Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On the threshold.

I didn’t know how to describe this feeling my husband and I have had in these weeks before we take our first kid to college.  Then Matt taught me this new phrase. 

Liminal space. 

According to Wikipedia it’s a “quality of ambiguity or disorientation” that occurs within a rite of passage.  The old life of our little girl at home is getting cut off forever.  We stand on the threshold of a new life where she becomes an adult and we change to the role of advisor. 

But we haven’t passed through yet.  Holding our breath.  Waiting for it to happen.   

We don’t know what the new will be like. 

When I’m not the mom all day long, then who will I be?  Away from her family and the friends she’s known for so many years, who will she be? 

Paul says, “One thing I do:  forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:13-14  NIV) 

To follow Christ is to live in a liminal space. 

Liminal space is about a rite of passage.  Tearing away from the old.  Going through the ritual of learning to walk like Christ.  Waiting for the new structure of “identity, time, or community, and a new way” (Wikipedia). 

It’s a space where fear comes easily.  Fear of losing what was so comfortable and familiar.  Fear of moving forward into what we know is good but can’t always clearly define. 

Paul tells us how to function in liminal space:
·        Forget what is behind.
·        Reach forward to what is ahead. 

Six days until we take Jayme to college.  I’m determined to let go of what was and reach forward to what will be. 

How are you handling liminal space?

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