Welcome to the Wilderness! The space in between – in between what was and what is to come.
You’ve left the familiarity of Egypt (to use the Exodus metaphor) – the last many years together with Pastor Matthew. And the new life of the yet-to-be-known Promised Land, with the next called, settled pastor, awaits you- some where, some time ahead!
In the meantime, welcome to the Wilderness! Or what I lovingly like to call the In-Between!
My name is Jeff, and I am pleased to be your guide (aka transitional pastor)!
I will tell you a little known secret as we begin our journey together!
The In-Between can appear to be dark and scary, lonely and empty, even threatening to many. Appearances, as we know, can be deceiving.
If . . . IF you are willing and able to take some deep breaths, allow your inner vision to adjust, and look closely, you just might find yourself encountering and exploring and experiencing all sorts of wonders and worlds and beings that seem impossible, unimaginable, and unreal.
I assure you (now listen close, this is the big secret!) what you will discover In-Between is as Real as Real can be! In-Between is where all the magic happens!
How do I know, you may be asking?? Beautiful question!
I know because I live here! Home for me is In-Between!
In between the lands of my birth- Lincoln, Nebraska- and living in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, I have moved something like 30 times in this life!
In between two brothers, one 15 months older and one 27 months younger!
In between 8 schools over 13 years of study, beginning in chemical engineering and completing my degree in psychology, before finding my way to Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus!
In between life and death and resurrected life, when my father, who was a senior seminarian at Trinity in Columbus, in January of my senior year of high school, had a sudden and unexpected heart attack and died.
In between the hell of depression, with its pits of despair and abyss of hopelessness, and the healing and new life that has sprung forth from the brokenness!
In between a cancer diagnosis, chemo & radiation & stem cell transplant, remission, recurrence, failed treatment and death of the one I lovingly call my former wife.
In between living single as a young man, to living married with children, to living widowed with children, to a new partnership and marriage full of immense Love and Joy I never imagined possible in this life!
I know the secret of In-Between because it’s my Home! I live In-Between!
My role as your In-Between Guide is two-fold:
First, it is to journey with you in your In-Between. You can’t live in my In-Between. You have your own In-Between to live in and make your Home!
I will not determine, or dictate in any way, the pace at which you move, the direction you choose to travel, or the experiences you’re willing and able to open to.
YOU ARE IN CHARGE!
I am simply a companion along your way who knows the lay of the land of the In-Between.
To you, I humbly and generously offer:
Full Acceptance of who you are and where you are at all times!
Unconditional Love, Kindness, Compassion, Support, and Encouragement!
The Wisdom of my experiences along the Way, for you to use or not use in whatever ways seem most helpful to you!
Second, it is to introduce and re-connect you to your own Inner Guide- the Voice of God, Voice of Love- present and communicating to you from deep within your own body, mind, and heart!
We will have countless opportunities to meet and acquaint with many other guides along the Way too, including guides from the plant world, the animal world, the mineral world, the elemental world, the lunar world, the planetary and cosmic worlds, the worlds of our ancestors, and more!
This is the Way of Jesus! From the places of familiarity, into and through the Wilderness, to the Promised Land! From Life through Death to Resurrected Life! Jesus lives his In-Between!
Shall we join him In-Between?? It may seem scary. It may be hard, even painful. We may feel lost at times, confused at others. We have losses to grieve and hurts to forgive and heal. Joys to celebrate and dreams to dream. We have a lot of re-membering to do. We have dying to do.
AND, we have rebirthing and co-creating and living heaven right here, right now to do!
My name is Jeff, and for those who choose to adventure into the In-Between, I will be your Guide for this next leg of your journey!
Peace, Peace, Peace!
Love, Love, Love!