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  • Writer's pictureCherise Adams

The Space Between

White vintage refrigerator with "The rest of your life" handwritten on its front in black dry erase marker.
Taylor, J. (Director). (2019). Arrow. [Music Video]. Retrieved from

“The hardest place to be is right where you are, in the space between the finish and the start is the arrow in your heart.”

“Am I doing this ‘adulting’ thing right?”

This is a question I frequently ask my husband. We came from two very different upbringings: him working alongside his parents as a partner in the household and me, focused deeply on academic pursuits while my parents managed the household like a well-run authoritarian government. Together, my husband and I make a perfect mix of practical and passionate, equally willing to pursue our dreams while managing to keep our feet on the ground (and a roof over our heads). We are currently in a season of waiting as I work towards my master's degree, he grows in his career, and we save for our first home… and it’s agonizing.

Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely blessed in this season to have stable jobs through the pandemic and have the ability to save. I would never discount the blessings and privileges that we are experiencing right now. In the midst of this, we are also experiencing the slow, deliberate work that it takes to reach the next milestone in our lives. As children, we could always see the light at the end of the tunnel, may that be in the form of graduation, a final report, or even a sports tournament capping off a long season. As adults, those milestones become a little less clear. One thing I’ve been struggling with is understanding how this journey of adulthood is so unique for each of us; there is no set path to follow, and the biggest accomplishments are often achieved by the biggest risks. As I wait in this season, I find myself wondering where the finish line is and if I’m even in the race at all. I’m clearly not running, and those around me have already crossed their finish lines. Was I supposed to make my own? How do I do it?

“I know that I can't run forever, but I can't stand still for too long. This heart is afraid to beat slowly.”

The song "Arrow" by Half Alive has been on my heart during this season of waiting. I’m comforted by its lyrics reflecting on being somewhere in the beginning and end of your journey through life, and how restless this “middle feeling” can be. Those seasoned in the journey of life remind me to enjoy the ride, while those around me sprint with all their might to push forward. At this moment, all I can do is wait diligently, focused on what’s ahead, allowing my heart to beat slowly as I rest to take in where I am and where I hope to be. The arrow in my heart can be an arrow of love, life, and vitality, or an arrow summoning death and destruction. The middle can either be anxiety-ridden or peaceful, the choice is mine to make. I’d be lying if I said I was making the best choice: waiting in peaceful expectation for our next milestone, taking in the beauty of youth, and relishing in the joy of a new marriage. The truth is, I’m satisfied with where I am but I am so excited to start running toward our next milestone. I’m learning that sometimes pressing on means standing still for a while. Like the song says, it’s hard but I know it’s worth it. Perhaps that’s what “adulting” really is, that hard stuff called life in the space between the finish and the start.

Are you in your own season of waiting? What songs get you through your season of expectation?

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