Ponderings

Life in the Messy Middle

How do we hold onto hope in the messy middle of our story? How do we look at what’s not, and believe it will become what’s best? How do we look at what doesn’t exist and have faith it one day will? How do we hope against hope for the promise of good in the end?

See, there’s a story unfolding in my life right now that seems hopeless and threatens to leave me breathless in all the worst ways. It’s surprising in all the worst of ways, too. Something I never imagined I’d see. And, the enemy seeks my heart daily in the matter, though God is faithfully speaking truth over the lies. Unfortunately, I can keep agreeing with the worst instead of hoping in the best.

And my faith… it can weaken and waiver like that all too often throughout a day.

But, this life of faith is kinda like that. A daily battle with an eternal victory. See, we are daily in some middle part of the story, right? Be it a good, great, awesome, boring, bad, or just plain awful part. Because all of life is basically lived in the middle… or in what I like to call, The Now and The Not Yet. And, though I didn’t make up the phrase, it captures perfectly this life of faith on earth. In Jesus, if we take Him at His Word, we see all that will be ours in “The Not Yet”. We know there’s a glorious eternity to be lived in His presence, absent of all that is messy or painful or downright frightening here in the middle. So, we live out the now — in both the wonder and messiness that comes our way — in light of the beautiful hope of what’s to come for all eternity.

Though, for longer than I care to admit, I’ve gotten seriously stuck in the mire of all the daily messiness and sometimes can forget — or, sadly, never even care — about that glorious eternity. And, honestly, how that mucky mess could bind me all up or send me into a full retreat. How I could essentially quit living out a day or string of days or months or even years, hoping for the mess to clear up so I could live happily ever after… all because I lacked a fundamental understanding of the most important thing…

Life. Is. NOW.

See, that breath you just took is all you really have. And, Jesus not only gave that breath, but if He is your savior, He expects you’ll receive it as grace from His loving hands. And, most importantly, The Holy Spirit is doing both the living and breathing through you, so resting in that grace is actually life. And, I don’t really know a better way to say it, so will head straight to scripture here: In Jesus, we have died and so no longer live. (Rom 6:8) The life we now live, we live through Him. (Rom 6:4) And, our lives are hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:3)

And so our lives are not just now, they are also HIS. Now.

But, sadly, I had to learn this truth the hard way. I wasted many years not yielding to a life lived in Him. A life surrendered to Him and lived through Him. I pray it’s different for you. See, Jesus doesn’t just come alongside to cheer us on while we keep doing our own thing and living out our own plan. That’s not the idea. That’s not the way it works. Through The Holy Spirit, He actually lives His life in us. In every way, we are changed and our lives are now His. It may not feel like it, but this is the case, nonetheless. So, resting in His grace received for this day… breathing in the breath of life that is His for this day, while trusting in His Sovereign plan just for you this very day, is how we get through any and all of the muck, mire, and mess we so often find in all these days lived in the middle.

It’s what gets you through that very mess that still creeps up on you after all these years. Or through his mess that sends you into panic and worry and fear. Or through her mess that spills out all over you. Or through their mess that embarrasses, overwhelms, or makes you want to withdraw. Or through the mess of a marriage that isn’t what it should be… that mess of a child who isn’t what they could be… that mess of a relationship that isn’t how it’s supposed to be… the mess of this life that isn’t what you hoped it’d be. Yes, in all this, we still receive a grace to live today, as long as it’s called today. And, we can choose to grasp that grace with everything we have, or barely lift a finger in its direction. We can choose to believe in the gentle whisper of our Good and Gracious God or the lies of the darkness hissed in the bleakest hour. But, whatever we do, we breathe through it all because that’s living in grace for the day.

And, when my faith is too weak and I can’t seem to grasp hold of even a scrap of it to believe any good can come from this bad in front of me. When it simply continues to look a mess to me regardless of how hard I try to find the faith to see it differently. When I can’t trust that this current view won’t become even worse and produce an irreparable domino effect until there’s nothing left to rebuild (because I just possess that much of a doomsday prepper mentality when it comes to potentially scary scenarios)…

I. Can. Still. Breathe.

And that breath is a battle cry. It is life in the face of death. It is defiance in the face of defeat. Each breath says, “I can’t, but God can!” It says, “I may not, but God will!” It says, “I am not, but the great I AM, IS!”

