living my ellipsis…

living my ellipsis…

“… Come now; let us leave.” (John 14:31).


I’m a fan of the ellipsis—the “dot, dot, dot” (…) that is sometimes used in writing to denote a pause in thought. An ellipsis is a connector of sorts, a bridge linking a previous moment with the next one. Sometimes the link is obvious; sometimes more veiled, but always intentional. Ellipses are my friends. They allow me to explore the inner conversation of my soul on a continuum that keeps the flow of thought fluid and pulsing. Without them, the thinking stops, the conversation ends, and what began as a good pondering gets tucked away for another day’s rumination.

As it goes with my writing, so it goes with my life. Today, I’m living in the midst of my “dot, dot, dot.” Today an ellipsis has arrived on the page of my life, and I am reminded of the importance of its existence. Without this bridge, I’ll never be able to connect my yesterday with my tomorrow. Without the pause, without the indicator that something is soon to follow my “dot, dot, dot,” then all that remains for me is that which has come before—the previous forty-four years’ worth of days that I call my life.

I happen to believe that there is more to my life than what has come before. I happen to believe in tomorrow and in its connection to all of my yesterdays. They cannot be separated even though they will try. What lies ahead… what is lived ahead is intricately linked to every moment that has lived previously. This is the way of a pilgrim’s journey.

For six years’ worth of days, my journey’s been lived upon the hallowed ground known as Rosewood, NC. Mind you, that’s not our official name. My mailing address reads Goldsboro, but for those of us who live within a few square miles of the 581 and Rosewood Rd. intersection, we name our residency accordingly. One doesn’t know that going in; some things about living here are learned… earned over time. Love stands a prerequisite for that learning; without love, Rosewood is just another location between here and there… another obscurely hidden dot on the map easily missed if one isn’t intent on the find.

Six years ago, I was intent on the find, and I am not disappointed by my discovery. What Rosewood lacks in aesthetics is amply made up for by the beauty of its inhabitants. People are what make this place a worthy investment. Long before I arrived here with family, God saw fit to include us in Rosewood’s history. It’s been a very good place to raise a family, an even better place to live a faith. Tonight, we stand in the middle of our ellipsis. We cannot go back and rewrite the previous years’ remembrances. Instead, we can honor their existence by pausing in this “dot, dot, dot,” believing that what has been scripted into our hearts here has counted and will continue to count for what God is going to script into our hearts next—the other side of this ellipsis.

This is our leaving time, friends, a time of going so that the time of God’s up-and-coming can arrive. It’s not an easy advance for any of us; our hearts are tremendously grieved with the good-bye. But as our dear friend, Tom, reminded us over lunch today (thank you Friendship SS Class for showing up in force at Torero’s), we risk something with our loving… we risk the pain of the “letting go.” Still and yet, we wouldn’t choose otherwise. To limit love is to limit authentic living. This, too, is the way of a pilgrim’s journey.

I imagine it will take me a long season to unpack the lessons that I’ve learned over the past six years in this place; some thoughts are better processed on the other side of the bridge. I’m looking forward to reflecting on them in the days to come… to holding them closely as my comfort and to recalling them as stones of remembrance in honor of the faithfulness of my Father’s love and watchful care over me and my family in this past season. I’ve spent nearly one-seventh of my tenure on planet earth in this place, and it’s been a good fit for my heart. I pray the same for the other side of my “dot, dot, dot.” I ask the Lord to be as good to me there as he’s been to me here. I cannot imagine him doing it any other way.

But I’m not there yet; tonight I’m resting in this ellipsis… confident of the words that God has written into my journey up to this point… confident of the words that will arrive via his pen to continue my story until they write me all the way home to heaven.

Perhaps, like me, you’re living in an ellipsis right now. There’s been a pause in your heart that has you wavering in between your yesterday and your tomorrow. You’re not stuck; you’re simply waiting… believing… hoping… dreaming. It’s been a hard bridge for you to navigate, yet to forsake these necessary steps is to miss the other side of your “dot, dot, dot.”

