The middle. Not many want to go there.

Most of us prefer being shot out of our starting blocks for a new adventure. Or rounding the corner to see the finish line with high fives from close friends. It’s the moment we wait for. At the finish we know that the sweat, the mind games, the times we thought it would never happen were well worth it. We finally hear well done.

The middle is the part most us don’t want to talk about. It’s not glamorous. It’s hard.

The middle is the reason most don’t finish.

But the middle is the secret to the joy that seems to elude us.

This is where love is born. . . right in the middle.

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. {Romans 5:2-5}

Are you in the middle? Worn out? Wondering where you’re going to get that last bit of perseverance you need?

You wonder if this is really worth it.

And joy? Yea, right. That seems like a long lost friend that deserted you at the last pit stop on this long journey.

I have good news.

You’re in the middle. {Sometimes knowing exactly where you are on your God-sized adventure helps. It’s not that you’re in the wrong place, it’s just called the middle and it’s not what you thought it would be. So don’t turn around or give up.}

Since I’m in the last 7 weeks of my pregnancy {a journey with a very long middle - 7 years of waiting and hoping!} I seem to find spiritual analogies every day I watch my baby belly grow.  And during this special time, I have learned a secret about labor and delivery – transition.

The transition is the time between the first stage of labor when contractions start and the second stage where I’ll begin to push her into the world.

During the first stage of labor there is excitement. “We’re going to have a baby! It’s really happening.”  The waiting is over and relief is on the way for a tired mama body that’s about to pop. The contractions begin. It’s time for her to come into the world.

My body will go into a mode it is was created for.

The contractions and first stage of labor can last a few hours to almost a day. Then there is a time of transition to second stage. The transition is where most women want to give up. They say ‘It’s too hard. I don’t want to do this. It hurts too bad.’  Crying, emotional meltdowns and even confusion can occur.

The transition is where I will be truly tested. It happens with every birth. {Whether you’re birthing something in the physical or spiritual realm, there will be a transition.}

What follows is the second stage of labor when I will push my baby into the world.

Without the transition, the birth won’t happen. But the transition will always happen. And is needed.

Our birth class instructor shared this insight, ‘If you’re prepared for what the transition looks like, then you won’t be freaked out. You’ll also be aware that you’re entering the second stage and about to meet your child. This isn’t the time to give up. It’s a time to celebrate since you’re almost there!”

Maybe you’ve been laboring for months, maybe years, and feel like you’re getting nowhere. The process is getting harder. The promise looks like a mirage. The doubts of the miracle promised seem more real than going through the pain of getting to the other side. Remember you’re in transition and the break through is about to take place.

It’s time to celebrate. You’re almost there!

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {Hebrews 12:2}

What are you pushing through for the joy set before you? Please don’t give up.

The special love you bring into the world is worth it.

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  1. 1

    Well, well said. I journaled part of it!!

  2. 2

    Thank you for that analogy which is a reminder to me about my own circumstances. The Lord used the birthing/fullness of time analogy with m several months ago to help me understand the spiritual and emotional process I’m going through takes time. I feel like I may be in that transition time because I’ve come to the point of just being ready to give up. Blessings to you.

  3. 3

    Needed to hear that tonight. As I was over here feeling sorry for myself and the hard days we are having. Yes, we are going to have a BREAKTHROUGH!!!

  4. 4

    I got up this morning and whispered, “God you HAVE to show me what to do!” You just described to perfection everything I am feeling, including the “…this just isn’t worth it!” I kept thinking, ” there isn’t supposed to be this much pain… it isn’t supposed to be this hard.” Oh, thank you for this. I was desperate for this today. I will dry my eyes, get back on my knees, and keep praying and believing. (this one goes in my journal, too.) Thank you.

  5. 5

    This is what I needed to hear today. After being stuck in an abusive cycle with my mother I finally cut free a week ago. I’m now on that middle ground a mixture of relief but sadness for the dream I tried to hold on to. I will move forward in the freedom I deserve.

  6. 6
    Ruth Ann Gibbs says:

    Enjoyed your comments, especially since I am a retired OB nurse who has helped many a patient “push” their little bundle from heaven out into the world… it is such a beautiful and wonderful time…even with the pain of contractions!! God Bless you when you experience your labor and delivery. Blessings

  7. 7

    Thank you so much for this encouraging word! I truly needed it today. I have been going through the transition period for quite a few years now and have come to the point recently of just feeling like giving up. Feeling like I am too weary to continue on. Feeling like it’s just too hard. I am taking one day at a time as I wait for the breakthrough that will eventually come, and pushing through for the joy set before me.

