I wrote the following journal entry in January 2015. In many ways, I’m still where I was when I wrote this. Stuck in the middle, wishing for the end. But in many ways, I have grown so much from being in the middle. I have learned that even in His silence, God is still working. Even when my demons keep me awake at night, telling me I’m worthless and making me question God’s love for me, He reminds me that although I will never deserve His love He has offered it freely. Even when I am genuinely happy for my friends and classmates who get to walk the path of grad school with someone by their side, I still wonder why I’ve been left on the outside. But the truth is, I’m not alone. Jesus is the only one who has ever experienced true and complete loneliness. God turned His back on Jesus so that I would never have to experience His rejection. And today, the Sabbath day, the day between the death and resurrection, the day that God was silent, I know that He was (and is) still working. Death wasn’t the last page to the story – it was only the middle. These years are not the last page to my story – they are only the middle. And whether I get to enjoy a life-long companion to serve God with or whether I serve God on my own until the day I die, this is only the middle. And in the middle, I can still rejoice. And for those who feel stuck in the middle: I hope this will serve as an encouragement to you. God is with you, even when you can’t feel Him near. He is still working, even in the middle.
January 4, 2015, 5:54 am
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s basic story telling. Everyone loves the beginning and the end of a story. The beginning shows us the scene, what’s happening. It opens our eyes and shows us the road ahead. It’s exciting, scary, and a little bit dangerous. The end is when it’s all over. Any pain encountered has finished, the conclusion is known and all the questions are answered. No one likes the middle of a story. The uncertainties, the heartaches, and often searing pain–these have no place. We don’t want to hear the middle. We want the beginning and the end. That’s it. You can keep your middle and all its trouble and turmoil, thanks for the offer though.
When you’re reading a book, you can skip the middle part. If the story gets too sad, too painful, you can skip a couple hundred pages and read the end. Because in the end, everything is okay again. Wrongs have been made right, the pain has been erased, and the uncertainty has diminished. But you can’t skip the middle in real life. You can’t pass it up and say “thanks for the offer but I don’t want to hurt, thank you.” That’s not how it works. The middle comes whether we like it or not. And it’s going to stay for a little while. And we don’t know when it will end, when we will see the end.
I guess this is my middle. The middle to a part of my story that I wish was over. The middle that flung open my door and invited itself in to stay. The middle that is lonely, scary, and uncertain. So many times I have asked God for the middle to end. For these feelings that I am neither valuable nor desirable to subside. As if they can be turned on and off like light switches. I want sleepless nights to be no more and I want my prayers to be less sobby, less desperate. And yet night after night, day after day, here I am again: heartbroken and lonely. My heartbreak is my own fault. I’m the one telling me I won’t ever be worth the rest of someone’s life, that no one will want me. No one else is saying that but me. And so I lay here, wishing, wondering, and crying out to God. The same old tired prayers over and over again. When will it be my turn? Why do I have to be alone?
God is so faithful to remind me every night that He is in control. That I don’t need a boyfriend or a sign of some sort. I just need Him. This restless, rebel heart needs that so much nowadays. As the days plod on, as graduation gets closer, I am painfully reminded that I am a party of one. Often, I don’t mind it. It’s an adventure all its own. But also often, I wonder at all I’m missing out on. I think of what I gave up. And I remember that God is faithful but I am so weak and it’s hard to always look at Him. I can barely hold my head up. But my faithful, sovereign, Father God holds me up. He knows my tears, cherishes them. He sees me as valuable. He wants me. Me! A rebel, wretched heart who should be worth nothing to Him. But to Him, my Father God, I am more precious than gold, silver, or any jewel this world has to offer. And He loves me with a love so great I cannot fathom it.
So this is my middle. I don’t have some incredible ending to tell. I haven’t “found someone,” there’s no wedding bells in my future. I am still fighting a battle. But I’m fighting. And when I’m too weak to lift my head, much less a sword, my Heavenly Father has already been there since the beginning. And He’s holding me up. He is infusing me with strength to face another day. And the end will come. It will very likely look nothing like I’m expecting. I do not know the mind of God, nor will I ever claim to. But I know whatever the end of this part of my story is, it will be good. Because my Father is good and He gives only good gifts to His children.
I could spend my time looking forward to this gift. And in many respects, I look forward to the end with great eagerness. That mountain is going to feel so good. But right now, I’m here in the valley. In my middle. And it’s going to be okay.