In the Middle
Welcome to the middle of my life. I'm comfortably in adulthood, and I'm also in this season where I live in Germany and use a wheelchair. I shared a glimpse of my story in chapel this past Friday, and I only had about 20ish minutes to introduce students to the middle of my story and give some details of how I got here as well as the expectation that God is still at work. I also managed to name drop 22 different rappers through puns or poetry. That is just a bonus.
I ended my chapel talk with a poem called "In Medias Res" that I've put at the end of this post as well because I wanted to emphasise how I'm in the middle of a beautiful story God is writing. Sometimes people write me off as disabled and limited, but the disability isn't the focus of my story. I'm still praying for miraculous healing, and I hope you'll pray with me too, but additionally, I'm praying for God to guide my paths and write an amazing story.
So far, my story has included some wonderful years with Westport peeps loving Jesus on the west side of Portland, formative theological growth and discipleship at Multnomah, years teaching overseas and learning about cross cultural ministry with a sabbatical down under thrown into the mix. What I hoped to emphasise to the students on Friday was that while my life has some gross stuff - let's never forget disability sucks - God has always met me in the midst of everything. Highs and lows, God is constant, and his character is loving. That does require me to rethink some assumptions when I encounter confusing situations, but it's still a gift to have the Creator of the universe sit with me in the middle of anything.
Right here in the middle of the semester, I'm teaching my students about how to respectfully disagree theologically. I'd love extra prayers during this adventure too, if you can spare them. As a passionate reader and aspiring storyteller, I know the middle of the story matters as much as the start and finish. I want to teach well here, love well the students and peers around me, and honour God well with my words and my body (whatever the state of ability). The past few days have had an increase of leg spasms and physical discomfort with an increase of positive encouragements from others as well. Both of these things can be true. Please pray for my body to sleep well through the night instead of dealing with spasms disrupting me in the night.
In Medias Res
Welcome to the middle of my story
My life didn’t start as a mess filled with grief
My story didn’t start with pain and disability
My story didn’t start with trauma and heartbreak
Welcome to the middle where I figure things out
Back in the beginning I found true love
Back in the beginning I danced in the rain
Back in the beginning I was full of promise
Welcome to the middle where the promise hasn’t left through my tragic plot twist
I’m not sure what the end of the story is, but welcome in medias res. You are here with me in the middle; this isn’t the end. I’m writing another chapter, and you’re welcome to stay and learn with me the happy ending. I haven’t got to that part yet, so I don’t know what it is. If you saw me from the start, you would know this won’t end a tragedy. It’s messy in the middle.
But I’ll come out strong
I’ll come out beautiful
I’ll come out better than before
You can write yourself out of my story
You can miss the final act
I won’t judge you for doubting me
I can’t promise how this ends
I can only tell you that you met me in medias res