Enjoy this devotional written by a FlourishWriter’s Student…
The deep sigh, the silent tension, the soft whisper. This comes from being caught in the middle, once again, of my heart and mind where my emotions run wild. The middle of two lifespans are expected but take you to the unexpected. I call it the circle of life or the process of motherhood when the strings of my heart draw on tension between two opposite points. I want to freeze these familiar moments and hold them forever, alongside an unknown experience that promises growth and requires me to let go.
Twelve years ago, my firstborn was welcomed into the world. His birthday made me a mama. His arrival taught me how to hold a human being close. The heartbeat inside me was now beating on the outside. In that invigorating, magical moment when my eyes locked his and his whole body was balanced by the rhythm of my heartbeat, I recognized my most precious possession. Holding him in my arms was a miracle, a memorable moment that has not escaped my mind and has marked the start of many more “messy middle” moments.
I am mama to a baby boy, an innocent baby becoming aware and adjusting to the cold world. I see a warrior rising, a daring and determined boy becoming more. This transition from childhood to adulthood happens gradually. Here I sit in the “messy middle,” becoming a mama of an adolescent boy. I want time to keep moving so I can see everything he will accomplish, but I also want him to stay my baby forever. I went from nursing my baby to feeding him a slab of New York steak. How can this be? A baby bottle formed a milk mustache, only to become a Starbucks caramel macchiato that settles on his peach fuzz mustache, catching the last drop of his savory drink.
How does my heart handle and reconcile the past, present, and future?To let go but hold tight. To go from here to there. The soft whisper in my ear says, “God is in the process, and the gift is in the middle.” I am not today who I once was, and I will not be tomorrow who I am today.
Hiding from these emotions is no longer an option. Grace rescues me, and the eyes of my heart open to truth. Funny how it works—my heart gained feet before the eyes of my heart were opened. I had allowed my emotions to run the show. Walking my son into adolescence brings powerful emotion, not only because of moments left behind, but because I am losing control. When I say my heart gained feet, I mean things are moving outside of my control without my permission. God is scripting my boy’s story over His story beyond my control. The circle of life is on purpose and for a purpose—God is the only author and designer of each story.
I prayed some and then some more and found a precious story in the Bible. The Walk to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-34 describes the risen Christ who travels from Jerusalem to walk alongside two grieving disciples. The two men know of the woman at the empty tomb, but they fail to recognize the teacher’s miracle until he joins them for a meal. I see myself in this story. My boy is growing. With the eyes of my heart now open, this story shows me what to do in the middle.
In Luke 24, we see that Christ gets people up and moving. After Jesus reveals himself, the disciples rush back to Jerusalem with fervor. You see, caught in the middle is real and hard, yet tension rests and our choices are simple. Embrace God and turn to Him for truth. Let him become your bridge to thrive. The alternative is to exclude God and seek control, building walls around your own kingdom.
If we turn to Jesus and embrace the gift of the moment, a little fire of hope ignites in the “messy middle.” If we turn to Jesus and surrender the path forward, an expansive fire of trust sets our hearts ablaze for another way, a better way.
Jesus shows up in the most unexpected places—in the middle of the road with the two grieving disciples and in the middle of my joy and grief as I watch my boy grow and enter the unknown. I embrace the process and make a bridge, entrusting my son to God. When my son turned twelve, I handed over his life to God. A soft whisper became my loud praise, “God is in the process and the gift is in the middle.”
Be encouraged that our children are His workmanship. He has already prepared in advance for their good works. The will of God is bigger and better than we could ever imagine or design on our own. When you find yourself in the middle, surrender your feelings and tensions to the truth of the living God.
Paul says it best in Ephesians 2:10, “We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned our destiny in advance and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” (The Passion Translation)
When a piece of your heart walks apart from you, invite Jesus to meet you in the middle of this messy adventure called life. I encourage you to trust Him and open the eyes of your heart to see Him fulfill your destiny and the destiny of those you love.
Erika is the wife of one adventurous warrior for 15 years, mama to 4 kingdom arrows (ages 3-12), Procter and Gamble manager for 17 years, and ambassador of truth and grace to many hermanas(os).
Above all, a daughter of the most high King made on purpose, for a purpose. She was born into a family with hard-working, Mexican immigrant parents who settled in the Chicago area where she was raised. She lived in Cincinnati, OH for 15 years and has been in Cape Girardeau, MO for 3 years.
She serves as the A&F Business Administrator and is passionate about creating kingdom warriors everywhere she serves.