That word – liminal – is one I learned a few years back. A friend from my Arrow Leadership program used it to describe his current situation, and it has always stuck with me. When we would meet up for another residential (a time of “in class” learning – being all together, 4 times over the course of the 2 year program), throughout the course of the meals for the few few days, we would each take a turn to stand up and share one word that described our lives at that time. It served as a great way to get reacquainted, and caught up with one another after being apart for the past six months. It was through these words that we would hear about job changes, upcoming marriages, pregnancies, illness, ministry successes, ministry failures and just ordinary life updates.
I have spoken a few times about the richness of Arrow and how my time in that program was so significant in my faith journey and development as a leader, and I am thankful that even now, four years after starting that program, it is still impacting my life.
And today, I would choose this word liminal to describe where I am. It is described as such:
1.of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
2.occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
Simply put – waiting. Neither quite here, nor quite there yet.
Last week I shared with my church that I would not be returning to my position as the Youth Director once my maternity leave was finished. I have spent a lot of time praying about this, and each time, really felt that God was telling me that my season of ministry here was over. It was a tough thing to want to admit and fully embrace. Partly because I love our church and the students I get to work with. And partly because it is a scary thing to let go of one thing without knowing what the next thing is that you’re suppose to grab on to. To let go of your income without knowing where your next source of income will be from. To let go of an role and purpose that brings a lot of fulfilment and life without knowing what you’ll next turn to, to bring challenge and growth into your days.
And yes, it is about our kids. I mean, of course they bring me purpose and a role and give challenge and growth. And yes, I LOVE being at home with them. But, it’s not all about the kids. I really do sense that there is another job for me to do. (and well, if I’m being honest, we kind of can’t afford for me not to work). But I don’t know what it is yet. And I sit in this weird place of seeing the days of my mat. leave count down, but also feeling like the countdown isn’t actually leading to anything. It’s as if day 1 of not being on maternity leave will be no different than day 365 of being on mat. leave. (And yes, let’s just celebrate and be thankful for the incredible YEAR long maternity leave Canada provides).
And trusting. OH the trusting. I am living in this place of seeing things with human eyes that tell me that it’s crazy to make decisions that could potentially leave us with significantly less income in a few months. It’s crazy to let go of something that brings me joy and an identity that I am proud of. But I am also seeing things with eyes of faith. Eyes that tell me that I can be so confident in the words of scripture that tell me not to worry about anything. That God will provide for all of our needs. That He goes before me and behind me. And that ultimately, my days and life are His, and that I can trust fully in His plan for me. And some moments, the human eyes see brighter and I worry a bit. But most moments, my eyes of faith remind me that I can rest, and not be anxious
And it’s kind of weird telling you this in the middle of the story. I would rather be able to write what new and exciting things lay ahead -because I’m quite confident they are there – I just don’t know them yet! But for now, I will wait. And I will live as presently as I can, knowing that each day holds its own purpose and plan. And I will continue to be liminal, for the time being, that is.