Before a caterpillar can fulfill its life-birthed purpose of becoming a butterfly it must first enter the darkness of a cocoon. Before a mother can hold her sweet babe in her arms after she holds a test with two pink lines in her hands, she must wait nine months. Before a tulip can bloom, the bulb must lay dormant during the harsh winter months.
Waiting is hard. At least for me it is. Because waiting means grey space. I’m not where I once was but I most certainly have not arrived. Grey space makes my control freak nature frantic. Ready, aim, fire is more my protocol. I like plans, charts and completed to-do lists. I like accomplishing goals and creating new ones.
What about those plans when they go astray? Expectations that fall apart. Do to-do lists ever get completed before a dozen additional tasks are added? Do we take time to celebrate an accomplished goal before we rush into the next mountain top moment?
I am heavy into grey space right now, in most areas of my life it seems. I find myself asking God often, ‘What are you refining in me during this grey season? Why is this grey space necessary in so many parts and places of my life? What are you building that requires so much grey, God?’.
If I’m honest, sometimes I don’t want God to answer those questions when I ask, I want him to wave a magic wand instead. I want my late night phone calls with my dear friend to reveal black and white answers. I want my quiet time to come easy and answers to be in alignment with my plan.
Then I finally get quiet before God. I shut down the distractions, forgo the demands of my day and lean into the grey space God has set me in. It’s in those quiet, raw moments God speaks black and white into my grey space.
Refinement requires fire. Polishing requires sharpness. Grey space requires God. James 1:4 says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith is forced into the open and shows its true colors, so don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you can become mature and well-developed, lacking nothing.”.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to lack any thing in any area. If tapping out early means coming up short, I don’t want it. God’s timing is the only timing I should be concerned with. His timing aligns His will, His people and His love. God has my best interest in mind and the grey space is the connection point to that. When I look back at other moments of grey space in my life, my greatest treasures lie there. Is the same true for you? Perhaps instead of cringing at the grey space I can know God’s deepest love and grandest adventures require it.