In the middle – how do you navigate when unsure? We all live in the middle at different times. What is the middle? I’m defining the middle as that time when you are starting something but not close to succeeding; when every step is filled with excitement and uncertainty. In the middle of parenting is when you’re in the season that feels full. Constantly on the go, and not enough space to contemplate you. In the middle of the teen years – this is where I’m at now. I’m living in the middle. I think because I was a teen I have an idea of what to do. Wrong! My teens are not like me. Some are so far from me I can’t even scream it.
In the middle, how do you let your teen know you love them fiercely, but at the same time, guide them and let them know that the choices they are making are not smart? How do you watch them grasp for friends, seeing more than they can, and letting them do it anyway? It hurts, in the middle. As I reflect, aren’t we always in the middle? Isn’t life the middle? Aren’t some of the best parts of life when we are in the waiting season?
You do leave the middle and then you venture back in. Time does that. I remember being in the middle of college years. Hoping, wanting, pushing and believing I would craft a great career in the broadcast arena. How ridiculous that seems now. My personality and TV are not a fit. However, I think I could have been a fairly good producer or director. I just didn’t believe it fully and life happens.
When you’re married, you have another person to consider. He had serious health problems and his career was in the middle at the time. Sacrificing my career so his can flourish is something that I did without thought. I knew he would take care of me and I knew I would take care of him. That’s how it works in the middle: trust and grit. Just move and do your best.
My broadcast career never went anywhere, but I did get opportunities to write. In the midst of my writing career, a switch flipped, and I wanted to be a mom. And boy did that trump my career aspirations! If asked, what my future would be, in a heartbeat, I would say Mom.
I wanted motherhood so badly. But for me, motherhood did not come easy. I had to work at it. We had to fight through it. We had to cry, grieve, get up, try again, and change course. It was exhausting. It was my first experience where I didn’t own control. Infertility doesn’t care about goals. I could set as many goals as I wanted, work diligently at achieving them, but in the end, it wasn’t up to me. God is in control, and He had to pound it into my head. Believe me I tried everything I could to control it, but I couldn’t. I had to trust God.
That was a middle I ached in pain. Three years we pressed through that. Finally, after failed IVF and thousands of dollars fleeing are already minuscule bank account, we realized that pregnancy might not be for us. We chose adoption. It didn’t just happen. It’s a process: a process of grief, acceptance, soul searching, and love. It’s a process of praying, forgiving, opening up to a new path, and forging forward unknown.
God used that middle, in the waiting time, to force me to trust him. To show me I can’t control everything. If I push against God, it isn’t pleasant. Believe me, I wish I learned that lesson right then, but I was stubborn and I really like control. I had to go through heartache and serious sin to come out on the other side. Pain multiplied by a thousand.
God’s way, even when you don’t think it is good, even when you wish for something else, is always better. It’s easier, and produces fruit. My way, stubbornly ignoring God, is filled with pain. Mind you, in the midst, he forgives you and loves you anyway. He blesses you despite the miserable sin, but it hurts. And in my case, will always hurt. But I so clearly see the blessing.
Here I am in the middle again. Waiting … and my ability to control this is limited, if not vanished. I need to trust God. I need to forge through, and do so in joy. Knowing He is stronger than my greatest weakness. I seriously might fall flat on my face, but I won’t fall forever. It will be a stumbling block that will draw me closer to him.
How do we push through the waiting? How do we stay positive in the waiting? I really don’t like the waiting. It is hard. It is smeared with dirt and grime. It takes grit to stay the course. I really don’t like the waiting. But it’s in the waiting, in the middle, when some of the biggest breakthroughs emerge. It’s through the pushing, the crying, the falling and rising, that we gain the knowledge we didn’t have before.
I want my podcast to help those in the waiting. Waiting for the baby, waiting for the teenager to come back, waiting for the person you love who is an addict to wake up and seek help. It’s in the waiting that true relationship with our creator sets solid foundation to our character. It isn’t pleasant, but it is fruitful. Failure often teaches us the best life lessons. Pain, emotional or physical, are great motivators to look and seek a path out.
It is in the seeking that we find our best. Sometimes it isn’t the best we thought we would find. It’s a new best. The verse in Jeremiah 33:3 says it best: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” To get the wisdom of the great and hidden things, we often have to go through the waiting. We are in the struggle and when we call out to God, we get the knowledge that we didn’t expect. We see the blessing that we didn’t acknowledge. We see the gifts of our imperfection.
May our souls stay steadfast and courageous in the middle, so we can find the blessing that is right in front of us that we do not yet see. It’s there. I know it is. I will wait and my eyes will be opened. He’s in the waiting. He’s in the middle, right now. Hold on… blessing awaits!