The word liminal comes from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, a season of waiting, and not knowing.
Author and Franciscan friar Richard Rohr describes this space as:
where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.
These thresholds of wondering and not knowing our ‘next’ are inevitable and most are incredibly disruptive. Yet, these spaces are required and necessary for growth that precedes your healing.
From the point where you take that leap of faith until you land on solid ground, it can be scary. It can be lonely. It can be confusing and exhausting.
It is ALWAYS a testimony.
This is the place that scares us. This is the place where our comfort zone has been left for the unknown zone. This is where fear and faith collide to do battle for the future of our life.
Look at the person in the picture above again. Notice a few things about them:
They are looking forward —
Unless you are a diver or playing around near a pool, you look ahead when you leap. You are seeking a place that is in front of you.
Have you ever wondered why God put our eyes on the front of our head? Yes, to look forward. We have to strain to see behind us without a mirror. It should be a struggle to focus on what is already behind us.
God wants us to look at what lies ahead instead of what lies in ruins behind us. You can’t change the past. You can only learn from it and move forward.
They are heading somewhere —
There is movement away from the past towards a new present. A decision was made to embrace change. They trust where they are heading will be better than where they have been, a place of pain.
There is a hope, a desire for more than what has happened to them. A sense of a new beginning that can only happen when they step out in faith.
9 But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
They are not where they used to be —
The space between is not the place of your past. You are not there any more. Rejoice in that!!
You are now residing in a new space. Liminal space is temporary, just like where you may be living right now.
A nice big house may have become a small 2 bedroom apartment either with your children or all by yourself. The house may be the same, but your family may not be there with you.
A negative change in your physical home can become a welcome change in your non-physical home. Your soul can be at rest with His Holy Spirit no matter where you live, in a mansion or in a rescue shelter.
He lives in you. Seeking Him and welcoming Him into your new ‘home’ will mean a closer, more life-giving relationship with the God who will never leave you nor forsake you.
10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly,
They are above where they will land —
It seems a little odd, but do you notice in the picture the person is higher than where they will end up on the other side? Why is that?
First, it takes strength to jump out in faith. You need to know that God will be your strength and will give you the power to propel away from your past to land in your future. Go for it!!
Second, you can’t just crawl off the faith cliff. You will fall straight down. The person above put physical, mental, and emotional energy into moving out from their past. You can too.
Third, where you are headed will be a foundation for your future. It will be the solid ground where you can stabilize yourself for the journey ahead. Count on it.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Will everything be perfect from this point forward? Of course, not. Will everything work out? I hope so. Will it be difficult? Probably. Will it be worth it? DEFINITELY!!
When you thrust your whole being upwards towards the God who created you and loves you, the picture above is where you will be. You will be closer to Him, away from your past, above your problems, and heading towards a solid rock where your new life will begin.