an open letter to you-in-the-middle | a five minute friday piece

Photo by Edu Grande on Unsplash

Every Friday, I spend five minutes or so writing on a word prompt from the Five Minute Friday community. Then, I hit publish.

Good for the writing muscles and for cultivating a playful approach to the writing work that can sometimes be taken oh-so-seriously.

Dear You-Living-In-The-Middle,

There’s an insidious belief bullying our culture.

It’s the belief of straight-line-ism.

This belief teaches that we should know precisely what we want, where we’re going, and exactly how to get there. The starting point is important, but the destination is preeminent.

And the middle? What happens in the middle doesn’t matter.

This belief is a lie.

Many a Sunday sermon, business conference, and motivational speech will try to capitalize on straight-line-ism, but Love, don’t you dare believe it.

We don’t get GPS coordinates. Or even a roadmap. And the true story is that the middle is the real destination.

The middle is where we live, where we dwell day-to-day. The middle is where we learn to recognize the voice of the actual good Shepherd. Learn to grab for his hand in the irritating moments, the painful experiences, the memories that would mishandle our hearts and minds.

Being in the middle is what gives meaning to any destinations — because the middle is where we practice embracing our truest identity as God’s beloved.

In the stressed, messy middle, we choose to believe we’re beloved.

We learn to accept our belonging without any meritorious accomplishments to prove our right to be included.

We hold out our empty hands and allow them to be filled by an abundance-gifting God.

The middle is where we learn to live loved as we are.

So keep receiving love, You-in-the-middle, whether you feel like you’re moving forward, sliding backward, or simply standing still. Every moment is the middle of what has been and will be.

And you are loved right here.

One more thing. Even though life in the middle can feel incredibly lonely — it doesn’t have to be. Community in our middle spaces is invaluable.

Take writing: spilling words onto screens can be one of the most lonely experiences we can have. But I’ve found other writers to do the journey with.

Hope*Writers [affiliate links, here] is one of the biggest reasons I haven’t given up on writing over the past few years of living in the middle. I’ve made real-life friends from this group, and grown so much in my writing skills and habits. They’re opening for new members soon — I’d love for you to join us.

Want more details? Check out Hope*Writers’ 30 second quiz on the 6-stage writing path — which is appropriately more a circle than a straight line.

image :: hope*writers affiliate program

Want to know more about Hope*Writers? I have page about that. (FYI, some of these offerings are specifically for this week, so check it out.)

This piece first appeared at

View today’s Five Minute Friday link up.

I write to invite pew-weary Jesus people to stop beating themselves up on God’s behalf, and embrace their truest identity as his beloved.

Subscribe to my once-a-month missive and receive the free guide, “7 Simple + Surprising Ways to Connect With God in the Overwhelm.” Each suggestion takes 5 minutes to 5 seconds. Practicing the presence of God doesn’t have to be complicated.

Inviting pew-weary Jesus people to embrace + experience their truest identity as beloved through subversive spiritual disciplines. Hope*Writer. Creative mentor.

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