Faith · Motherhood

The Middle

Middle child.  Middle School.  MID-life crisis.  In the ‘middle’ of friends’ arguments.

I don’t know about you, but I really can’t recall many GOOD memories or experiences that come with the middle; unless, of course, it has something to do with the middle of an Oreo.  In that case, the middle is actually incredibly good.

We are filled with excitement in seeing someone’s new start. The opportunity of the future and all the adventures that come ahead.  We are inspired to see someone’s magnificent end.  The product of hard work and commitment, the success that has come to fruition, or even…a life wonderfully well lived.

Most of the time, the human race, our society, and each of us, only see the hopeful beginnings or the strong finishes.

But what about that middle?  What about when we are in the hallway? In between the opened door and the finishing tape?  The parts where we see absolutely no results, just hard work.  Case in point:  the middle of this blog post while the little girl climbs all over me with her feet on my shoulders and hands in my face..  Forgive the typos.

Speaking of, I feel like we are in the middle with her.  We celebrated her wonderful birth and were filled with hope of a little girl.   We know we want her to be a Proverbs 31 woman who has the beauty of a Christ filled heart; we have high hopes for her future and what her goals might end up being.
And you guys, right now, this middle with her is downright hard.  Tantrum throwing, strong willed-ness (I just learned that you could wipe sharpie off a countertop with nail polish remover), and ‘her way or the highway’ personality.

I also feel we are in the middle with our boy as well.  We celebrated his wonderful birth and were filled with hope of a little boy..and our first child.  We know that we want him to be a Christ following man who knows how treat a lady, how to be a great father, and fulfill his dreams.  And right now we are in the middle with him as well; helping him develop good study habits, learning hard lessons on life, guiding him as we have embarked on changing schools.  The good…and hard stuff.

In the middle.

And don’t ya’ know, the devil will come right up in your middle and tell you to quit.  That there is no way it could get better and most definitely not end well.  He will tell us how foolish we are for hoping and will tell you to curl up in a ball and hide until this all finishes up for you, because you surely cannot handle this right.  You will mess it up and regret that you even started for the silly goal that you had in front of you in the first place.

That can’t be right. No.  This cannot be what God wants from our middles.  Strong beginnings and finishes are awesome. But He surely doesn’t want us to wither like a flower in the middle, turn around and go in the other direction, sit and cry in that dark hallway.  As a matter of fact, we wouldn’t have those strong finishes without good, solid, dig down deep, Spirit filled middles.  And I don’t mean happy middles.  I mean, putting one foot in front of the other not knowing what the future holds but going on in anyway with a blindfold type of middles.

I heard a song the other day that I have heard many times; in church, on the radio, and such, but for some reason it was loud in my ears and in my head.  Loud to the point where it gave me goosebumps and an intently listening mindset.  I listened to the song at least 5 times in a row with the same Spirit filled conviction of what these middles really mean.  It is a song by Jesus Culture: Waiting Here for You.

Waiting here for you.  WAITING.  Not only is the middle the time we need to persevere, but it is a time where we WAIT.  Wait on God’s glory, mercy, timing, deliverance.  Whatever it might be…waiting.  
Waiting HERE…not quitting and going/doing somewhere/something else.  Waiting HERE.  Not changing your environment just to divert and avoid the middle. Waiting here…for HIM to remind us of His promises and His faithfulness. 
The Bible says this:  
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” – Lamentations 3:25 
“Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14 
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6 
Whatever kind of middle you might be facing.  I feel it.  I feel the desire to stop in your tracks and say, “It’s too hard!”.  Trust me.  There are times I would LOVE to run to my bed and say, “I’m done.”  To say that it’s too hard to even take one more step forward.  But, I think that’s the point.  Our decision on this middle will either strengthen our faith or find us running from it instead.  It’s free will, folks.   

I choose not to say, “this too shall pass”.  No.  I don’t want to just wait for it to end.  Or to close my eyes and just hope for the best.  No.  I want to say, TAKE COURAGE.  Be strong.  And know that this middle is part of the beauty and the glory of God that makes the ending so wonderful.  I choose to praise Him while I wait, even though I am not sure of the path or the ending.

Guys, He will see you through this middle.  He has to! As I preach to myself, I say, don’t doubt the middle!  Don’t doubt what God might be doing because, as it says, He will bring IT to completion.  He has plans…big plans, so we, in the middle must pray BIG and BOLD prayers. We don’t know the end, we only see the hard work, but He and His plans WILL prevail.

The Middle.  It’s where He builds great things.

Much love,
Ashley

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