Don’t miss your “dot, dot, dot,” friend. Walk it. Quicken your pace, strengthen your feeble knees, and fortify your faith for the second half of the sentence. There is a tremendous beauty that comes with a finishing thought—a wholeness that replaces the partiality of a single phrase. Don’t be afraid to allow God to complete your pause. Instead, ready your heart for its arrival. God never writes anything into our stories without his corresponding punctuation. It may take a season or two to arrive at the conclusion, but when it comes, we can be sure that it comes in the fullness of a Father’s understanding and with his best intention for our lives. He, alone, can connect the “dots” and have them make sense.

Thus, watch out my tomorrow. I’m walking my “dot, dot, dot” tonight, and I’m bringing Rosewood, NC, with me as I come. You and her will be forever connected because of this pause that resides in my in between… because of this heart that is willing to carry the influence of my yesterday into the seeding of my tomorrow. I’ll see you when I get there; how I pray to live you all the more.

Until then…

Peace for the journey,

PS: Please forgive my absence from your blogging addresses, friends. I’ve barely had a moment to myself and only squeezed this post in because I desperately missed my “pen” this week. I won’t have Internet connection most of the week, but as soon as I’m up and running again, I’ll be sure to stop by for a visit. Thanks for all of your prayers. We’ve felt them all, especially today. We’ll be pulling out Tuesday morning and would appreciate your continuing thoughts. Shalom.

40 Responses to living my ellipsis…

  1. Praying and thinking of you, knowing the faithfulness of God is with you now and will be waiting on you as you arrive on new ground.

    Much love,

    Andrea

  2. Elaine,
    You and your family have been on my mind, on my heart, and in my prayers today.

    Know that I am here for you anytime – day or night -whenever you need to talk.

    I have no doubt that you will make friends easily in your new home, and your new church family will see right away that the Olsens are truly an answer to prayer. They will love you alldearly, just as we love you.

    No matter where you go, remember that you and Billy have a brother and sister here in SW Virginia… it's just a matter of time until we track you down! 😉

    Love you,
    Beth and Bill

  3. God's continued blessings to you and your family as you experience peace on your journey.

    I join you in believing "that there is more to my life than what has come before." When we moved, almost five years ago, the phrase "how much more" seemed to jump off the page of God's Word to me in regard to our move. I did not live with the expectation you are in your ellipsis; but I am, even now, seeing that all of my yesterdays are connected to the dot-to-dot journey the LORD has me on. So often my impatience wants to see the final picture of what He is doing. Your attitude of peace and expectation blesses me. The line "He, alone, can connect the “dots” and have them make sense" blessed me too. Recently, at a "Connecting the Dots" party, the LORD encouraged me onward and forward in my journey toward the "so much more" of God.

    So blessed by the visit here this evening. With love and thanksgiving to the LORD for you,
    Lora

  4. Elaine, I often use the dot, dot, dot in my blog posts but didn't know it was called an ellipsis. See, you're teaching me and I'm a life long learner. So thank you.

    I'm sure it must be difficult to leave the place you've settled into with your family for the past six years. But I'm sure the Lord has good plans for you at the next spot He's called you to. I will be praying for you. I have to smile as I'm writing this message as I can see Beth E's photo in the left corner. She's so cute and reminds me of you.

    God has gifted you in many ways Elaine. And the people who get to know you will be blessed.

    Love,
    Debbie

  5. Hey Elaine……Praying for you and your family as you travel to your new home and new season of ministry.

    As your shared in your post…."God never writes anything within our stories without his corresponding
    punctuation"…….I know that His pen is already applying His divine ink upon this new chapter and the many volumes to be written in your new season ahead!

    He is Faithful!

    Luv, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!
    Jackie

  6. I can really relate to this. I know what it feels like to be in the "pause" section of life.
    I like how you related it to your writing.
    PS… I love ellipsises,too

  7. Beautiful sharing…

    Praying you and your family forward as you embrace the beautiful heart-times of where you are now…

    May the new times be just as beautiful and heart felt.
    Love you.

  8. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
    By the way I use…all the time in my blogging and never knew there was a name for it…thanks for the education!

