Hope for the Hard Middle – Well-Watered Women

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Hope for the Hard Middle

April 6, 2021  - By Gretchen Saffles

Hope for the Hard Middle | Well-Watered Women Articles

For the longest time, I’ve felt like I am stuck in the middle without an end in sight. I’ve heard it said that writing a book is like birthing a baby. But a baby comes in nine months, and a book takes at least two years. Write, rewrite, edit, and repeat have been the theme of my days since 2019. And the only thing that kept me going was the hope of seeing this project brought to completion. As a matter of fact, the very first words I wrote for The Well-Watered Woman book were about the ending of the entire Story of Scripture. Because I needed that vision to sustain me through the valleys I’d be trekking through. 

Hope is just like that—it’s an assurance of things hoped for, even when they remain unseen (Heb. 11:1). It’s an anchor that keeps us fixed even when waves crash against us (Heb. 6:19). Hope is what holds us when we feel like we are stuck in the hard middle of life. And as Christ-followers, we’ve been given more than enough hope of the joy that is to come to sustain us through today and tomorrow until we are with him in eternity.

Hope in the Beginning and the End

Knowing the beginning and the end of your story will give you hope. And it gives an eternal perspective as you live out the “middle” of your story in everyday life. The middle of your story and the middle of the entire Story of Scripture is one of redemption and restoration, hope and healing. From Genesis 3, stretching through all sixty-six books of the Bible, ending in Revelation, God is working and weaving his ways into this fallen world and into our hearts.

In the beginning, God created the world in perfection to glorify him. Not long after, Adam and Eve rebelled against God and sin entered the world. But from the fall to our future glory, God never stops working his plan of redemption for his people.

You will not get where you are supposed to go if you do not know where you are heading. It is knowing what God has in store that keeps your feet moving when you reach the end of yourself on this journey called life. As I have struggled with panic attacks, I have reached the end of my self-sufficiency and strength. In insecurity, I have reached the end of my ability and pride. In waywardness, I have reached the end of my vain attempts at being “good” apart from Jesus. And in suffering, I have reached the end of my resources and comforts.

But every ending I have faced on earth isn’t really the end of my story or of the Story. It’s the beginning of knowing Jesus—an arrow pointing me to the hopeful end that is still to come.

The Home We Are Heading To

In the final chapter of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, the Apostle John describes unspeakable joy and an unexplainable place. He writes of the home you are heading to if you have committed your life to follow Christ. This place is a haven of perfection, the forever dwelling place of the glory of God, and is even better than the original Garden of Eden.

Imagine it:

“Then he showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the city’s main street. The tree of life was on each side of the river, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations, and there will no longer be any curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more; people will not need the light of the lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Rev. 22:1-5 

Well-watered. Abundant. Perfect. Free. Joy in the eternal light of his glory.

Even Better Than The Beginning

This is where we are heading, the finish line of this journey of following Jesus. In the end, all wrong will be made right, all pain will be healed. All suffering will be redeemed, all darkness will be illuminated, and all hardship will be relieved. All tears will be wiped away, all questions will be answered, every desert will become a fruitful garden, and every broken heart will be mended. The ending of the Story is one of hope and is one that is even better than the beginning. And it is with the end in mind that we begin our journey to becoming well-watered women.

Ultimately, the inner workings of God’s redemption in your life are a slow-moving, often unexciting, and unseen daily journey. This journey is made of ascending rocky hills of hardship and descending into the lower valleys of suffering. All the while, though, God is moving you towards knowing Christ more in the middle of the mess of the everyday mundane.

The Ending is a Good One

I wrote The Well-Watered Woman in the hard middle of my own story. I am still in progress as I grow in grace each day. The point of this book is not to look to me, but to look to Christ, who holds all things together. This is not a book that will solve every problem of your life or enable you to avoid any other upcoming desert season. It’s a book that is a cold drink of water to your soul on a hot summer’s day. And it is a hand to hold as you walk through the ups and downs of your life journey. It’s a book that will point to Jesus like a giant neon blinking arrow.

The hopeful end of the Story of Scripture fueled my fingers as I typed each word for The Well-Watered Woman. Now that the day has finally come for women to read it, I am realizing that this is not the end to the hard middle, but another beginning. My prayer is that every woman who reads this book feels compelled to hold onto the end of the Story with confident hope as we continue to walk through the hard middle.

Hope for You

If you feel dried-up, thirsty, and at the end of your rope, this book is for you. I pray that Jesus is glorified and lifted high on every page of this book, as well as on every page written of your life story.

The ending is a good one, not only of this book or of your life but of all of Scripture for the believer. Hold tight in the middle. Remember the beginning, and plant yourself by the streams of living water that run faithfully in every season—in snow, drought, rain, sunshine, and desert storms. The well-watered life is one of becoming, not one of arriving. Join me as we embark on this journey of becoming well-watered women, rooted in truth, growing in grace, and flourishing in faith.

Becoming well-watered with you,

Gretchen

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Hope for the Hard Middle-An Article by Well-Watered Women

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  1. Saji says:

    The alliteration in the last para is excellent. Very good article. God bless you 🙏

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