In the Middle

I hate being in the middle of things.

Beginnings are fun. Or challenging. Maybe even tough. But they are the beginnings. Even when they are the beginning of difficulties, there’s a sense of strength, an “I can do this” attitude. In the beginning of trials, I am clinging to God, preparing for the battle, armed and ready for whatever may come. At the beginning of the good stuff, I am on the mountaintop, dreaming about the amazing things to come.

I don’t mind endings, either. When it’s something good — like a book being published or a school year ending — I look back with a contented sense of accomplishment. All that hard work really WAS worth it! When it’s the end of a difficult time…whew. I can see a little more clearly what God was doing and how He taught me through the trial. There is relief and rest. It’s over!

But the middle…The middle makes me feel like this:

Thomas and the girls

My kids, circa 2004

I’m in the middle right now. We moved here three months ago. When we first moved, it was really hard, but I was clinging to God for help as we left the people and places we loved back in Tampa. I knew God had his hands all over this move, that there is a purpose in it, a reason for us to be here. But there was some excitement, too – new house, new location, new people, fresh start. The unknown can be both exhilarating and intimidating.

But the unknown is more known, now. We are in the middle of life in the new place. We know people, but don’t have close friends, yet. We’re involved in church, but we’re still the “new folks.” We are in the middle of a new routine, but we’re all missing the familiarity and comfort of the old one.

I spoke to one of my new friends last week. She is in the middle of a far more difficult situation than I am in. My situation will very likely end well. And my ending is likely far closer than hers. She shared how, when her trial began, she was ready for it, armed for battle. But as the war wages on, she is finding herself weary. Her battle will not end soon. She is tired, overwhelmed, she has far more responsibilities than she has time.

Listening to her, I felt guilty for what I know is pure whininess on my part. My “middle” is a cakewalk compared to hers.

But my solution is the same as hers: She said the only way she can get through her trial is one day at a time. She asks God to help her accomplish just what she needs to accomplish that day. Then she wakes up the next day and does the same thing. One day at a time, clinging to Christ even when she’s exhausted, even when the end seems impossibly far away.

Last week, God used this new friend to encourage me. And, yesterday, he brought an old friend by to bring further encouragement — to remind me of his faithfulness in the past so I can continue to trust Him with my future. God reminded me that He is with me in the middle, walking beside me. He reminded me there are lessons to be learned in the middle and joys to be experienced here, as well. The middle is, for me, right where God wants me to accomplish his purposes in my life.

So I will choose to rejoice…even in the middle.

1 Comment

  1. Lili
    Oct 6, 2014

    Love this post! I am kinda in the same place you are. I have been going to a new church for about three months. Like you said, I have friends but not super close ones. Its partially comfortable and partially new! So I totally understand:)

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