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In-Between Times

Life seems unsettled, blurred, and uncomfortable. COVID-19, racism, and grief have affected and confused us. These public crises exposed painful realities of our own ignorance and denial. Living with the premise of control has proven a fallacy. We’ve experienced losses that are physical, emotional, vocational, social, financial, and even spiritual.

“Who we become,
depends upon the choices we make.”

— Jean Shinoda Bolen

This has been a disorienting, scary time that is testing our patience and comfort. We have entered a liminal time — an in-between time. Therapist Jane R. Prétat describes liminality. “It’s as if we were caught in a darkened vestibule between an old way of being and a new … The doors of the past close behind us. The doors to the future are still unopened. Too often we forget that only by enduring our time in the liminal space between those doors, waiting for an opening, can we eventually move freely across a threshold into the future.”

We long for this time of uncertainty to end. But liminal time requires trust and acceptance of ambiguity. Our challenge is to dwell in the discomfort, to listen, discern, and grow in our ability to walk with one another in love.

This in-between time has caused me to question what I thought was truth. I have become aware of portions of unrecorded history. I’ve gained clarity between want and need. My priorities are clearer. I am better with technology, and I even had fun at a virtual birthday party. Wearing a mask is a way for me to let others know that I care about their health and well-being. I’ve started listening intentionally to my body and my grief, and I’m confronting my own racism.

In this threshold time, the door to the past is closing and a door to the future has not yet opened. It is a time to search for understanding, patience, and meaning. A time to pray, and attend to our relationships with self, one another, and God. May this liminal time be an opportunity to listen deeply to our bodies, minds, and spirits and to the needs of our community, so that we make wise choices in who we become.

So You Can Be Well

Try one or more of the following to help you through this liminal time:

  • What are you wrestling with in this liminal time?
  • What has been clarifying for you?
  • Consider a mantra to support you in this in-between time, for example: Psalm 56:2 “O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
  • What is your next faithful step to live well in this liminal time? What tweaks do you need to make to your self-care?
  • Consider practicing #moveandpray

Deacon Tammy L. Devine

Tammy shares her passion for health, healing, and wholeness through consulting, coaching, and retreat facilitation. As an ELCA deacon, registered nurse, parish nurse/coordinator, and ICF certified coach, she collaborates with thought leaders to facilitate personal and communal growth toward living and leading well. Contact her to learn more.

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