Betwixt and Between

Posted: October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have been living on a bridge. Not under one – that would be a different situation – but right in the middle of one.

My husband has been struggling with some shoulder/neck issues for about a year that were wrongly diagnosed as arthritis. When his condition kept getting worse, he was sent to a neurologist and after much testing, diagnosed with something decidedly more frightening than arthritis: Progressive Muscle Atrophy. The cause has not yet been determined, but I assure you this is the biggest thing we’ve ever faced. Throughout the process, there have been moments when we thought a diagnosis would come or that the most frightening of possibilities would be eliminated but at this point, we’re still living suspended between yes and no, life and death, joy and sorrow. I keep telling the people closest to me, “I’m so tired of living on this bridge. I want to either go back to the way it used to be or go forward to the way it will be, but I don’t want to live here anymore. Even if what we have to face is really rotten, I don’t want to live here in the middle.” So, we have an appointment with a specialist next week, and I have set that as my new target: the day I pack up my stuff and move off of this dumb bridge.

This morning, however, I think I felt a little whisper that said, “Not so fast, cookie.” Uh oh. Adjustment. I’m in no mood for adjustment…but He spoke it anyway. Bottom line, I feel like God is telling me that answers may not come immediately and that’s okay. He’s reminding me that no matter where I find myself, we can set up a sanctuary there. Already, I feel like my heart has changed so dramatically during this season that I barely recognize myself. Here are a few of the treasures I’ve discovered on the bridge that I wouldn’t have found in a more secure, sturdy place:

1. I’ve always feared the other shoe dropping in my life and wondered if He would still be there for me and enough for me if the worst happened. At this stage of this journey, I can say with absolute, 100% confidence: Yes. He is here. He is real. He is true. He is MORE than enough. I’m not gonna lie, there are certainly moments every day when I feel like I’m suffocating in fear, but I’m learning it’s not the absence of those emotions that makes Him real, it’s the fact that He shows up during those emotions and takes the weight of my world on His shoulder so I can stand again.

2. I found this truth on the bridge.

3. I found friends on the bridge who are more wonderful and more lovely than I could possibly have known before this. I suspected it, yes, but now I know it.

4. I found Steve on the bridge. I’ve had him a long time, but I found new and beautiful things about him that I treasure. He is – at the core – a man of peace and faith. There is no one on earth I’d rather face the battle with.

5. I found my foundation on the bridge – and these declarations have been sustaining me every morning, noon and night. I read them constantly – even when I can’t see through tears, I make myself return to the truth and every time it sets me free.

And probably the biggest thing I found on the bridge is…everyone else. It seems that at some level, we’re all living suspended between this and that, here and there, history and eternity. So life goes on. We break and we build, we hurt and we heal…and God shows Himself strong and good and able. I am unspeakably thankful.

From my middle to your middle,

Bo

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Ken says:

    Bo, thank you for sharing this. I have heard hints of your bridge, but did not understand what the bridge was. I have always marveled at the strength and faith shown by your family, but I am ashamed to say that I’ve always partially written it off as being a strength and faith forged through generations of legacy built by strong and faithful people, and not necessarily as faith and strength forged in your own trial. This is only because I have not taken the time to pay attention to the reality. That falls on me, not you. You have always been open and honest. I apologize for my misperceptions. Through this post this morning (and most of your other recent posts) I am humbled and in awe of our Lord, who grants strength, faith, and peace; of the Lord who walks with you and sits with you in the middle of your bridge.

    Thank you to you and Steve, and your kids, for modeling what it looks like to walk the journey of faith as a strong leaders and a strong family. I can only pray that I may one day leave a legacy of faith as your family does, that others will look at Kris and I as servants and parents and be pointed back to the Lord as I am when I watch you guys. I will be praying even more for you on this bridge. And even though it may not help, please know that your struggles are already working for the lives of those watching. Jesus is being glorified through your family, and we are learning to trust in the God who is and will be there when we are camped out in the middle of our own bridge.

  2. Jalet says:

    Tears of clutching faith…joy in finding it. My prayers remain constant and steadfast for healing, for your family, for your faith, for your strength and for the times when you are quiet and the fears seem so much louder. Thank you for daring to be real, resolute to walk this out with the one who will not leave or forsake you, and for the ability to take just one more step today off the bridge and into His arms.

    Jalet (L.P.’s friend)

  3. Gail says:

    I am sitting here with tears falling… Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts. It so helps with what to pray for your family and you. And thanks for reminding us that God is with us know matter what, and no matter what part of the bridge we are on. Love and prayers to all.

  4. Pam says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience on the bridge, yes we are all there in some respect, but the word picture helps us all to know that we are not suspended in air about to fall! I think I sometimes think that.

    One of the thoughts that came to mind as I read your comment…. “I’m not gonna lie, there are certainly moments every day when I feel like I’m suffocating in fear” was…

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but Courage consumes fear. David was courageous as he faced Goliath and many of our Bible mentors acted courageously in the face of extreme difficulty. Just thought it might be encouraging to you.

    Our family is praying on a regular basis as one of those observers that are willing to fight on your behalf.

  5. Aïda says:

    I cherish and admire your eloquence, transparency and love.

    As with most of your writing, I take a breath in and as I breathe out it is always with a whoa and wow! This post is no exception.

    The previous comments just about say it all and with more words than I can say.

    GOD’s love is real. This I know.

    One more thing I know…

    You’re the BEST!

  6. Annette says:

    Bo,

    I’m standing and believing with you and Steve.

    Annette

  7. Louise says:

    to the above, i whisper “Amen”

  8. Chris Earwicker says:

    Bo,
    When I was in high school, our choir visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge in British Columbia. It is 450 feet long and hangs 230 feet above the river. It is a pedestrian bridge, with boards you can see between and railings too far apart to hang onto. If you lean to one side, so does the bridge. Scary. So scary.

    Many of my friends happily dashed to the middle of this ridiculous excuse for a bridge, where they discovered they could actually make the entire bridge sway with their weight. Me? I made it…exactly 3 steps. I could feel the river calling my name, and I knew if I went any farther, I would be sucked over the railing to my death. So I backed away.

    That’s the bridge I pictured when I read your post. Not a strong, steel, rigid structure with high railings and carefully painted lanes. I pictured a shaky, swaying, frightening joke of a bridge. And reading your thoughts, I could remember the fear I felt that day. Stomach in knots, hands shaking. For me there was absolutely no way I could get across.

    But that’s where the analogy ends. Because in my story, I was alone. My fearless friends had gone ahead of me (and there could have been a few who were hiding in the trees behind me, too afraid to even try). But you? I see a band of family and friends, stretching from end to end of this bridge. And their prayers and love for you form a human chain that connects one end of this journey to the other. The bridge is still scary; it’s still long and it sways and it may seem unlikely that you will survive. But look ahead of you and see the ones who’ve already crossed this particular bridge. Look behind and see the ones who stand with their own uncertainty, praying that your experience will give them the courage to step onto the bridge. And feel the strength of those closest, surrounding you, holding your hands, steadying your feet.

    There are so many of us with you and Steve on this bridge. So many.
    I love you my friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s