Existing in the space of liminality can be disorienting, scary and lonely. It is a bit like being dropped in the wilderness with no map, no compass and no idea how to get back to civilization.
Anne Franks and John Meteyard. “Liminality: The Transforming Grace of In-Between Places,
Hope is the melody of the future; faith is dancing in that melody right now.
I am not a big fan of change. I recently moved house and was reminded again of how much I dislike the disruption of life; the change of what has become comfortable for what is unfamiliar and strange. I still go to the wrong side of the kitchen to find the microwave; and there are boxes in my garage filled with important things that I occasionally have to sift through to find something. I have moved out of my old house but don’t quite feel like my new house is home.
There is a word that describes this experience: liminality. The word itself comes from the Latin word (limen) which means ‘threshold’, it describes the holding space where one steps away from what was before, but has not yet crossed over into what is new.
Moving house represents a relatively minor disruption to our existence; however, when it comes to more unsettling changes, the transition can be devastating. Existing in the space of liminality can be disorienting, scary and lonely. It is a bit like being dropped in the wilderness with no map, no compass and no idea how to get back to civilization. You know that you cannot go back to what was before; there is a deep sense of loss, suffering and pain as you come to terms with the idea that you can no longer be the person that you once were, when you existed in that space. That space is now in the past. When the movement into a space of liminality is sudden, unexpected, unwanted or through circumstances beyond our control, the sense of loss can be compounded.
In the space of liminality, we need to lament what we have lost. In lament we are able to first of all declare that what has happened, what has changed, what we have lost, and the way that things are, is not the way that we would like it to be; second, we voice a hope that this is not the end of our story—how things are now is not how things will always be.
If you find yourself in the disorienting threshold of liminality, between the end of one dream and the beginning of something new, I encourage you to find someone you trust who can lament your loss with you and help you put your faith in our loving God who makes all things possible.
 Lysa TerKeurst. Forgiving What you Can’t Forget: Discovering How to Move on, Make Peace With Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again (Nashville: Nelson Books, 2020).  Anne Franks and John Meteyard. “Liminality: The Transforming Grace of In-Between Places,” The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling,” 61 (2007): 215  Ibid. Ibid.  Susan Marie Smith. “Severance, Separation and Divorce: Offering Healing Rites in Times of Unexpected and Unwanted Change,” Liturgy 27 (2012): 5. Ibid.
First published in the Cathedral News, June 2021, St Peter’s Cathedral, Hamilton. Reprinted with thanks.