A few years ago, my family spent week after week sitting in waiting rooms and hoping for answers. Just a few hours before the light of Easter morning began to stretch across the sky, my phone lit up with one of the worst text messages of my life.
Exactly two years prior, on the greatest In-Between day, I began writing Even If Not. At the time, I thought it was a blog post in the making. But those words about darkness and difficult seasons, about looking for the light and finding God’s goodness in every storyline and every in-between? Those words became a book. And two years later, with my phone and my book in front of me, I wrestled.
I was tired of waiting rooms, of the unknown, of sorrow and sickness. I wanted Sunday.
With Easter approaching, I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking about those three important days on the church calendar.
Good Friday: the darkest and most horrific day in history.
Saturday: the in-between of silence, doubt, and confusion.
Sunday: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of promises kept, the reason we call Friday “Good.”
The more I reflect on these days, the more I find myself attaching times or seasons of my life with each one.
A brain tumor diagnosis at seventeen? Good Friday.
Being declared cancer-free? Sunday.
Spiritual warfare and depression? Good Friday.
Seeing a relationship reconcile after four years of seemingly unanswered prayers? Sunday.
But most of the time, I’m living in Saturday. I’m desperately holding onto what I believe to be true, and I have faith that He will remain faithful, and yet life feels chaotic. Hearts break and loved ones leave, and sometimes it seems like darkness gets the final word.
We know that our Savior is victorious, but even still, Saturday exists.
There is silence. There is confusion. There is weeping. And we are full of questions because everything has changed so very unexpectedly. What then? Where do we turn in the in-between? What do we do when life doesn’t look like what we expected or hoped for?
Because most of us, if we were truly honest, would say that we are the Saturday people.
Friday holds sorrow and Sunday holds joy, and here we are, living life somewhere in-between.
It’s easy for us to skip Saturday when we think of Easter, to gloss over and hurry through to resurrection. We know Sunday is coming, and so we’re eager to turn the page. But they didn’t know, and to them the story was simply . . . over.
Saturday morning dawns, and Jesus is still in the grave. All traces of hope are replaced with doubt and shame, guilt and grief.
It’s more comfortable to skim over Saturday and move on to bright colors and hands raised, to worship songs and “He is risen” declarations. But there’s a miracle in the middle, a truth we miss when we rush through:
God is with us in our waiting, working all things for our good and His glory.
When time stood still and the Messiah took one final breath, the story didn’t end – a page simply turned.
They hid in an upper room, not realizing they were actually in a waiting room. Sunday was already on the way.
Saturday teaches us to wait while clinging to hope when all seems lost. Saturday reminds us to gather together and look for the light. It’s in the Saturday seasons that we discover even when everything feels like it’s falling apart and our world is spinning mad, He is present and He is holding us together.
He is the God of the Already’s even when we’re in the thick of it. He is power and promise, good and gracious, mighty and merciful.
I knew it. I believed it in my bones. And yet my phone sat atop my book, the screen glowing with an update that challenged me (invited me?) to say it once again.
And so I did the only thing I knew to do — I lit a candle to defy the darkness, and then I reached for a piece of a paper and a pen. Tears splattered down and smeared the ink, but I kept writing until I really and truly meant it.
Even if not. Even if not. Even if not.
In the in-between, in the middle of the story, I want to be a woman who chooses “even if” instead of “what if.”
And so I filled the page while I waited for Sunday to come.
Because the glorious truth is, it always, always does.
