Enduring "The Middles" / by Dionna L. Hayden

Not long ago, I seen a movie that had a interesting topic and outcome. The movie was about a young stagnant house wife who becomes infatuated with a neighbor. To her, he was something new, mysterious and exciting compared to her seemingly mundane life with her own husband, a struggling professional. By nature, she was sweet and well meaning but immature. As time and her impatience with her life progressed, she decided to throw caution to the wind and finally leave her husband to pursue what she believed she lacked in her life. Broken hearted, he gracefully lets her go so she can pursue whatever it is to make her happy, including her new beau. After a great deal of time passed, her husband finally received the fruits of his years of labor while she has come to another stagnant place in her life after her appetite had been satisfied and her high has come down. Moral of this story?!---don't give up during the process of change, endure through the "middles" in life.

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride."(Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV)

Everyone likes either the beginning or the end result of something like the honeymoon stage of a marriage, or the birth of a baby (or in my case new babies). Arriving to new heights or milestones in life are new and exciting, but hardly anyone admits to being excited about the middle, that place where that newness wears off and reality settles in. You know, like when the honeymoon stage is over and marital boot camp begins or when that beautiful new baby becomes this loud messy eating machine that saps your energy and sanity---The "middles" are here to stay and aren't going anywhere, so what do we do about it?!

In order to get to the finish-lines of our lives, we have to go through the "middles" [don't worry, the middles can be conquered]. The middles are those rough patches that come before the completion of our milestones. In order for us to successfully endure, we have to first see the importance of the "middles" and not be quick to despise it. Believe it or not, it's in the middle that we have the best opportunity for growth. Just like it takes extreme pressure for a period of time for diamonds to be formed, we as people also grow and mature as we endure the process of the changes that take place in our lives. The trick is to be extremely careful not to allow negative emotions like impatience, fear and frustration drive us to make rash decisions that will only prolong the process or worst end it all together.

A prime example of what NOT to do can be found with the children of Israel. An 11 day trip to the promised land stretched to a whopping 40 years all because they were too bullheaded to endure the middle. In that 40 year period, a whole generation of people died in the wilderness (aka the middle) instead of enjoying life in a place that was set aside just for them.

Don't be like them!!! Get what is coming to you when you properly endure the middle to get to the finish-lines in your life. Watch that messy loud baby grow into a beautiful person you can be proud of or watch that marriage grow into the partnership it was was designed to be and see yourself bloom as an individual during the process. Remember, the middle is only a temporal place, never settle there or cut corners to get out!!! So as you start this new year, start it with an attitude that embraces the middles of your life and take every opportunity of growth there is in it, then progressively move forward so you can in turn live the best version of your life possible!

Until next time, I'm still enjoying the journey, Didi Hayden