I recently told a younger friend to buckle in because adulthood was basically one long, exhausting existential crisis.
Most days, I feel that in my bones. (Probably don’t come to me for encouraging life advice on those days . . . )
I don’t know if you get tired of hearing about my faith questions, about my tantrums and tear fests when it comes to the waiting. About unmet (and perhaps unrealistic) expectations. About unrealized potential. About the unending desire to be, do, accomplish, mean *more*.
I imagine that you can’t be any more tired of hearing it than I am of living it. I’ve put pen to paper numerous times only to shrink back and think, “It’s time for a new narrative. They keep hearing the same stuff from me.”
But maybe it’s necessary. This is the middle–the mundane messy bits squeezed between the terrifying beginning and the bittersweet end of a season.
Maybe it’s not about providing a new narrative, a fresh perspective, or a miraculous ending. Maybe it’s about sitting in the middle and not answering to the anxiety that says it isn’t enough.
Maybe it’s about the faithfulness it takes to tightly hang onto Jesus when there’s nothing to write home about.
Hear me out: we live in a culture that seems to thrive on big moments. All it takes is one viral video and your face can be known across the world. In a society where success seems to happen literally overnight, the concept of sitting in the tension of an uneventful middle is nearly lost on us.
We want to start nonprofits from our basements and write memoirs at the ripe old age of sixteen. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; Paul tells Timothy not to let anyone despise him because of his youth, but to be an example (1 Timothy 4:12). Please hear me when I say that I believe young people have the creativity, courage, and commitment to change the world.
But what about the eighteen-year-old who still doesn’t know what she wants the next ten years of her life to look like? What about the forty-year-old who just goes to his simple job from day to day and loves his family well? What about the high percentage of people who live regular, quiet lives of strong faith?
Though the world screams that these big moments of success–these newsworthy and book-worthy lives–are the ultimate goal, I want to challenge that.
Being faithful when Heaven seems still on your behalf is hard. But the mundane messy bits of the middle? That’s where you truly become who God asks you to be.
I know, I know. Eye roll. Gag me with a spoon. I don’t want character, Courtney. I want to accomplish something.
I get it. I do. But this is our one blessed shot at life and if the only thing we ever accomplish is hearing, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant,” I’m inclined to believe we did well.
So this is me, showing up and being faithful in the middle. Writing when it doesn’t look the way I imagined. Loving God when I feel stuck in a season I want to rush, but don’t feel ready to leave. Trusting the desires of my heart to His steady hand even when I can’t catch a glimpse of ever attaining them.
Can I ask you to consider what showing up and being faithful in the middle will look like for you?