Some Whining From Here In the Middle

Some Whining From Here In the Middle

I’m feeling out of sorts today. I feel, sometimes, like I don’t understand the world or what I’m supposed to do in it. I don’t get why people do and say certain things. I don’t always get why *I* feel the need to do or say certain things. And on top of it all, I’ve spent the last day and a half recovering from food poisoning.

Before my whining gets into overdrive, I have to say, I spent a lot of time this morning feeling out of sorts before I finally took my concerns to God. Why don’t I do this right away?

The point is, I always feel like I’m in the middle in just about every way a person could be: in the middle of views, in the middle of actions, in the middle of arguments, of peacemaking, of… everything. I always was, even as a kid. I joke that I seem to equally offend or charm people. My critics come from unbelievers and believers alike and usually in the same amount.

The flipside, of course, is that I also have good things… blessings, words of encouragement, even fans… from believers and unbelievers alike.

Like, once I got a very sweet note from someone who read my writing and told me how much it influenced them on the very same day that someone else wrote me wondering how any media outlet could actually pay me to write because I was clearly an idiot.

A few months ago I was in search of an art agent and got three wonderful emails from people with contracts… and one scathing rejection that told me I was kidding myself if I thought I had any talent at all.

And that’s not even the faith stuff. On a typical day I will be put in a position to defend my faith from unbelievers who don’t get why I pray to a God they don’t think exists and also get chastised from believers who think I’m “not Christian enough.” I once wrote an article on friendship and got emails (on the same day, again!) from someone who said how much it helped them and another from a Christian who told me I was letting Jesus down because I didn’t mention him at all

So that’s why I feel like I’m in the middle. But maybe everyone feels this way, I dunno. Maybe it is the food poisoning that has me in this mood right now.

When I get like this, fed up and confused and whiny I turn to God and ask Him to direct me. Because when I get hit from what feels like “everywhere” I think I must be going in the wrong direction.

But after some time with God, I don’t feel like that. I feel like even though I’m getting “junk” my way I get blessings, too, and so I should just keep going, so I plow on, unsure most of the time if what I’m doing is right.

A few years ago, I finally realized that being in the “middle” was where I was supposed to be. Would I pray this much if I wasn’t? Well guess what? I don’t need to find out. Hopefully I won’t offend everyone this way but I’m also not trying to make everyone happy. I’m just trying to do the things I hope God wants me to do. A few minutes with Him seems to wipe away enough of the bad stuff that I feel confident enough to go on.

Being in the “middle” helps keep me focused on God, and when I come to Him with my whining (and wonder how He manages to take it without getting impatient, but that’s the beauty of God!) I leave feeling like it’s okay. Like, maybe He even likes me in the middle because it reminds me to look up and remember what’s important. Even in the case of food poisoning, although my ribs hurt so bad I want to whine some more. (But I won’t! Promise.)

Cherie Burbach About Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is the founder of Putting on the New. She is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With a Faith-Filled Message. For more, check out her website.


  1. Tina Dorward says:

    So sorry to hear about your food poisoning Cherie. I know from Jeff who’s had it how awful it is. I pray your body with its aches now from this healed quickly.

    Being in the middle seems like it could be exhausting at times and yet thank goodness for the balance of positives on the days when you or your work are attacked. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That old hymn, “Take it to the Lord in Prayer.” It’s what you have done, and talking it over with Jesus is just as helpful now as it was when the hymn writer wrote the lyrics.

  3. So sorry about your illness but glad you are better. You aren’t whining just reflecting on human nature and how fickle some people can be. Being in the middle shows you are balanced and not going off to be a people pleaser because of the criticism of some. Your stand stays the same amidst those who don’t agree. Great post, Cherie!

  4. Wow, a lady after my own heart! I’m always in the middle also. I get concerned I’m being in the gray, but I’m really not. And when I’m dealing with difficult people, God always shows me in pleasureable ways like animals and nature showing up on my property, He is listening and understands me. Yuck on the food poisoning. This I’ve had a few times and no fun! Thank you for sharing your heart, Cherie!

    • I knew there was a reason we got along so well!

      I liked what you said here, Jean, about the animals and nature. I feel this, too. And this: “I get concerned I’m being in the gray, but I’m really not.”… this is so true! Thank you for sharing that!

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