Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Middle Place

There's beauty in the middle place, isn't there?

It's not the beginning.  The beginning where you think that you have it all figured out but inside are terrified because you don't KNOW.  And all I can remember about the beginning is wanting to KNOW.  I wanted to KNOW so many things - all those things of where am I going to go to college?   what job will I have?  will I EVER get married?  what about kids?  where will I live?  who will I be? who will love me?  who the heck am I?  It's almost as if there is TOO much possibility at the beginning and not enough knowing.

The middle is the space in time when you get to look back at how far you have come, where God placed you and why it has worked and led you to the now of your life.  Or maybe it's that you placed yourself somewhere and God worked through that and you arrived where you are now.  No matter.  Now you can look back and see the shaping and molding of who you are now - the crushing times, the carving times but also the first steps and the first wins that led to NOW.

NOW being the middle place.  Not middle aged quite yet..............but no longer are you YOUNG to anyone but your parents or the little old ladies in grocery stores that smile while staring longingly after you and your parade of children.

NOW is the space where you allow for a bit of now knowing because you have the ability to look back and know that all is temporary and shifting and that life is predictable only in that it is completely unpredictable.

NOW is knowing it's not forever and so you treasure it a bit more rather than wishing it away for what comes next.

NOW is relaxing into who you are a bit more rather than chasing after who it is you want to be.

NOW is a narrowing of the options, a refining of what your life is to be, what matters most.

NOW is knowing you don't have it altogether but not EXPECTING to have it all together.

NOW is a bit of perspective.

But, perhaps even more exciting, still there is the space and place that is to COME.  Because you are in the middle you realize that the now of your life is good and important but it's still a building block, a step for what's to come.  You still get to dream and imagine what's next and you get to be a part of it all.  And NOW you know that there will be crushing and carving and hard stuff but there will also be the wins and the PHEW I made it and I made it BIG moments of life.

So tonight I allow myself a look back............a look back at my plans, my ideas of what NOW was going to look like, my uncertainty, my dreams and my fears.   And I can't help but think I can't imagine my NOW without YOU.

You being Jesus who saved me, who loves me, who never leaves me, who counters every question/doubt/insecurity with the FORCE of His love and mercy.

You being Joe who loves me for exactly who I am, who gives me space, who saves me from myself even when I am kicking and screaming and wanting to DO IT ALL BY MYSELF.

You being Liga who sees me in such a better light than I ever see myself, who loves my kids, who loves me, who will continue to give and give and give because her heart is compelled to such a life.

You being Jason and Suzi who see me not as I am but as I could/can be, who because they trust me I learn to trust myself, who never seem to tire of my thoughts and questions and ideas.

You being Ashley who is always a phone call away, always waiting to hear another story, always remembering to ask after my family, how do you still know me after one year together and more apart?

You being OH MY WORD my crazy, crazy brother who knows me more than anyone because of a shared history, a shared language, shared years together..........what would I EVER do without you?

And oh my there are so many YOUs and maybe that's the part of the NOW that I treasure most - this ragtag community pulled from the many different spaces and places of my life.  Maybe it's not so much the perspective, the early buds of wisdom, the being ok with not knowing..........maybe it's that it's easier not to know when surrounded by YOU.

So glad to be sharing the middle place with YOU.

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