  8. 8

    Thank you

  9. 9
    Serving overseas says:

    I am in the last year of my master’s in nursing, sitting here studying for a test that seems impossible, asking God why He wants me to do this. I heard my email “ding” and there you were with an encouraging word. Thank you.

  10. 10
    Natasha says:

    Reading this made me have a real ‘a-ha, ok, I see…’ moment, a bit like consulting a map, one that I needed to look at, just right now, today, in order to get my bearings. As my ‘pushing through the middle’ experience is that of trying to get my Antenatal Workshops up and running, this piece chimes so perfectly with the terrain of my life at the moment. I’m in transition and it’s ok, it’s where I’m meant to be. I’ve just got to keep moving forward in spirit and truth, into 2nd stage. :)
    x Natasha, England

  11. 11

    I was feeling so far from hope…until I read this. Thank you!!!
    :-)

  12. 12

    Thank-you so much for this very encouraging post.

    Blessings to you and all the best of health to both you and the baby.

    Penny

  13. 13

    WOW….you just don’t know how much what you said means to me personally! I am about to transition into a new life myself. The analogy of birthing a new life I’ve used many times before….this has been a long process and I’m about to move forward and want to just stop because it’s just too hard….and not push through…..I need to visualize the future so I don’t freak out…..I need to Trust Jesus to get me there….He is able! Blessings to you on your birthing process….I’m going to celebrate…..I know that you will too!

  14. 14

    I loved your word pictures and your analogy of pushing through the middle. As a “middle aged” woman, I have been pushing through for many years. There have been many highs and many lows, but the lows have built perseverance and reliance on God. Ultimately God is concerned about growing our character, not how fast we win the race. I encourage your readers to keep pushing through until they receive that crown of life and hear the words, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
    Blessings,
    Bev

  15. 15
    cindy miller says:

    thank you,I’ve been in the middle so long,this has helped ,so much

  16. 16

    Thanks so much Stephanie. This is life-saving.

  17. 17
    Cathy Chamberlain says:

    What a great post. The middle is sometimes a hard place to be in.

  18. 18

    Lots of “middles” going on for us right now. Thanks for the encouragement. :-) Being in the middle may not be exciting but it’s where the lessons are learned for sure.

    Ahh, transition…you know what I did during transition while in labor with my second baby? I threatened to bite my husband’s arm! LOL I kind of lost my mind a little bit.

  19. 19
    Marjorie says:

    Thanks STEPHANIE for this needful encouragement. Just returned from intercessory prayer meeting where I was the only one in the prayer room. Prayed for a bit and left. Driving home I was thinking why is all this going on with me? (There’s a lot more) Just feeling there is no one to hear me except God and it should be okay but sometimes I need a living breathing human being to share my thoughts with. So this forum is a God sent for us to come and be encouraged and also see that we are not crazy, there are others out there that are in the MIDDLE also. Thanks ladies for your honesty, all us MIDDLERS are going to be just fine. Blessings ALL.

  20. 20

    Thank you! I’ve been stuck in the middle for so long and you brought a whole new perspective and much encouragement.

  21. 21

    Like your Scripture references from Hebrews 12:2…when I’m looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, it helps to give me His wide-angle view of my life…I’m always in the middle until I see Him face-to-Face…

  22. 22
    Beth Williams says:

    Stephanie,

    Feel like I’m stuck–not just in the middle, but stuck in a go nowhere job. People are good to work with and benefits are good also–so on with it I shall go.

    Thanks for an uplifting post!

  23. 23

    thank you so much for talking about the “middle.” Yes, it gets hot and boring and tiring when you’re in that spot so I thank you so much for the pep talk to keep me going.

  24. 24

    Oh wow…. this was wonderful to read today. Reminding me of a song called ‘Hold’n On’ by Grace Williams. In the next few days I will be coming against Goliath and I am asking for prayers for strength and wisdom, but more importantly to know that all that I have endured these past few years in pain and alot of tears will now be something that I am going to face. Not knowing where this will take me, but knowing that I can trust in the Lord for strength and wisdom and that He will lead and guide me. Transition will come, the day over, but I will press on and move forward knowing that with God all things are possible. Thank you again for your encouragement to us who are in the middle of many circumstances. Giving God all the praise!

  25. 25

    EXCELLENT POST!

