Being in the middle is uncomfortable. When you’re on the outside positions, you can stretch out, you can breathe, and you can clearly see what’s going on. When you’re in the middle, your view is sometimes blocked, things feel tight, and you just want to get out of this uncomfortable space as quickly as you can.
I’m not talking about literally being stuck in the middle of two people. I’m talking about that transitional space that we sometimes occupy when we’re not where we once were and we’re not where we want to be. That transitional period that causes you to ask a lot of questions and often makes you feel like quitting seems like a better option. Are you in the middle??
When Jadyn (my pretty cool 15-year-old daughter if you’re new to my blog) was about 8 or 9 years old, she had a moment where she was definitely stuck in the middle. She started taking piano lessons when she was 5 years old. Seeing her perform “Silent Night” for her first ever recital, where she seemingly played the entire song with just one or two fingers, from this mom’s perspective, she may as well have been playing Mozart.
Over the next few years, her amazing piano teacher helped her to continue to grow her skills. I remember one day Jadyn telling me that she couldn’t wait to get to the point where she played her first song where she got to cross her hands over each other (that, apparently, from an 8-year old’s perspective, is really playing)!
One day while she was practicing her piano at home (which mind you, at this point, was having to be “forced” upon her at times), she broke down crying out of frustration because she couldn’t quite get a particular song.
In this moment, I had two choices. I could tell her it’s fine, and she didn’t have to keep playing or I could encourage her to keep going and assure her she would get it if she just kept at it (and to also let her know quitting wasn’t an option). Much to her dissatisfaction, I went with the second option.
After much frustration, she pushed through that “middle” space of feeling frustrated and stuck, and persevered to becoming a very good piano player. Although she no longer takes lessons, she will often times now just go sit at her keyboard and play on her own (no more forcing). 🙂
Often times, while pursuing our purpose, we will end up in a transitional period—a place in the middle. I’m currently living out what I’m sharing. I’m in the middle. It’s often uncomfortable, I often want to throw in the towel and just be done with the whole process. But God has revealed to me that it’s in the middle where yes, we get stretched, but it’s here where we also grow.
If you’re someone who wants to truly live out your God given purpose, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t get stuck in the middle. I can assure you that an amazing blessing awaits you just on the other side. Even though I’m not there yet, I trust God and His word, and truly believe that just on the other side, I too, will be able to play with both hands crossed over. 🙂
“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” James 1:12 MSG