If you’re walking through a Saturday season, this is what I’m praying over you and for you today:
Lord, may we be faithful in this in-between as You have been faithful to us in every season. Thank You for coming for us, choosing to walk with us, and promising to return again. In the dead of night, You slipped into the world You made. You stepped into the darkness and promised to be the Light. In every in-between, as we live with questions and trust that You’re the answer, help us keep our eyes on You. Teach us to choose “even if” instead of “what if.” We love You, and we wait with hope, believing that You are ever with us and You do not make mistakes. Sunday is already on the way.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
What a wonderful and much needed post as I wait… I’m not sure if this is healthy, but sometimes I play a mental game called “What If – Worst Case.” When I’m bombarded by the “what if’s” I will coax myself to think of the worst case outcome. Usually when I do this, anxiety quickly rises up because God doesn’t give me His grace and peace in the “what if’s,” He gives it to me on Good Friday (the worst case come true) and He holds me until Sunday comes. While I’m waiting, I have a choice…I can hitch my wagon to Good Friday and dwell on the terrible situation I’m in or I can, in God’s strength, hitch my wagon to Sunday and pray, pray, pray through Saturday and Praise God, in advance, for what He is going to do on Sunday. I say this like it’s easy. It’s not. Many times I’ve had to look back at all the Good Fridays in my life and take heart that the Sundays did, indeed, come. With each passage comes perseverance. Perseverance produces character, and character produces hope and hope never disappoints. Praying your beautiful prayer as I wait expectantly…
Kaitlyn Bouchillon says
“He holds me until Sunday comes.” Isn’t that the truth. I love how you put that, Bev.
Michele Morin says
I love remembering that after the crucifixion, Jesus’s friends did not know they were waiting for resurrection. My guess is that most of them were trying to find their way back to “normal.” or simply numb, waiting for their hearts to heal.
And we never know, in our own story, when resurrection is going to break through the gloom.
I can’t imagine living a Saturday life without assurance of Jesus’s faithful presence here with me.
Mary Geisen says
Such wise words, my friend. There is so much to remember as we go through life and many times we focus on only the highest of highs and lowest of lows. But God, meets us so tenderly in the in-between places where our hearts wrestle with ordinary and God sees only extraordinary. I am finding that the my own in-between is becoming my favorite place to be. God is so present there and when I lean in I hear and learn so much from His whispers in my ear. May you experience a sweet Holy Saturday this year as you sit with God and listen for the whispers.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
My heart would went out for you Kaitlyn in all you went through then. You say in the title of todays reading Yes you needed a Miracle. I cannot remember talking my first seizure all thoes years ago. But hopefully they are now behind be. Since I had a women operation three years ago in October this years. But it was scary for Husband. I was ok one minute then the next I was taking seizures because of my hormones to do with my periods. My Husband didn’t know what do with me or how to stop them. When I first took them. He took scared. He need Prayer and Miracle for God. Along with help that first day from the Doctors to know what was happening to me all thoes years ago. He was so scared. That was coming eight years ago. I since having my operation three years ago that God took me through. I had no seizures since. God is so good he took my Husband through all the day of the seizures and tought him how to cope in looking after me when I tookba seizure. When it came to near my period and during my periods in thoes days. With prayers of friends we got through it. Kaitlyn God was there in the same was in that Miracle for you. No matter how scary it was. God help you and my Husband help me and him get through it. We serve a big big might God. I am where I am today thanks to God using the Doctors when taking seizures to help me. Plus God helping go through my operation three years ago this October. Plus Prayer of so many people. God was Good. Love todays reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little
TAMMIE BRAY says
POWERFUL!! THANKS FOR THE REMINDER OF HOPE THAT IS ALWAYS PRESENT FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM.
karyn j says
my God! this was exactly what i needed to have poured into me this morning. i am smack dab in the middle of saturday, but i KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that sunday is on it’s way! i don’t when sunday will be here, but i KNOW that it will far better than anything i can even begin to imagine. i’m learning to wait and i’m learning to trust what i cannot see. thank you for friday and saturday!
Kaitlyn Bouchillon says
I am so, so grateful this is meeting you right where you are. You are not alone!
