There is a place many of us get pulled into at some point in our lives. It’s called a Liminal Space. It is that space in between, of waiting, a time of transition and not knowing what is coming next. Limens is the Latin word that means threshold. It is a thin space. Some may describe it as Holy Ground.
Our culture doesn’t like times or places of transition. We are functional, rational, and everything and everyone needs to have a plan. But for most of us there comes a time in our lives when all of sudden nothing follows the agenda. An illness, death, a relationship or job change forces us to look at ourselves in a whole new way. We are left floundering, not knowing how to move forward.
This is when we are called to sit in this liminal space. Life doesn’t allow us to go backward and we have no idea how to move forward. So we have to mourn, be confused, and deal with the ambiguity of life. We are called out of our comfort zones and to find new coping skills.
I sat in this space about eight years ago when my husband and I moved to a new city because of his job change. I made the move whole-heartedly for him, but left behind a city I had lived in for almost thirty years. We had raised our children there and we had a house we cherished. When we arrived at our new home I was overcome with grief. Everything I had known since college was now gone. I missed my friends, our church, even the stores I shopped in. A moment I so vividly remember is standing in Target crying because I couldn’t find the toaster waffles. Even the Target in this town wasn’t laid out like my old Target.
Gradually we met our neighbors, I started writing classes, and we found how much we enjoy attending the theatre. We like living in the city now for what it offers. But I had to mourn what I had left behind and at times still do, for I had said good-bye to the first half of my life when we moved. I had to have breathing space to let myself feel the loss.
Some questions for you to ponder:
- When have I been called to sit in Liminal Space and look at my life in a new way?
- How am I different today because of what I went through during that time in my life?