  9. Goodbyes are sure tough. I pray you and yours have a smooth transition into this next spot where God has called you to live your lives. Thank goodness we never have to say goodbye to Him, right? Blessings, friend!

  10. What an amazing post today my friend. Know that you and your family will be much in my thoughts as prayers…as you journey to your next.

    I so loved reading your post today…as our family is in the middle of our…………and some days, the waiting, the not knowing, the uncertainty seems overwhelming. But today, you've truly given me MUCH food for thought to think/pray about.

    Praying…that as I continue on my journey through my…….., that I'll continue to REST in him….for he is working all things for my good.

  11. praying for you and your family my friend. i know that God will use you mightily in your new ministry.

  12. well, I didn't know that was a word either, and I can't ever write a blog without my 3 dots!

    And now you are so right… 🙂 you are living it! I can't help but feel excited for what lies ahead, and the dear ones you leave behind are really going along in your hearts, having helped to form each of you for this next adventure.

    Love you!

    Sonja

  13. Thank you for sharing your heart and also for taking time to comment on my post. As you walk in His peace may He guide and direct your steps.

  14. Actually, I've lived out several ellipsis' in my life. One such one was last Summer when God gave us our miracle of all miracles… It was quite profound in it's happening. Praise God!

  15. What a beautiful rendering of your heart and pen, my friend…truly one of my all time favorite posts.

    I certainly identify with your words this day…waiting in the midst of my ellipsis, as well. Your words have delivered to my heart a fresh portion of God's grace.

    "Don’t be afraid to allow God to complete your pause. Instead, ready your heart for its arrival. God never writes anything into our stories without his corresponding punctuation. It may take a season or two to arrive at the conclusion, but when it comes, we can be sure that it comes in the fullness of a Father’s understanding and with his best intention for our lives. He, alone, can connect the “dots” and have them make sense."

    Trusting Him for your tomorrows as well as my own.

    Continuing prayers and thoughts go with you…

    Much love,
    Tracy

  16. What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL post that I can so relate to. Love this, Elaine, and continuing to pray for you and your precious family.

  17. Oh my sweet friend…I know this pain from leaving the old and the excitment for what the future holds. Your right, like you, (and I steal your words…)I am living in an ellipsis right now. There’s been a pause in my heart that has me wavering in between my yesterday and my tomorrow. I have felt stuck down but now i see that I am just simply waiting… believing… hoping… dreaming. It has been a hard bridge to navigate, but I am clinging to my Masters hands so I don't miss the other side of the “dot, dot, dot's” that He has ordained.

    Loving you and praying for you. Wishing He would have called you guys to Missouri!!!

    Believing Him~Pamela

  18. What a sweet and thoughtful post. I love the analogy. Am praying right now over your journey…your more to follow! God bless and keep you all!

  19. God bless you as you move, Elaine! Your new community is getting a huge blessing from God.

    Leah

  20. I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with you…and I continue to pray.

  21. Sweetheart…you bless my socks off. Truly. I'm praying for you and thankful God moved your pen. 😉

  22. As a fellow writer, I totally concure with your thoughts on using the ellipsis, because I'm also a fellow ellipsis junkie, although I never thought of it the way you've processed it here. Love it, Elaine!

    Praying as you journey in new directions that you will experience God in a new and fresh way. Blessings, Danie Marie

  23. There's a lovely song called, "The Line Between the Two", by Mark Harris which speaks of life between the date of birth, and the date death – a LONG ellipsis, for sure. I've come to think of my life that way: one long ellipsis, with mini-ellipses (is there a plural here?) along the way. Today is one such. Come to think of it, I've grown quite comfortable with the unknowns they represent; and that's certainly new behavior for me.

    You're in my thoughts & prayers as you hitch up the wagon and head west, or south, or east, or north. But something tells me that pioneer spirit of yesteryear is alive and well in you, Elaine.

    Hugs,
    Kathleen

  24. Dear Elaine – I just read this on Tuesday morning… and am praying for you as you are moving today… even though it is 3 hours difference.

