For the One in the Messy Middle

Two years ago, my family spent week after week sitting in waiting rooms and hoping for answers. Two years ago, just a few hours before the light of Easter morning began to stretch across the sky, my phone lit up with one of the worst text messages of my life.

Exactly one year prior, on the greatest In Between day, I began writing Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between. At the time, I thought it was a blog post in the making. But those words about darkness and difficult seasons, about looking for the light and finding God’s goodness in every storyline and every in between? Those words became a book. And one year later, with my phone and my book in front of me, I wrestled.

I was tired of waiting rooms, of the unknown, of sorrow and sickness. I wanted Sunday.

For the one in the messy middle...

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With Easter approaching, I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking about those three important days on the church calendar.

Good Friday: The darkest and most horrific day in history.
Saturday: The in between of silence, doubt and confusion.
Sunday: The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of promises-kept, the reason we call Friday “Good.”

The more I reflect on these days, the more I find myself attaching times or seasons of my life with each one.

A brain tumor diagnosis at seventeen? Good Friday.

Being declared cancer-free? Sunday.

Spiritual warfare and depression? Good Friday.

Seeing a relationship reconcile after four years of seemingly unanswered prayers? Sunday.

But most of the time, I’m living in Saturday. I’m desperately holding onto what I believe to be true and I have faith that He will remain faithful, and yet life feels chaotic. Hearts break and loved ones leave and sometimes it seems like darkness gets the final word.

We know that our Savior is victorious but even still, Saturday exists.

There is silence. There is confusion. There is weeping and we are full of questions because everything has changed so very unexpectedly. What then? Where do we turn in the in between? What do we do when life doesn’t look like what we expected or hoped for?

I want to be a woman who chooses “even if” instead of “what if.”

Because most of us, if we were truly honest, would say that we are the Saturday people.

Friday holds sorrow and Sunday holds joy and here we are, living life somewhere in between.

It’s easy for us to skip Saturday when we think of Easter, to gloss over and hurry through to resurrection. We know Sunday is coming and so we’re eager to turn the page. But they didn’t know, and to them the story was simply . . . over.

Saturday morning dawns and Jesus is still in the grave. All traces of hope are replaced with doubt and shame, guilt and grief.

It’s more comfortable to skim over Saturday and move on to bright colors and hands raised, to worship songs and “He is risen” declarations. But there’s a miracle in the middle, a truth we miss when we rush through.

God is with us in our waiting, working all things for our good and His glory.

When time stood still and the Messiah took one final breath, the story didn’t end — a page simply turned.

They hid in an upper room, not realizing they were actually in a waiting room. Sunday was already on the way.

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Saturday teaches us to wait while clinging to hope when all seems lost. Saturday reminds us to gather together and look for the light. It’s in the Saturday seasons that we discover even when everything feels like it’s falling apart and our world is spinning mad, He is present and He is holding us together.

He is the God of the Already’s even when we’re in the thick of it. He is power and promise, good and gracious, mighty and merciful.

He is the God of the Already’s even when we’re in the thick of it. He is power and promise, good and gracious, mighty and merciful.

I knew it. I believed it in my bones. And yet my phone sat atop my book, the screen glowing with an update that challenged me (invited me?) to say it once again.

And so I did the only thing I knew to do — I lit a candle to defy the darkness, and then I reached for a piece of a paper and a pen. Tears splattered down and smeared the ink, but I kept writing until I really and truly meant it.

Even if not. Even if not. Even if not.

In the in between, in the middle of the story, I want to be a woman who chooses “even if” instead of “what if.”

And so I filled the page while I waited for Sunday to come.

Because the glorious truth is, it always always does.

If you’re walking through a Saturday season, this is what I’m praying over you and for you today:

Lord, may we be faithful in this in between as You have been faithful to us in every season. Thank You for coming for us, choosing to walk with us, and promising to return again. In the dead of night, You slipped into the world You made. You stepped into the darkness and promised to be the Light. In every in between, as we live with questions and trust that You’re the answer, help us keep our eyes on You. Teach us to choose “even if” instead of “what if.” We love You and we wait with hope, believing that You are ever with us and You do not make mistakes. Sunday is already on the way.

A prayer for the one in the mess middle

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