I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Psalm 27:13
When we find ourselves between an ending and a new beginning, we are in a liminal space. All of us pass through these seasons in our lives. They can be places of incredible growth, but sometimes we struggle to embrace liminal spaces because they come with uncertainty, anxiety, and very few answers.
Most of what we know– the routines, tools, and habits we rely on– breakdown. To successfully navigate liminal spaces (or to just come through them unscathed), we have to lean into three spiritual shifts. We must move from a posture of Knowing to Unknowing, from Advocating to Attending, and from Striving to Surrendering. Susan Beaumont does an excellent job of unpacking these in her book How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going.
Briefly, moving from Knowing to Unknowing means accept that all the skills and expertise that got us where we are may not take us further. We must bring all the best of knowledge and wisdom but remain open to questions we can’t answer alone.
Moving from Advocating to Attending involves releasing our need to take a position and fight for it. We must accept we cannot “power through” everything. Sometimes we must simply be present to the moment and allow it to teach us.
Moving from Striving to Surrendering calls us to trust God more than our efforts. We must be honest about our present and not be driven by either our past or what we think the future is “supposed” to be.
- Read the story of Abraham learning to trust God’s promises in Genesis 15:1-18.
- What promises has God made to you?
- Describe a time you had trouble believing they would come true?
- How has God reassured you in the past?
- Read Philippians 3:7-4:1. Paul, amid his own struggles, writes to the Philippians to encourage them to trust in God.
- Think back on a time you were struggling or in a liminal space. Write a letter to your past self about why they should trust in God.
- With children play, God is Bigger Than That.
- If they are young, invite them to name the biggest thing they can see, they’ve ever seen, and they can imagine. To each excitedly answer, “God is bigger than that!” and ask what that means to them.
- If they are older, ask what the biggest, hardest, or most frightening thing is for them right now. Encourage them to describe it in detail. Then ask, what would it mean for God to be bigger than that?