Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In the Middle

Most morning I meet a friend to walk the Discovery Trail just as the sun is rising, the rain is hopefully not falling, and the day is new.

Usually, within five minutes after the big hill is over and we have breath and words to spare, one of us will start talking.  Usually, we go back and forth sharing problems, and fixing them as women are known to do.  I think it's scriptural:

 where two or more women are gathered together 
for more than three minutes 
all of life's problems will be solved, 
if only everyone else would listen."  

I think that's what it says anyway. Except probably not in the Bible. 

Either way we usually end up finding a bright spot, something to hold on to and encourage us.  But today was weird.  We left with more problems than we started with. And truly there's nothing wrong with either of us, except that right now we are both in the middle of different things.  

That rotten, blessed middle where you aren't sure if you are actually moving forward or sliding back to where your frustration started in the first place.

And I thought about that as I drove home when we were done.  In the middle of difficulty it's easy to see nothing but problems.  The tunnel we find ourselves in is at it's darkest, and your mind starts to play tricks on you.  You begin to wonder if that glimmer of light you thought you saw was a ray of hope, or if it is in fact a train hurtling towards you ready to bring about your tragic demise. We both left discouraged.


I am discouraged.  And I hate admitting that. Lest you get worried, I'm not falling into utter despair - just frustrated and unsure of what to do in one area of my life - all is not lost :)  But as to that sorry I'm keeping it vague but it's just that way it is topic, I am totally in that middle place. I wanted to throw in the towel.  

But then, a spark. 

I found hope this morning in the middle of a word.  In the middle of discouragement is Courage

In the middle of the middle of my discouragement I choose to do the courageous thing - to not lose hope.

It doesn't make the fear and frustration go away, but it helps me take one more step, pray one more prayer

Really it's those unanswered prayers that grow our faith, isn't it?  If we only ever had to pray for something once and our answer for everything came clear as day, it wouldn't require faith.  It requires faith to ask again. 

Praying lead me to thankfulness.  Thankfulness is like killex on the weeds of discouragement.

Thank you God that you are growing my faith. It takes courage to get your praise on when what you want to do is give in to the hopelessness. Thank you God that you are teaching me to be an extravagant worshiper through unanswered prayers.  I will worship because God is good, even in the middle of the middle.

And maybe in the middle of the middle that is enough.  I will do what feels courageous today and not lose hope. 

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; 
will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

What do you do to grow courage in your life?

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