The In-Between Place: Where Jesus Changes Your Story
By Kat Armstrong
2020 came in like a wrecking-ball and while it shook up life as we knew it, it also uncovered hidden treasure.
One of those treasures was the gift of pause and the opportunity to slow down, assess, and reflect. For many, this revealed unrealistic or unwanted expectations, jacked up pressures or priorities, or redirection of career or life path. Essentially, 2020 torn down a lot of old ___ [insert: your experience] so new growth and opportunities could be planted for the season ahead.
Note: Ahead. As in, what is to come and not what is experienced right now. It’s the space between where we were and where we are going.
My first book review of 2021, The In-Between Place: Where Jesus Changes Your Story by Kat Armstrong is a timely read that is relatable, refreshing and filled with hope. Whether you are caught in a trial of relational strife, experiencing job loss or frustration, walking through unexpected health conditions, or simply struggling with the aftermath of 2020, this book is for you.
The In-Between Place weaves the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (found in John 4) together with current, real-life feelings, events and circumstances to unveil a beautiful tapestry of hope, purpose and promise. Armstrong gives the reader new eyes to consider how this familiar story is no different than what is encountered today. When Jesus met the woman at the well she was stuck between the life she thought she would have and the life she was presently living. I don’t know about you, but I’ve most definitely been there before. Truthfully, I’m there now. But hear this – Jesus met this Samaritan woman exactly where she was, in her mental and emotional state as well as at her physical place drawing water at the well.
The woman at the well didn’t have life figured out when Jesus entered into her life. In fact, she was quite lost spiritually and was emotionally wrecked and outcasted by society. Yet, Jesus saw this woman as someone who had more life to live than the one she was living. He saw her pain, took time to listen and gave her space to lay down the burdens she was carrying. He can and will do the same for you.
The In-Between Place is rooted in John 4:1-41 and is strategically organized into three parts:
- Make peace with your past (John 4:1-6)
- Find hope in your present (John 4:6-18)
- Step confidently into your future (John 4:16-41)
Each section begins with an introduction and ends with a recap. Moreover, each chapter concludes with discussion questions for personal reflection or group conversation as well as study resources found on the author’s website, katarmstrong.com. Personally, I loved the additional content and appreciated the section recap because it not only highlighted the key points of every chapter but also helped me to bank away the truth I received.*
Jesus can take the confusing, frustrating, uncertain places and transform them into hope-filled spaces. The In-Between Place will remind you that you are not alone in your struggle, season, or circumstances. Jesus is always there. He sees you, friend. You are not looked aside or forgotten. And you are never too far gone.
*This book is wonderfully written and packed with biblical truth that provided me with new perspective and cultural consideration. I enjoyed reading this book and applying it to my life, but I do have one negative – I did not appreciate her repeated use of the term mansplaining. I wasn’t familiar with Kat Armstrong, her nonprofit organization, or her ministry experience prior to reading The In-Between Place. I do not know her story or testimony, however, she did make a reference to personal experience with misogyny. [Side note: I left my job in journalism after experiencing sexual harassment so unfortunately, I can relate to the issue of male-dominance and abuse of power or position.] As a mother of four daughters, I am pro-women’s rights, as I perceive Kat to be based on this book, but having a son as well has made me sensitive to the current anti-male movement in the United States. I won’t stand for sexism, racism, bigotry, injustice or the like. I believe God created men and women equally but different. Because we live in a Genesis 3 world, all men and women are equally flawed and yet equally able to receive redemption through Jesus Christ. I have more to say on this issue, but this post is not the place. The point I want to make is that using a term such as mansplaining is demeaning to our male brothers-in-Christ and should not be used to portray cultural acceptance, influence, relatability or humor.
**I received this book from FrontGate Media in exchange for promotion and my honest review