The In-between. Perseverance.

(This series of devotionals spanned over a three year period of my life. I wrote out of truths that God shared with me throughout every season of this process. I love how he brought this all together and I pray that you will receive encouragement from what he allowed me to experience. Praise His Name!)

Sometimes there is nothing quite as mind and body numbing as finishing. Especially if the finishing was monumental and consummed all of your waking, talking and breathing. You discover, in the after, that you quite literally do not know what to do with yourself. You are positive it should be something - you're just not sure what that something is. I mean, where did all this empty life space come from??

This is where you can find yourself when the in-between is over. I'm here right now and I've just got to say - it's pretty overwhelming.

That pesky in-between seemed like it would never end, but then it did and I was left reeling trying to convince myself that it actually happened. It felt like I had to be dreaming. BUT praise the Lord, I have the pictures to prove it! And the brick.

I've had several people offer their congratulations and a ton of "you did its!", and every time that happens to me I stop and say, "No, God did."

I just hung on for dear life.

You may not know this about me but I have a secret perfection problem. I am so afraid to mess-up. It can be debilitating at times, but praise the Lord, I think he's slowly stripping me of my fear. And it's been through a miriad of mess-ups that, no doubt, will be followed by a myriad of more and I'm discovering that that's okay.

My motto for this in-between season was perseverance not perfection and my sweet friend that's what I want to leave with you. I can't help but think back to the first lesson of the in-between where we learned from our friendly grape grower that it could take up to three years of constant diligence before the evidence of hard work would appear. Three years sounds like an unbearably long time to wait for grapes.

It is. It's worth it.

Let's look at our verses in John 15 again to understand why persevering is so very important. See this with me.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.