And, with each breath of His Grace I grow stronger and choose to recall no mess ever looks the same way to my God. Not ever. He sees something very different. He majors in messes and works them into miracles and then transforms them into messages. Ones of hope and strength and courage. Because, on behalf of His own, He is constantly at work. Darkness is but light to Him and no one is beyond His redemptive reach. He rejoices in reconciliation and will not stop until all things are reconciled to Himself. He works on behalf of those who wait in fear and hope upon Him. He binds up the broken-hearted and He sets captives free. He looses the chains of injustice and He protects with His wings. Yes, with an outstretched arm and mighty hand, He finds His own and saves His own and carries His own.

Because, He. Owns. His. Very. Own.

And yet… when I still can’t find the faith to grasp hope in the messy middle, He is there even still. And even just the same and all the more. He is The One to stand and declare that the battle is not mine, but His. He is The One who called and is faithful and will do it. He is The One that will complete the work He began. A simple glance His way, or a graze of His robe, or a whisper of His name, with barely a breath in my lungs, can spring up a well of hope, which grasps hold of faith for another second. And then another breath. And another second. Another breath. Then a minute. Then an hour. Then a day until I’m breathing His Grace in all the days that make up the middle.

And, so even if we get stuck and can’t move forward, we can stand still and breathe in grace. And, even if we can’t stand, we can sing, breathing in and breathing out grace. And even if we can’t sing, we can say, through even the most suffocating sob or terrified tirade or faintest of whisper, “Jesus, I believe; but help my unbelief.” And, you can breathe… in and out and in and out…

Jesus…” {breathe} “Jesus…” {breathe} “Jesus…” {breathe}

Because, my Sweetest Friend, when the middle of this story isn’t at all what we think we’d write, we just have to find the breath to whisper that One Name that has our name written on the palm of His hand. Then breathe in the grace for this moment, knowing that it’s His breath for this one day. His Life for our NOW. Because, that is enough. That can be enough… for this moment and for the million more to come in the messy, but beautiful, middle of our story.

 

More scripture to ponder:

Deuteronomy 10:14, 26:8; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Psalm 24:1, 89:11, 91:4, 136: 12, 139:12, 147:3; Isaiah 58:6, 61:1, 64:4; Mark 9:23-25; Luke 4:18; Acts 2:21, Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, Ephesians 2:16, Colossians 1:20-21

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Life in the Messy Middle”

  1. I will carry these words “stand and breath in grace” with me now. Your words are so powerful and my favorite book in the Bible is Romans! You have a great gift Kacy! Thank you for putting your heart in each and every single post! Your talent shines!

    Like

  2. “A daily battle with an eternal victory.” ❤️ I love this post. Thank you so much for uplifting all of us. Just knowing that we’re not the only one facing these feelings is huge! Recently, this verse has been really grounding for me and I think it applies here, too.

    if we are faithless, he remains faithful,
    for he cannot disown himself
    2 Tim 2:13

    Not that your faithless,of course! But if you were… And when you feel like you should be stronger… He still is!
    🌸❤️🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely love this! I’d been trying to get to my Bible all day, and diving into the ‘Scriptures to Ponder’ was just what I needed to connect with my Savior today. Thank you Kacy! Keep ’em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had my own struggles in trusting Him and his plan. I have cried and yelled at him rather than asking for Him and his support. It’s somehow a blessing to see that I am not the only one that has struggled with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It truly is! I struggle all the time with thinking I’m the only one that has issues, so I’m all about sharing them with the hopes it will encourage others to not feel alone in theirs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is probably one of the best blog posts I have read in a while! You have made me feel better about abiding with the Holy Spirit in my middle of my story! Or, I should say … through my middle of His story! Thank you so much for your encouragement! I look forward to reading many more of your writings! ❤

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    1. Humbled by your words and grateful God used these to encourage you ❤ I'm also giggling a bit because I was just over on your site commenting on your "Tune my Heart to Sing Thy Grace" post and I ended the same way you did here 😉 God also has a sense of humor!

      Like

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