    And me? Well, I embrace my ellipses as you know… perhaps I revert to them too often, but I think it is how I have chosen to live my life… always leaving room for perhaps God to finish my thought… as you said.

    Keep to the journey. Keep to the pen. Persevere. Do not be distracted. Knowing that God goes before you and behind you… and with you.

    With much love…

  25. Praying for you today…Tuesday morning….as you "pull out" to "connect the dots". SO excited to see what new things God has in store for you…and for us through you!

    Love you sister!

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  26. The beauty of the blog is that we go with you! I have traveled similar paths to the one you are walking today. Some "leavings" have been more painful than others – but always at new destination the Father has poured out unexpected pleasures and opportunities, new inspiration, and the joy of new beginnings–clean slates on which to jointly write His story.

    Praying for you this day – Tuesday.

  27. Praying for you and asking God to give you sweet peace and much love as your faithfulness to him carries on, God bless you, lots of hugs and blessings, Barbara

  28. Oh. I just love reading what you write here on the blog. I always leave feeling like I've been taught a wonderful lesson – in life…in English…in faith. So good. Thank you!

    Blessings to you – as you venture to the other side of your "dot dot dot". While there are struggles that can go along with moving onward – it is exciting, isn't it? Just said a prayer for you!

    Have a wonderful week,
    Kate 🙂

  29. With tears streaming down my face I am praying for you and your family. I can't tell you how much I needed to read this today. I am in an ellipses and have really been struggling with letting go of where I was and embracing where God wants me.

    Your words were so perfect. They spoke so intently to my heart.

    Blessings friend!

  30. If tears were allowed to fall from my eyes, there would be many. I have chosen to live in my 'dot, dot, dot' and not allow myself the benefit of moving forward. Stuck in the middle of the pain of yesterday, afraid to be vulnerable and allow tomorrow to come.
    This post has spoken to my heart and I realize today what error I have made in not trusting my Father to move me forward, clinging to dreams long over.
    Even in your ellipis you have spoken volumes.
    Blessings as you journey forward and take up residence in God's new place.

  31. Elaine ~

    I was almost mesmorized by this post. Your writing truly took me into the concept of "ellipsis." Such a marvelous illustration! I'll be pondering it for a long time to come.

    I enjoy your writing, the way you paint pictures and express feelings.

    I come from a family of pastors. I know what you're going through in this transition. Blessing, comfort, strength, courage to you on the other side of your ellipsis.

  32. Dear Elaine,
    I always love to visit your place, your words always well chosen, your heart and your mind beautifully expressed.

    Reading through the lines of your post brought tears to my eyes.

    These words of yours are so true:
    "we risk something with our loving… we risk the pain of the “letting go.” Still and yet, we wouldn’t choose otherwise. To limit love is to limit authentic living. This, too, is the way of a pilgrim’s journey."

    I could certainly relate…because I love using those three dots too, so much can be expressed in just three dots.

    And being a pilgrim means we are willing to love and let go and live between the dots, trusting that God knows exactly where the road leads!

    Praying for you!

    Love
    Lidj

  33. Elaine, just stopped in from another blog and so glad I discovered you. I too use the ellipsis often. I have also been living there for a few years, and your post gave me a fresh perspective on it, thank you. Blessings to you!

  34. I've missed you sweet friend. You have no idea how I'm living in an ellipsis right now. Hubby began his 8th week of unemployment. Times are tough but God is good. This post was timely and I am so thankful for your encouraging words to "walk it". Love and (((hugs)))

  35. What a wonderful way of looking at punctuation. May you enjoy your transition. I know that God will watch over you and guide you past the dots.

  36. Yes, oh, yes … you are a "farmer's wife." 🙂

    There's a lot of life lived in the ellipsis as we look out these windows of life. And you live it well, my sweet friend.

    This is the seedtime. And God's Word tells us that a harvest awaits those who do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

    From one farmer's wife to another, I send my love. And I send our Father prayers for your family.

  37. many blessings on your journey! it seems
    that the best stories come from them.

    and remember:
    . . . it is well with my soul.

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