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The In-Between

The Space Between

I love a little Lovecraftian horror. Weird monsters creeping in the forest. Something tangible to overcome. If you’re like me, Stranger Things is so much fun…suspense, monsters, an obvious villain, the constant throwback to the 80s (my childhood) and a team of heroes. They all work together to fight against, fix and save us from the Upside Down. I won’t say too much because “Spoilers” (there’s a Doctor Who reference for all who follow). One of the many things I love about watching shows like Doctor Who and Stranger Things is the short amount of time between conflict and resolution.

Life seldom gives us the upside down (for which we give thanks) but it does frequently give us the in-between.

Liminal, as defined on the Oxford Languages website:

Liminial: adjective

1.     occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

"I was in the liminal space between past and present"

2.     relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.

"that liminal period when a child is old enough to begin following basic rules but is still too young to do so consistently"

So, ok, if this is liminal, then what is liminal space? Very Well Mind defines liminal space as “the uncertain transition between where you've been and where you're going physically, emotionally, or metaphorically.”

Sure that sounds kinda tough so when we think of a liminal space like a hallway or long corridor that lacks the presence of people or animals…well, that sounds more like a scene from “The Shining” and now it feels creepy and unsettling…

That leads me to my real question: what do we do in the space between? What do we do when we are on our way somewhere and we aren’t quite there but we are definitely not where we started from?

I’m in this weird chapter in life…a move across country…I don’t have a new home and address quite yet but I’ve moved out of my old house and it’s not my place of residence anymore…this feels very unsettling…

Proverbs 13:12 says that “Hope deferred makes a heart sick…” if you’ve ever had to wait a long time for something sometimes the waiting feels like it can just drive you to madness.

I graduated from college in December of 2005. I had plans to start working and immediately begin starting my trajectory towards getting my masters and eventually my doctorate and becoming a college professor. Ya’ll…this did NOT happen. I got married, moved around a lot, had a couple of kids, buried my dad, got divorced but I did NOT get my masters and I definitely didn't get to become a professor. I can tell you very truthfully that the past years watching time pass as any hope of achieving my dreams faded into the distance that it did indeed make my heart sick.

Recently, I started a grad school application. I haven’t even turned it in yet. I can’t tell you what will happen or how this will play out but I never expected it to take almost 19 years to get to this point. The detour was only supposed to be 2 years long…

There are a million ways life and its detours can throw us into a liminal space or sometimes we get stuck in a liminal space of our own making (we know we shouldn’t date a certain person but we don’t’ want to be alone or we know that it is time for us to leave our job and look for something else…). The reality is regardless of how or why we are in that space the fact that we’re there is difficult.

While there are no roots to put down or ladders to climb in the in-between there is an abundance of grace to be found.

So I just want you to know that no matter what is happening today, whether it is something that happened to you or is of your own making, grace abounds. (That sounds so churchy…let me try again)

Whether you screwed up or whether someone screwed you over, God’s grace is big enough for both and/or all eventualities.

What’s my advice on making it through or getting over it? Y’all, I have none. Breathe, drink water, try to eat healthy foods sometimes and get enough sleep. Take it day at a time. If a day is too long then take it moment by moment.

My great grandmother went through the unimaginable and although I never got to meet her I did finally get to reconnect with my family and I was told she used to say this and I hope you’ll hold onto it as much as I have. “Troubles don’t last always” and “good follows bad”

We walk each day holding onto hope and as we go through the in-between we give thanks that there are no tentacled monsters with giant fangs waiting to be conquered on the boss levels of abandoned castles…we just have life.

Keep your head up. Remember who you are and whose you are.


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