The Space Between
23 August 2019
I am honoured to hear the stories of many students at school, and am in awe of their resilience despite the complexity of challenges they face daily. The question that I am often confronted with when hearing these stories is: What empowers our young people to feel completely free to live their best life, to feel good enough?
A student reminded me of the answer to this question when she illustrated a powerful metaphor. She drew a wave to express the overwhelming emotion of anxiety she had experienced, and how all-consuming and uncontrollable it seemed. It felt isolating, limiting, defining of her identity and never-ending. She expressed that she was floundering under the wave, struggling to rise above it. At the end of the session, she drew a person surfing the wave. An image that represented her as having new hope in conquering this anxiety! What made the difference?
The space between!
The space between was where the shift took place, where courage was ignited, and a new perspective was gained. The space between is defined as a place: Where we feel authentic connection. Where we feel accepted; listened to without blame and understood without judgement. Where we experience empathy; where compassion is the root of all interactions. The space between is where we feel worthy of being loved, where we know we are good enough. It’s important to create more space between our busy schedules, our oversaturated media-focused repertoires and stress driven lives for connection with each other. Julie Lowe shares that when we make time for relationship, when we create the space between, we will be the loudest voice in our young people’s lives. We can only withdraw from a bank in which we have deposited or invested. Young people will trust us with their stories when we create space for them to tell them. Let’s model this space between to them so that they are able to make sense of and live out their lives to the full, overcome all consuming emotions and challenges, and have a deep settling in their heart and soul that they are worthy of being loved!
Jesus expertly navigated the space between. He demonstrated how to relate to us with unconditional sacrificial love by giving everything, even his last breath on the cross for us. With this He filled the space between despair and hope, captivity and freedom, and death and life, declaring to every single one of us, YOU are worthy of being loved.
As you are encouraged to create the space between for your young person, ensure that you find that space between for yourself. We would like Avondale School to be this space between busy pick-up and drop-offs, assignments, parent evenings and other aspects of school life. We hope you feel connected, accepted and understood as you do REAL life with our community! Lowe, J. (2018). Child Proof: Parenting faith not formula. New Growth Press, USA.