Living in the Middle

Jill Uncategorized 15 Comments

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast by Paul Tripp entitled God and Surprises. It was one of those subjects that stayed with me, and I kept thinking about it long after.

In the podcast, Paul talked about a disruption in his schedule and an embarrassing line of reasoning he’d gotten caught up in.

This embarrassing line of reasoning proposes that “there is no benefit ever to the interruption of the plan. It basically says that life is not about the process. Life is only about what you get at the end of the process. This embarrassing line of reasoning basically believes that the middle—the confusing, surprising middle—has no meaning or purpose greater than being a means to the end.” 

And then Paul goes on to say: “God does some of his very best work in the middle of the process.”

That quote, that reminder, hit me square in the gut.

We can’t avoid the middle. There’s no way around it. We’re all going to have surprises and unexpected things come our way. And I want to live my happy and content even in the middle—in the midst of the bumps and the unexpected.

The start of 2022 has not gone as planned for me. My writing has been sidelined by some emergencies with our business. I feel as tired as a piece of discarded clothing tossed into a ditch. And I’m disappointed that the beginning of the year wasn’t more hit-the-ground-running successful.

It’s hard to start off the new year already behind on my goals.

And yet…through these unexpected turns of the last weeks, I have been calm. Or at least calm for me. That’s not to say I haven’t cried or complained, because I’ve certainly had those moments. But I also keep coming back to that podcast and thinking: God is in the middle. He does his best work in the middle. Trust him in the middle. God wants me to walk with him, and the rest will fall into place.

I realized that I often get sidetracked by looking for the good patch, the smooth patch, that elusive time when nothing is going wrong. (And how often does that even happen? It’s rare!) I can get caught up in saving my “happiness” for those moments. I’m waiting for the end goal to happen—the victory. But I’m not seeing the middle as living.

Until this podcast.

In the midst of the mess I was working through with our business, I tried to keep living. I went on walks on the warm days. I did my devotions. I tried to live well in the middle. And I have to say, I did notice a difference in myself and my approach to what would have derailed me in the past.

Jen Lints Photography

I hope that you’ve had a great start to the new year, but just in case things haven’t gone as planned, I hope that these ramblings of mine give you a little dash of encouragement that you’re not alone. 

Here’s to living 2022 well in the middle and the midst of surprises.

Jill Lynn

The Veteran’s Vow releases 2-22-22. Enter for a chance to win the book before it’s in stores on my news page. I’m giving away 10 copies!

The Veteran’s Vow releases 2-22-22. Enter for a chance to win the book before it’s in stores on my news page.

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  1. Patricia J Sabin

    Thank you for this email! I so needed to be reminded of this quote about the middle! God knew I needed it and you provided what God wanted shared with me! God bless!

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  2. Connie Sue Larson

    I always appreciate your thoughts, Jill. We can get so caught up in our goals that we forget life happens in the midst of them….and God is always already there to walk along with us! We are so blessed!

  3. Phyllis Anderson

    I enjoyed reading your insights about “life”! How true that we need to look for God’s presence and the blessings, even when we are in the “Middle”!

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