Photo credit: Shewanda Riley

By Shewanda Riley

A number of years ago, I had surgery that quite frankly terrified me. The surgery was necessary, but I was extremely nervous. I wasn’t concerned as much about the surgery itself. After all, I’d be sedated and wouldn’t feel anything.  What I was most concerned about was how I’d feel after the surgery. Even though the doctor reassured me about everything after the procedure, I was still very fearful.  I knew the scriptures about God not giving us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) but I couldn’t shake it.    

I even had a good friend pray with me before the surgery. As I sat waiting for the sedation medication to kick in, I slowly started to drift off to sleep. When I woke up, I was in a little bit of pain but was so groggy that the pain didn’t matter. Then the most important part took place: the healing process began. This was the place of “in the meantime,” for me physically. The strange thing was that even though I’d been fearful of the surgery, I was now a little impatient to get beyond the healing so I could be completely restored physically.

According to the doctor’s orders, I was to rest as much as possible and not do anything physically strenuous.   She made it clear that what I did or did not do would have the biggest impact on how quickly and successfully my body healed. So, I did my best to stay stress free and rest.

Maybe it’s being so close to the start of a new year or me getting more reflective as I get older, but I’ve been fascinated lately more by what happens in this place of “meantime.” By the meantime, I mean that particular place that’s between where I’ve been and where I’m going. Gospel artist Kim Burrell sings about it in her song, “Special Place:” 

“In between where I’ve been and where I’m going
To a special place, designed just for me
Between where I’ve been, so closer to knowing
My search is over, I think I see me”

I love those words because they explain where I and so many of my friends are during that crucial time at the end of an old year and beginning a new year. Even though we may have achieved much in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives; that place of complete healing sometimes seems so hard to find. Or when we find it, we want to rush through the process so we can enjoy restoration. We forget that healing is not just about length of time but also about how we manage our time and pace ourselves during the process.   

In Psalm 41:3, we are reminded:The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.” I think sometimes God may allow us to enter a place of “meantime” As he prepares to bless us with complete restoration. We may have prayed for God to restore emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually perhaps not realizing that before there is complete restoration and a new beginning, we must submit to the healing process.   

Shewanda Riley (Aunt Wanda), PhD, is a Fort Worth-based author of “Love Hangover: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at or follow her on Twitter @shewanda. You can also listen to her podcast at