Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Being Stuck in the Middle

Here I am – going on 7 months since my home in Tulsa sold and in a few days (I hope), will be moving to my home here in Texas. By all appearances it would seem I am “stuck in the middle” though I haven’t really been stuck – it’s been such a precious 7 months of blazing a trail to my family in Austin, Tulsa and back here to Frisco. Being stuck in the middle is something like being in a hallway. It’s that transition hallway that we’ve all been in from time to time. What a wonderful reassurance we have from Isaiah 22:22 where we find that when God closes a door, he opens another….even though between the closing and opening of those doors, there is a hallway.

So how do we handle life in the hallway? Longing to move on, yet stuck in the middle. Life seems to moving everywhere, except where we are, and we are standing still. Hallways are often long and empty spaces, but they are more valuable than they seem. Being stuck in the middle, or in a hall, indicates transition, and transitions are a natural part of life. Our babies are typically in the womb hallway for nine months. Teenagers receive a learner's permit “hallway” before they get their driver’s permit. Couples experience an engagement “hallway” before they marry. That transition time is more than optional – it is necessary.

Most often, hallways aren't pleasant lead-me-beside-still-water experiences. So what do we do when we’re stuck in the hallway?

1. Embrace the Hallway
We need hallways. Jumping from one stage of life headlong into another isn’t wise. It’s a recipe for burnout. Hallways are a time of rest. Embrace the hallway. Praise in the hallway. We won't be there forever. We are so loved by Almighty God, our Creator, because we are His. Rather than being a constant “human doing”, He wants us to let go of the doing and focus on “being” -- being His child. Being alive. Being whole. The hallway is the birthing place.

2. What Happens in the Hallway Changes Us Forever
Hallway moments take a whole lot of patience and trust. We can certainly ask questions, but we shouldn’t always expect answers. We can even kick, scream and cry in the hallway – that’s our choice. It’s a process, of which I’m well acquainted. Here’s my process. I allow myself to be teary and wimpy for about 5 minutes, then I pull myself together, because I know a red, blotchy face and puffy eyes is certainly NOT my best version of myself. I get a grip and then I learn to trust more, complain less, and truly believe God’s plan is underway – and the plan happens to be hanging out in the hallway for a while. My next door isn’t completely open, but thanks be to God, it’s ajar and I can see a light at the end of the hallway. Hall time is almost over. I wish I could tell you I always practiced what I preach, but I often question the process, but always in the hall, I grow stronger and my faith goes to new heights.

Here’s the best news about hallways…..transition will birth momentum, passion and renewed vigor and vitality for the next phase. So, hold on, my FB friends. We won’t be in the hallway forever. My time will come. Your time will come. God is about to open a door no man can shut. Let’s savor our time in the hallway, because the hallway sets us up for spreading our wings to fly! Hmmm. Sounds like the hallway is close to the cocoon where our wings grow strong enough to give us everything we need to soar!
#PraisingInTheHallway #SpreadYourWings #EmbraceTheHallway