Chartering the Middle

2012 Sailing 4

I am in the middle….
At my age it’s sometimes referred to as a crisis but I am choosing to view it as being in the beautiful process of becoming.

Which means I am the same as you even though I am different.
I read a lot of blogs written by younger women. I am constantly in awe of their wisdom and I am always learning from their stories and Godly perceptions. My life and writing has benefited greatly from them and their encouragement. I open my computer often and eagerly to learn from their lives and divine insights. Even though I am currently in a different life stage to most of them, I understand the framework of their stories because I have been a Mum of younger kids. My present life, however, is not like theirs and sometimes reading their stories makes me feel I am stuck, that I have had my usefulness and purpose, that new life will never come, that change will never really break into my life.

Oh I know the truth of what Jesus says about me and I know I am of value even in this season of being still. Yet the doubt persists.
I don’t think any of us really understand what “the story is about” when we are in the midst of it. When my kids were little and in a ‘enervating phase’ people would say: “this too shall pass“. But the problem with the middle is the daily battle with the fear that tomorrow will be just like today, that there is no defense against the despair of the endless or sameness of life. It seems to me that, for many women, without Hope, their created purpose is replaced with a deep sense of emptiness and lack of clear direction. The question “what next“? ….too terrible to contemplate.

Women of my age and stage are talking about this process and the confusion they are feeling in this part of their journey. I’ve been listening, and it seems they are surprised by the this ‘middle’ life and their emotions of restlessness, sadness and discontent. Life feels like it’s on hold but that they don’t know how to move forward. There is just the daily battle against loneliness. It seems almost impossible for these women of strength and courage to find words to say how deeply empty they feel. They feel ashamed of these emotions and talk about them only in whispers with a façade of polite words that cover the bewildering and painful places they find themselves.

I can relate and won’t lie, even with a life anchored on Jesus I have find myself in a disconcerting middle place right now. Sharing my emotions and connecting deeply with people around me is challenging as it feels like there is a thick pane of glass separating me from the rest of the world, isolating and deadening everything. My current middle is all about life after kids and ministry, but I wonder if the principle is the same when you find yourself stuck in a life you just wish would move on, when there is no end in sight for the pain or the burden….

It has me thinking if – by not talking about our struggles in the ‘middle’ of whatever situation we find ourselves in – we deny ourselves opportunities for community and permission to learn and experience a personal heavenly touch?

2012 Sailing 2