in all the in-between

By Posted in - general & random on October 2nd, 2014 4 Comments

I don’t mean to be controversial, but I am not a huge fan of Oreos (I know, I know- the scandal.)  It is just that food items that have one texture on the outside and another on the inside give me the icks. But one thing I do admire about the Oreo is that it is one of the few things where the good stuff is in the middle.

Because usually, the middle –  the in-between –  is not my favorite.

We face things in this life.  We have to fight for them and against them, muddle our way through them, and generally try to learn from them. Whether it is a bad diagnosis, a troubled marriage, a wandering child, or just our overall spiritual journey, the middle of the battle always seems to be the bloodiest.

The beginning is… beautiful, clean, hopeful (think babies and gardening.)

The ending is… victorious, wise, nostalgic (think old men and a good book.)

But the middle is… messy, swirly, fierce (think puberty and baking.)


It was always this way, you know.

When God created the Heavens and the Earth, it was perfect. There was hope and promise.  God spoke it, so it was, and it was good.

And when God brings all we know to an end, it will again be perfect.  There will be healing and redemption.  God promised it, so it will be, and it too will be good.

But in the middle of these beautiful bookends is all the in-between. It is far from perfect. There is angst and suffering. But God wills it, and so it is, and it is still good.

I am in the in-between right now.  I am in the middle of fighting hard for something and learning from it. I am messy and weepy and tired.  I am yearning for the happy ending.

But God is showing me that perhaps the middle of the story is the very purpose for which the story was written to begin with. I mean, let’s think about it (all C.S. Lewis style): Without a middle, there can be no happy ending.  And really, the happy ending is nothing more than a celebration for having survived the middle.  And certainly, without a happy ending, there would be no purpose for the beginning to have begun at all.

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it seem like we spend most of our time and energy either (1) wishing we could go back to the beautiful beginning or (2) trying to hurry up and get to the happy ending? Doesn’t it feel like life might be a whole lot better/easier if we could skip all the messy middle?

But the middle is the meat.  And I need only look around me in life or in the pages of the Bible to see that it’s the middle that matters.


The middle – the in between – is where our faith is built and broken.

The middle is where we are tossed about and tested.

The middle is where we are honed and healed.

The middle is where we are refined and rebuilt, cleaner and stronger than before.


The middle is where our hope seems lost but our purpose is found.


The middle is where God whispers.

The middle is where we are actually willing to listen.


The middle is where we find out who our friends are.

The middle is where we find out who we are.

The middle is where we find out who God is.


Sure, God made the beginning.  And yes, because of God, there is sweet victory in the end.  But I am finding that God really shines and does His very best work in the middle.

Maybe you too, are thrashing about in all the in-between.  I don’t know what you are dealing with today – what struggles you are facing or battles you are fighting. But I know the God who made the beginning- made YOU- for a purpose.  He is the same God who is sovereign over the ending – sovereign over YOU- for the victory.  And He is the same God who is present in the middle – present in YOU – for the journey.

He is The Alpha and The Omega. He is The Beginning and The End. And He is the God who meets us in the middle; this messy, swirly, fierce middle.  He is the God of all the in-between.


a verse and a song

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14


Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it…

Sister Golden Hair, by America




  • stephanie joy - Reply

    October 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Wow! i REALLY needed to hear this. Been abiding through some excruciatingly extended in-between time.. years and years with no end in sight. i appreciate your message here very much.

  • Julie - Reply

    October 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Christine,
    This is EXACTLY what I’ve been struggling with in my walk. On Monday I was trying to explain it and I said ‘being saved is just the beginning and the joy and relief you have once saved is like the honeymoon part of marriage – all hopeful and exciting and new.” Then if we continue to study and learn what we are expected to DO and how to LIVE in Christ (the Christian life), then it become really HARD. You start to see yourself through God’s eyes and think WOW that’s not who i want to be (of course he LOVES you unconditionally in spite of it and His spirit is empowering you to become like Christ) . But the “in between” be overwhelming. And then I realized this is the good stuff and this is the Christian life and this is exactly as it the Bible teaches it should be, has been and always will be (until we’re in heaven) . This is how I will grow and change and become like Him. It can’t be easy painless or “not scary” to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and it should not be for us…but at the end there is this awesome, glorious eternal “prize” that we get – we get to live WITH God and be WITH Jesus. We won’t have to live on faith anymore. And we won’t be saints who sin, but we’ll be saints who rejoice each day in our Savior’s love. And we can do that everyday now if we can just remember that we’re in the “middle”. I’m so inspired by your writing – God always gives me someone who can verify what he’s been telling me through the Holy Spirit. Thank you Christine. Our happy ending is assured forever and ever amen.

  • Linnea Falk - Reply

    October 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I REALLY NEEDED THIS!!! Perfect timing for me! I always feel refreshed and recharged after ready one of your pieces. Thank you for sharing everything you do with us! I love you and I am so proud of you!! FUEL THE JETS ALREADY

  • cheryl martin - Reply

    October 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Christine, you have such a special way with words…..such a special way with living……Like “someone” has said,, “what is missing on a tombstone, where the dash is engraved between the dates of birth and death, is the middle.” Life is the middle. Thank God we don’t have to walk the journey alone. I’m sorry for your “middle/muddle.” May your comfort be as close as a prayer, a willing hand, or a supportive shoulder.
    Love you.

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