The Middle The Middle

Posted by Guest Blogger on January 3, 2019 in Faith, Guest Blogger, Unite, Build, Live

January brings forth a beautiful promise: new year, new you.

Resolutions are made with the best intentions for living our best life in the next year. There is anticipation for all the changes we’re going to make, only to be completely let down ten days in because we couldn’t keep up with our seemingly realistic resolutions. We meant well, but life can hit us sideways in unexpected ways and we find ourselves in the middle of who we were the year prior.

We’re left searching for the new person we’ve projected ourselves to be.

I am no stranger to the middle.

My sweet husband and I have been trying to conceive for five years now, and each failed month feels like we are closer to the beginning than the end. Middles do some pretty strange things to our hearts. They have a tendency to undo the most vulnerable parts of ourselves and leave us feeling weak, exposed, forgotten, and lost.

Maybe your middle season has nothing to do with infertility, but regardless, none of us are void of waiting. Waiting for the job promotion, next season in parenting, your marriage to be restored, that friendship to be reconciled.

Or maybe you’re waiting for the renewing of your mind and the steadfast spirit the Bible says is ours for the taking. Here we are in the middle of Genesis and Revelation and we just want to get through it with minimal bruising and brokenness.

I see the promises in the Bible for this renewing, this joy, this rest and peace and transformation, and feel stuck between working for these promises and resting in them.

I notice I am so exhausted by working for rest.

And because of the distractions placed in my path I want to throw in the towel in my own middle. I’ve stretched for things God never asked me to reach for. Instead, He simply asked for me to speak life over a hopeless situation so that He may be glorified. Speaking life over a grave can feel so ridiculous. I am no stranger to this. But how can I not grab hold of the  hope waiting on the other side of my discomfort?

Ezekiel 37 is a beautiful picture of God seeing us in the middle of the valley, in a space where provision seems lost and joy is something only for Heaven. When God asks Ezekiel if the dry bones in the valley can live, Ezekiel responds: “Lord God, only you know.”

How many times have I prayed this prayer?

“Lord, Your will be done. Only you know what can happen.”

It sounds like it’s filled with trust in His truth. But if I’m being honest it’s a weak attempt at feeling spiritual when really I just want to give in and give up. But what promise do I miss out on when I do this rather than proclaim the word of the Lord over my own middle, my dry bones?

Truths I know when my heart is weary:

  • I can receive a clean heart, a steadfast spirit, and restoration when I have a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12).
  • I will find new strength, I can run and not grow weary. (Isaiah 40:30-31).
  • I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13).
  • The Lord is fighting on my behalf. (Exodus 14:14).
  • With God, I can overcome all things. (1 John 4:4).

If God told Ezekiel to proclaim life over the dry bones in the deserted valley, I believe we are called to do the same thing. When we abide in Him and allow Scripture to soak into our own bones, they will never run dry.

There is one trick: we have to know what the Word says by spending time in God’s presence, by reading our Bible for breath rather than checking off our to-do list. I speak these verses of strength and renewal and restoration when my heart needs them the most, because I have spent time with God. He knows how my heart works and He knows what I need to be fulfilled and sustained.

And He knows the very same thing for you.

There are verses sitting there lifeless until they are spoken out by your mouth to stir up hope in your soul when you don’t know how to move forward. God opened the grave in the middle of the dry valley and He opened Joseph’s tomb for restoration and hope, and He wants to open the dead spaces in your heart and bring you into your breakthrough.

Middles can feel ugly.

Waiting for an unknown can feel impossible, and yet Luke 1:37 says “For no word from God will ever fail.” In the middle where we see dry bones, we must prophesy life. Speak God’s goodness, proclaim His power and mercy. We must speak out God’s love for us and His children. It is only in speaking life that we can truly say, “It is well with my soul.”

Because friend, it is well with your soul because the Lord in His glory will redeem the middle for you. You will see just how important the middle was for your breakthrough. Our God is a God of redemption, renewing, and reconciliation, and He is still in the business of working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Your middle does not have to be the undoing of you – proclaim those graves to open and watch for the miracles birthed. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).

Brittney Closner—Brittney Closner

Brittney is passionate for women’s ministry, writing, and all things football. Married to Jason, together they have a lab named Moose, and after five years of trying to conceive have put in their application to become foster parents. Brittney can always point you to a good book, a timely podcast, or a delicious recipe, and is often found snuggled up with coffee and a journal.

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1 comment... (add a comment)

  1. Kim Renner

    What a joy to read this post and find so much that resonated with me about my own ‘middle’, especially as the middle relates to a new year- new me thought. And yet I’m sure I’ll find myself in the middle of who I want to be (come) this new year and who I was last year, working or striving rather than resting.

    “Here we are in the middle of Genesis and Revelation and we just want to get through it with minimal bruising and brokenness.”
    and
    “Speaking life over a grave can feel so ridiculous. I am no stranger to this. But how can I not grab hold of the hope waiting on the other side of my discomfort?”

    I really appreciate how you put these thoughts together. What a blessing to my spirit!
    And then, bonus… finding out it’s you Brittney who authored this post! Made my heart smile and want to say thank you for the encouragement! You are a gifted writer!

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