Judy M Wagner says
Kaitlyn, thank you for this message. I only wish I felt like it was Saturday since I feel like I am stuck on Wednesday (as today truly is Wednesday). I think I am in the middle of Ash Wednesday, the middle of the week, before this pandemic of the world hit the USA. And today, somewhere between a Triumphant Palm Sunday, before Maundy Thursday and The Last Supper and the Glorious Easter Sunday when Christ defeated death, I’m stuck. I don’t seem to be able to move forward at all. I took early retirement in 2017 and my days just seem to be all the same now. The sun comes up, do some devotions and prayer, my cats come meowing to be fed, do a few chores. Go for a walk. On the surface it all seems normal. People walking dogs (maybe a little further away than before), trees and flowers blooming, there’s still cars driving down the streets. But there is something different in the air. The distancing thing, people starting to wear masks, kids outside when they would normally be in school. I can’t meet up with friends for breakfast or dinner and can’t go shopping just anywhere because everything that’s not essential for life is closed. So I’m stuck waiting, I KNOW this will end eventually. Since I was a Medical Technologist in a hospital lab I know how viral and bacterial epidemics work. I know the mechanics of it all. It’s the understanding of why that can be hard.
How normal life can so suddenly be stopped, by something so microscopic as a virus. It’s then I remember that Christ has conquered all of this. We need to turn our focus away from this little virus that has had such a big impact, to the most powerful force of all, a loving God who cries and comforts us and sent his son who transcended death for a new and perfect life. Be safe in his comfort and care because we will get to the other side and it will be Sunday again.
Kaitlyn Bouchillon says
Hi Judy! I didn’t know much at all about Holy Week until the past few years, and I still have so much to learn. Your comment struck me though and as I read it, I found myself thinking “Maybe there’s a message on Wednesday that needs to come first for you this year.” It’s interesting… Saturday speaks so loudly to me, but as I learn more about the other days I see such meaning, purpose and beauty even in the sadness. I hope that you discovered the same this year!
Becky Keife says
We know that our Savior is victorious, but even still, Saturday exists. Yes. Holding that tension and hope today. xx
Cassandra Smith says
This is soooooo timely in soooooo many ways. THANK YOU!
YES, He is our ever-present Father. He’s soooooo present in our waiting. So, as we wait for healing, for restoration, for a funeral service for our loved ones, for a new job, for so many things, we are comforted that He NEVER leaves us.
He is still my GOD in the waiting!
“You are ever with us and You do not make mistakes.” AMEN!!!
Elsa Seidel says
Proverbs 20:24 Living Bible (TLB)
24 Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?
M @ In Beautiful Chaos says
Waiting is SO hard, but someday we will find out how worth it was! Reminds me of a line in the Josh Wilson song, “Before The Morning”: “Once you feel the weight of glory/all your pain will fade to memories…”.
Sunday IS coming!
M @ In Beautiful Chaos
This post resonates with me because my only child was in a horrific accident the say before Easter many years ago. The hospital was in another town and we were there for 2 months – strangely then I couldn’t/wouldn’t come home and this Easter I’m not leaving home….
we had a lot of even if not moments. It was touch and go, one step forward and two steps back and yes, some days darkness overcame. But God is good – in all those days and all the days and months and years after – He kept me upright and gave me the knowledge needed to make hard decisions with a miracle of all miracles outcome. I never felt alone and knew that He was with me day in, day out – even if not.
Kaitlyn Bouchillon says
You’ve lived Saturday, Indiane. Thank you for sharing a small piece of your story here!
Beth Williams says
We Christians have a hope to cling to in crisis. We know for certain that there is a resurrection coming. When? How? That is not for us to know. We must trust God knows what’s best. The waiting is hard. God so loves us that even if He will always Always be with us not matter. He is here to see us through the tough times. I can look back at my Good Fridays & Saturdays & see that eventually down the road Sunday came. Times were anxious but God was right there with me seeing me through the “Shadow of Valley of Death”. Sun rose & my tomb of problems was empty. During my Saturdays I did a lot of screaming & praying. Asking God what must I learn in this in-between.? Trust & faith were two major things that grew stronger. I plan to be an even if woman!
Well said and well well written. Thank you for this heart-stirring and soul-searching reminder that we live in the Saturdays, which makes it so special when the Sundays shine!