Miracles in the Middle

Miracles in the Middle

I’m beginning to believe I’m part wimp / part warrior.

Sitting in the oncologist’s office last week,  I confessed my full-on fear of the radioactive iodine treatment commonly used to treat thyroid cancer patients.  In the same breath, I confidently proclaimed I’d be happy to stand up in front of a thousand people and tell them about Jesus — but don’t ask me to do that radioactive thing.  Warrior …Wimp …

I also realize I’m half-embarrassed to talk to you about this cancer thing.  My mountain seems so small compared to some of the monumental mountains you’re facing or have faced in the past as a friend from childhood conveyed …

“I had to be kept in isolation for 8 days . I had to stay away from my own children . It was awful ! Then I almost had a heart attack 3 times and lived in A-phib for over a year before the cardio version worked . Then fibromyalgia has done me in but hasn’t killed me yet …. not to mention the breast cancer 2 years ago and I turned down chemo and went with 4 months of radiation 5 days a week . It’s been awful…”

But she went on to encourage me with these words…

“But I’m so sorry to hear this about you !
You can beat this !!
Stay strong as I know you will . Love you and I’ll be praying for you everyday !”  (Lorna from SC)

It seems we all need a space to share our story and know that someone understands and we’re not alone!  That’s why I believe this journey I’m on is as much about you as it is about me.  It’s an open space — a level ground for all to share and know we’re loved along the way.

Feelings, fears and frustrations often look the same no matter what the intensity of the battle.  Your battle is your battle.  Each of us have our journey …our own cross to bear.  As another friend reminded me– it’s a “personal journey.”   No one has the same footprints.  What I do know is that with every story and every journey and every footprint there’s a middle and the middle often feels the same for all of us.

No matter how our cancer story started or the suffering through the loss of someone we love through death or divorce, or the fractures we’ve experienced in relationships, jobs or dreams …or the devastation from the winds and rain of the recent Hurricane Florence — we all fall into the middle at some point.  Waiting.  Longing.  Rebuilding.  Hoping.

The middle can be uncertain, unknown, long, anxious, overwhelming, exhausting, discouraging, depleting, frustrating, fearful, stressful financially, emotionally and physically!

But looking for miracles in the middle gives hope for the healing to come.

As I look for miracles in the middle, the Holy Spirit continues to speak and ask me to share these things with you for those of you who find yourself plopped in the middle of a mess you didn’t want or ask for.

Reading these words on a Facebook thread brought HOPE to the middle …

“Ah! “living in the middle” I get it, take hold of the everyday every moment miracles of God. A flower blooming, a bill paid, a Dr.’s skill, the existence of a test, or machine to perform the test, surgery, the belief and faith of others, a butterflies wings, the way the tide moves in it out, a birth. Too often we get caught up in the desire for the “big miracle” we want God to show up and perform! We want to go into a healing and have all evidence of disease disappear and we forget that healing and restoration is happening constantly all around us. His promises are evident and revealed to those who seek to see His miracles. My healing is happening daily. Cancer cells are dying, emotional pain is being restored. It’s still the middle and it will always be the middle until the day I am welcomed home, just like anyone else. In the meantime I’m surrounded by the miraculous glory of God and that awareness and praise brings His promises to the forefront every time. I love you and am praying with you.”  (Sheryl from CT)

And the miracle of encouragement when others are nudged to pray over you as the Holy Spirit enables their own unique expression …

“So yesterday morning I was praying (and you know being a mom and cleaning the kitchen) and your name popped in my head and the song “All in All” came with it. As I sang the song and prayed for you this phrase jumped out at me and the imagery of what it should look like lettered. So I lettered it for you and prayed for you. I don’t know the depth of how are things are right now but I want you to know you are loved and I’m praying for you.” ( Ashleigh from AL ) 


Ashleigh Nicole Buteau’s lettering from the song “All in All” as the Spirit led her to pray for me and express that through art

The middle is made for miracles.

Surgery is still over a week away and I’m still searching for that “heart of gold” everywhere I go.  Jesus never fails to show up with another gift of His glory just for me …just for you.

Like finding another heart of gold in a leaf along my walk today …

Or seeing the beauty in the ordinary of acorns in the fall …

Or a sign that made me smile as I thought of all the captions I could add … 🙂

Or the wonder of a recently planted flower in bloom  …

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

I Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

James 1:2-4 (NLT)

So until we’re made perfect …embrace the middle.  Look for the miracles every day.  Lean into God’s arms.  Let His arms of love hold you close as He whispers, “You’re going to make it!  We’re going to make it …together!”

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. Kathy Monahan Klimczak

    I remember the middle – a true roller coaster ride of events….the low of a bad prognosis and then the high of outliving their time frame…. the low of having to tell the children and the rest of the family and then enjoying so many family times before the end ….the low of a scan returning bad results and the high of a scan that showed improvement…the low of the fatigue, sickness, emergency room visits, etc and the high of how God provided just the right help in great times of need….the low of feeling alone and then the high of friends coming alongside just to be with you during surgeries and treatments….Yes it was quite a roller coaster ride “in the middle” but I realize that I was never riding alone – God rode alongside me. And I was never in danger of completely falling out because I was strapped in with the Word of God as my security. May you sense God’s presence as you ride the roller coaster “in the middle” and may you have friends come alongside you and may you feel the security that Scripture can provide. And all the while know that we love you and are praying for you!
    ~Kathy Monahan Klimczak

  2. Joy Waters Martin

    Wow! Your words are powerful and real, Kathy. Thank you for gracing me and this space with your words of hope. I LOVE you dear friend.

  3. carrye1

    I love your words here, Mom, and how you’ve woven all these friend’s stories in with your own. Your vulnerability is opening us up to each others’ pain and also hope. You inspire me to look for daily graces and miracles even as I hold on for God’s promises long term.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      There’s always a miracle to see each day Carrye. Watch for them. I love you.

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