With the fireplace crackling, eggos in hand, and Christmas lights hanging on the wall, my girlfriends and I watched season 2 of “Stranger Things” the night it was released. I have been obsessed with it since I first saw it a couple of months ago. I have a problem, I know.
For those of you who haven’t watched it, the story takes place in 1983. I was eleven in 1983 —just sayin! (Eleven is one of the main characters) It is filled with amusing characters who are decent to each other. And it is true to the 1980s.
I loved the high-waisted jeans, glasses that were as big as your face, and the telephones with cords. I remember the days of the feathered hair style made popular by Farrah Fawcett, dungeons and dragons, classic eighties music, and mix tapes. And, it is scary. It is not like the blood and guts, sawing body parts, over-the-top horror movies there are today. No, it is the old fashioned kind of scary that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
A boy, Will Byers, vanishes in the first episode of season 1. They spend the rest of the season looking for him. In one of the scenes, Will’s mom, Joyce, is trying to explain her son to the chief. “He’s not like you, Hopper, He’s not like me, He’s not like . . . . .most.” Will’s friends, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin get picked on by the school bully.
Most of the characters are weirdos, nerds, or just plain “different.” These are my people.
Eleven (El) is the main weirdo. This shaved headed wonder knows more than anyone about what is going on in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. She is the key to it all. She is the weirdo on Maple Street. And she is extremely powerful.
Most shows today depict people behaving badly. It is almost tiresome. However, in episode 6 or 7 of season 1, Lucas apologizes to El with such sincerity. He says, “I was wrong, and I’m sorry,” to which El replies, “Friends don’t lie, I’m sorry too.” And when Mike and Lucas are fighting, the very insightful Dustin explains their relationship and how each one of them needed to apologize.
Then, there’s the Upside Down. It is an echo of this life, it may look like the real world, but it is cold, dark, and dangerous. The Upside Down is familiar, but at the same time, it isn’t. It’s wrong. Sometimes my life feels upside down. Maybe that is why “Stranger Things” is so appealing to me.
I can relate to the Upside Down. However, what I am experiencing I would call the “In Between.” Since finishing my book (that will be out soon), I have been in a weird space. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every bit of writing Pouring In. But now, I am stuck in the In Between.
Writing a book is a high—spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. But all good things must come to an end, and the high becomes a low. I wasn’t prepared for the In Between. Like the Upside Down, everything about the In Between feels wrong. It is cold and lonely and dark. And I can’t seem to get my feet on the ground.
What now? I wonder.
As I wander around the In Between, I remember that God is always looking for me—always pursuing me. Whenever I find myself in a dark, scary place far from home, God finds me there. He sees me and brings me home.
I have to trust God with whatever is next for me. There are no demogorgons or shadow monsters here, just God, with me, in the In Between. He is here in this strange space with me, a weirdo, so I can rest confidently. We all have seasons. God loves us through it all, even in the spaces in between.