  26. 26

    I SO appreciated reading this, Stephanie! Super encouraging! I’m in “the middle” of writing a book. And it definitely is feeling middle-ish.

    So thank you. Needed this. :)

  27. 27

    I’m in the Senior Age Bracket and another “middler” due to financial problems. I have a small online business and spend a lot of time procrastinating, instead of doing the hard yakka I need to do to make it bring in some more cash.
    Some days I just want to crawl under the doona – some days I do, as I can’t see the end of the journey.
    I know my Lord knows the end and when it will happen, but at times I have my self-pity parties and want the end to be now – to be debt free and doing things I would like to do with my husband who has had to return to the workforce so we can keep our home.
    There is an end to this middle time – help me Lord to peservere and do your will to bring the end to fruition!!!

  28. 28
    Callie O says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for the encouragement.

  29. 29
    Carolyn says:

    Our marriage is in a middle right now. We have been separated for 4.5 months and we aren’t resolving things. I went to look at an apartment to sublet today. I am so hurt and torn. I feel as though I am swimming in every mistake that I have ever made and I don’t know how to get out. Thank you for the encouragement of your post. God has a plan for us, it just hasn’t been fully revealed yet, hence our middle.

    • 30

      Me and my husband have been apart for 3 years. Still married but not living together. Have a 3 1/2 year old! Don’t give up!! I’m believing still for a miracle! The middle hurts girl! I know this and I know the feeling of swimming in regret of every mistake you ever made! It will get better and God will see you thru!

  30. 31

    Stephanie, I am taking your words to heart today, as I sit in this sacred middle ground. You are right – it’s time to celebrate. We’re almost there! : )

  31. 32
    Danielle says:

    Wow, so many people in the middle! This was absolutely perfect for me also and I just wanted to add something the Lord reminded me of this morning. When I was in the last stage of birthing my youngest baby I was pushing but I felt he was stuck. It turned out his head was crowning on a funny angle. My mother in law who is a midwife turned up without invite but just at the right time. She turned me on to my side, which helped move the baby into the correct place and with the next push he was born! Sometimes we might be almost there but just have the wrong angle??? I encourage all your readers to be open to anyone older, wiser and more experienced. You do have to be careful with advice but often the Lord will send the right person or thing to adjust your angle and then you can continue through to breakthrough. I think Stephannie you may have just adjusted a few angles with this post! Bless you and your readers!! Danielle.

  32. 33

    The past few weeks have felt like the middle for me. Things at work have been super stressful, requiring a lot of extra hours, early mornings/long nights. But each morning my alarm sounded at 4:45am and with each dark drive down the interstate, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I couldn’t do it alone. It was going to be hard. Hard tosee my little boy and husband for only a few short hours in the evening. Hard to be patient with coworkers. Hard to dedicate time in the Word. But through it all, HE would be my strength. And you know what? HE WAS! I’ve never experienced such supernatural peace and strength. Everything I read this past week (whether in my Bible or in a blog post) spoke to this very thing. And your reference to Romans 5 summed it all up. Praise God that He does hold us and pushes us along during the middle.

  33. 34

    Yes! And thank you for being mercy and speaking a well-timed word just when I needed it! Heb 4:16

  34. 35

    Thank you so much for this. I really needed this when I read it yesterday. It’s moved me so much I blogged about it. Thank you.

  35. 36

    Gosh I needed this right now. Thank you!

  36. 37
    Kathy Bever says:

    So grateful to have this reminder :)

  37. 38

    This is my lifeline of hope today. Thank you for your exhortations to not give up. I know for sure that life and the fulfillment of promises are coming. I’m choosing to wait for God to act on my behalf and it’s very tough, but He is moving and He is with me. Thank you for your encouragement. Wow. I bless the work of the Lord in your own life and pray health and favor over your upcoming delivery.

  38. 39
    Gertrude Joseph says:

    Thanks a lot, now a feel so happy, hope i will keep learning more. God bless

  39. 40

    A beautiful analogy to keep strong in faith and hope, I am keeping this for reflection and encouragement in difficult circumstances.

  40. 41

    OMG!!! I really needed to read this today! THANK You!!! THANKS YOU! THANK YOU!!! Knowing where I am helps me keep perspective. May the Lord continue to bless you and please pray that I don’t give up and give in. Been feeling weary.

  41. 42
    Tan you tjin says:

    That’s very good scripture. We will always pregnant to labour the new generation. The new creation of ourselves cause in GOD we are a new creation. The old one was death and the new one is come. Thank you for being apart of this link.

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