I have had a number of conversations with patients lately that all revolve around the same situation. These patients were people who had been very active and busy before they were diagnosed with cancer. They were nurses and white collar workers who had lots of responsibilities. Their days and calendars were full of things that needed to get done and somehow with much effort they got it done. And now they are sick. Now they are undergoing a bone marrow transplant or chemo therapy and they are on temporary disability or have had to take early retirement.
As I visit with them the conversation turns to this new time in their lives where they are in between. They are no longer in the life they used to have. They are not sure what their life will be when this time of treatment and recovery is past. They find it uncomfortable and disorienting to be in this in between place. But many of them have also found that this in between place can be a time to reflect and think about where their life was going and where do they want it to go now that they have had time to take a look at it.
One patient told me she has rethought her priorities. She doesn’t want to work as hard as she used to. She doesn’t want to put everyone else ahead of her own health and her own need to have time to take care of herself and think more about what is the true meaning of life.
As I think of how Moses spent forty years tending sheep in the desert of Sinai before God called him to lead his people out of Egypt it is apparent to me that all of us can benefit from some in between time to get a better or a deeper perspective on where our life is going. If you are in such a place right now in your life because of illness or retirement or other changes in your life allow yourself to do some pondering and self examination of changes you might like to make in the direction of your life. If you know someone close to you who is in between sit with them and listen to them and encourage them to do some introspection so they can find their way out of this in between place to the place where God might be leading them. Help them to see that being in between is not a destination. It is a passage way that leads to what might be an even better place than the one where you used to be.