By Jennifer Edewaard
The Middle: Where He Promised to Be
It was a moment that changed everything. The list of all that could go wrong with just a small piece of what could go “right” in the end would leave a life of unknowns. It was here I found myself in the middle of a space--a gap really--that I didn't fully comprehend.
Shortly after this moment, my son was born at 23 weeks and with that came so much unknown. There was a middle ground I couldn't see and in the darkest of moments, where I didn't know where to plant my feet, He was there, in the middle where He promised He would be. Right where He promises He will always remain.
I found myself in the middle: a point that is defined as the equal distance from the ends of something. It was a place where years of infertility finally brought life smack dab in the middle of His plan for my life. Where I had to make the choice to release my need for certainty so that I could live in Him.
As I pleaded in prayer with Him to save my son's life, I remember hearing Him whisper, “I will always meet you here. Step up and stand firm where I place you, and I will surely step in.”
Through life as a mama of a special needs son--my Red Sea that He has and continues to part for me--I keep placing one foot in front of the other as He parts the way. I tell myself and my son that in this beautiful yet sometimes unbelieving world, we will experience trouble, pain, and sorrow but because He has conquered the world, we get to be courageous.
Over the last few years, we have worked on many different goals, benchmarks, and therapies. We try one new thing and start over with the next. Ahead lies a lot of work to be done on my part and it has required a “whatever it takes” mindset. I have stayed close to this middle place because no matter what He is orchestrating behind the scenes, He's always working and providing what we need, which is so different than what I want. In the middle of my special needs mama walk, there is one constant and it's Him. And because of that, even in the really hard days, I have His joy. It's a joy that fills me up with the biggest sense of gratefulness. And I wouldn't change any of this. I wouldn't have it any other way because when I lay my head down at night, He is there parting the ways and carrying me.
For a long time, I thought that whenever God needed me, wherever He called me, that I would surely feel equipped and qualified for the task. I had my ideas, and maybe you know the feeling. We think we know what the plan is--we think we have control over a situation. But He is so much more powerful than that; He has His way of doing things and He always has a reason. I am learning each day, really in each moment, that He has gone ahead and prepared the way. Life as a special needs mama is one that I never planned on because I looked at my capacity and knew my qualifications were lacking. He has quickly taught me that I just need to continue to be open to what He wants to show me--what He wants to take and use for His good. So I cling to this verse in Proverbs, when I have any doubt, fear, or anxiety.
We are overcome with peace because His peace lives in us. We move forward with the Truth because the Spirit of the Lord is powerfully upon us. We surrender dependency on self because we abide in our faith instead. It's not about what I think I am qualified or equipped for because He never meant it to be that way— it’s up to Him to fulfill and up to us to walk obediently in.
He knew exactly what He was doing when He gave my son to me, with every need that He might have. He knows today as He did in all the days past, and all the days to come, how much I really do need Him. How much you really do need Him. And He doesn’t break us. No, He weaves Himself into us, giving us grace so that we can go and tell others about His glory.
Sweet friend, I don't know where it is He has you planted. Where He might be pruning, growing, or pausing in your life right now. What I can encourage you with is a truth that will remain and that is Christ. Can I challenge you to invite Him into your middle today? I don't know what your walk in motherhood looks like but would you turn to Him? Would you pray and ask Him what He wants you to do, not why? What it is He wants to do here in the middle? What it looks like to live, seek, and stand in His abundant grace, truth, and glory?
The abundance that overflows from the imperfections is not for our comfort but for those passing by or staying for a while--so that they would know and see Jesus. It's this part of self-sacrifice that sheds light on the biggest sacrifice--Him-where we don’t have to fight the friction because we can trust His intentions are, in fact, steadying us.
I stand on these truths, His words, His power and capacity, many times when I feel like I might be fighting the friction where I am planted. Of what is to come.
Friend, He is right there, in the middle with you, where He promises to be.