from my December concert, Portraits of White.

Since I started the concert experience over six years ago, I feel as if I've gone from having a daily routine to "seasonal" routines. The change has been both subtle and surprising and I'm still trying to adapt. The show is over but there are accounting books to finish up, surveys to read and consider, thank you notes to be written to so many people who help make the show a success and next thing you know, it's time to start planning the show again and I wonder how I'm ever going to do it again. Eventually, new ideas present themselves. Until then, it's a lot of waiting.

It was in this state of mind that I sat in my seat absorbing every word from the speaker. The thoughts I share here are not Bob's words exactly, but the essence of what he shared and how my soul received them. He spoke them over a year ago but I could tell even then that they were for me—somewhere down the road. As is often the case with "words" I hear, they might not be for the current moment but are futuristic. In this case, one year later, they are exactly what I needed for this month, this year.

There are three potential things we experience in the In-Between stages and it seems we often have to go THROUGH these to get TO the next thing.

1) Uncertainty
  • Certainty of the last season is taken away. Now you have a choice; experience fear or hope. 
2) The Unknown
  • The greatest creativity comes from the place where you have questions you would have never thought to ask.
  • If you want to see a new thing, you have to stop looking at the old—old relationships, old pain. (I would add that there IS a time to look at the old, but only enough to understand, heal and move forward.)
3) The Unfamiliar
  • It's more of a feeling than an experience. For example, Peter—the guy who walked on water in the Bible—was used to boats, water and storms, but he had never walked on water before.
A few other random phrases he shared:
  • If you want to see new things, sing a new song. (I've been asking what the "new song" is for this year's show. It might not be literal, but I'm staying open to all possibilities and every now and then an idea twinkles in the darkness.)
  • Voo Ja De - when you see a familiar thing in a new way.
  • You may feel boredom—it's God wanting to move you forward.
  • Think of the In-Between as discovering "old things done in a new way".
  • A helpful prayer during this season would be: "Show me what I need to know about You in this new season."
My record producer, Eric Copeland, wrote a great song years ago that I pull out every now and then to remind me that In-Between isn't always a bad place to be.

So if you're going THROUGH something that's uncertain, unknown or unfamiliar, take comfort that it can potentially lead you TO something new. It's the In-Between stage that can be disconcerting, but it's worth pressing through it.

Click HERE to listen to "In Between Dreams"