When I was in second grade, my parents and I went to England.
We visited Nana and Big Daddy, who were living in Middlesborough at the time, as Dr. Charles Van (my Big Daddy) served as an interim pastor for a church there. It was my first experience traveling abroad and instilled this insatiable wanderlust within me that draws my heart out to this day.
During our trip, we road the Tube (London’s underground train). There were signs everywhere which read, “Mind the gap.” The gap was the space between the platform and train. Not minding the gap could result in injury — or at the very least, embarrassment.
In the past year, I’ve minded the gap.
When I moved back from Nashville, there was a huge gap between where I stood and where I wanted to be. There was a vacancy in my heart that longed for my Nashville community, internship, church and life. I couldn’t help but be aware of what God stripped from me and the lack of receiving those treasures in Dallas.
It was a defining point of my life: would I stay where God called me to the life He called me to? Would I accept these empty hands, this incomplete puzzle that had no finish? Would I allow Him to enter in and replace those holes with promises I didn’t know I cherished until they were gone?
Slowly but surely, the gap lessens.
Day by day, week by week, month by month, God does His best to close the gap. He’s gifting me with treasures I missed: dear friends, well-rooted community, convicting teaching, a job I enjoy.
He’s keeping His promises: to be good to me, to stay constant. To give far more than I do, to let me receive far more than I deserve. To allow me into His presence whenever I call out to Him. To weep with me in my pain. To rejoice with me in my triumphs.
Often times, bitterness overcomes me and I cry out to Him, begging Him to take away my disorder, knowing full well He won’t. I still long for a life elsewhere, to be sent far from Dallas.
Often times, joy overwhelms me and I can’t help but be grateful, He delivered me from 2016, the hardest year of my life. I feel peace knowing He sustains me wherever I roam and wherever I stay.
These days, I try not to mind the gap.
Instead of staring at what I’m missing, I cradle what I have. I don’t fixate on when and why and where and who. I rest in present moments and perfect peace. I trust in a God who gives and takes away, a God who is good to His promises.
It isn’t easy and I mess up often — I become distracted and weary and complacent. My eyes drift to little gods in this world, my heart wanders from the King who calls me “Daughter.”
God closes the in-between, the insecurities and doubts and vacancies of this life. He minds the gap.