Winter is upon us, officially. Winter brings many facets of life, but the most prominent ones are patience and seasons of waiting.
We wait. We contemplate. We muse. We find quiet. Periodically, we are forced into quiet. We are plummeted into stillness. We are stirred into the opposite of our norm. Our culture likes to be busy, purposeful, accomplished, forward thinking. How do we get off the train of not slowing down, not being still, not allowing the waiting to mature and grow us?
Isaiah 40:31 “…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
This past year in this ministry has taught me many wonderful lessons. Patience in the waiting is one of them. As a wife, I am called to wait; as a mother I am called to wait, and as a midwife I am called to wait. Waiting oftentimes means we are allowing the space of “not knowing” to rule, to overshadow the control we normally have in our overflowing lives. When the stillness comes, when the darkness comes, or when the days of winter come, it can feel out of control. It can feel out of place, as we buckle ourselves into the space created out of necessity for our health and happiness.
Psalms 27:13-14 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Patience in waiting is for our health! More so than we can imagine. It slows our systems down. It does us good to be in waiting. What are we waiting on or for? For God’s will to be manifested, for God to reveal to us answers that we have longed for, or maybe for one season to pass and another begin.
Being in-between is called a liminal space – is from the latin word limen meaning a threshold. It encompasses the fact that we are through a gateway, but not through it. We stand, in waiting, in total trust and submission. We allow the stillness to take hold of our souls, to pierce our ideas, and change us for the better. The liminal space is not a place we tend to run to out of excitement for change – but a place we are set purposefully in, by our loving God, to nourish us, to give us time, to grow us.
Most of the time waiting is not something we willingly seek out or relish. It usually is an uncomfortable space where we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We are used to fiddling. We are used to planning, doing, creating. Anything but being still and allowing ourselves to be in the moment. In my work and life as a wife, mother and midwife, I am given plentiful opportunities to wait in abundance!
Psalms 130:5-6 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”
This season, I pray that you find a liminal space. A space where you are surrounded by God’s love and guidance, even if you don’t hear or see the fruit of that love at the time. I encourage you to meet people in their space; knowing that a lot of us are experiencing liminal space right now. Pray for them, pray for me because of the challenges it brings. Pray for courage to stand in that towering threshold, courage to put one foot in front of the other, when it is time.
This is taken from a book called Body Prayer – it is about courage in waiting:
I want to hear you say I will be more. I want the peace that you left us enveloped in bravery, dancing with stubborn hope, whispering promises of strength. I want it all — delivered to my home, dropped in my hands. Until you arrive, until I am invited through the final door, I need your help and courage to make it there.
Our greatest growth occurs in the waiting. Consider using this time for prayer and meditation. I admit, portioning out the time and energy for prayer and meditation doesn’t come easily for me. Regardless, I know the importance of meditation and it is so essential to our general health. It is to “be” and “be still” with God and walk in utmost faith to know that there is something on this other side, the other side of the “door” so to speak.
Joseph Cambell has said in regards to waiting, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”.
I have friends and dear ones in liminal space right now. Some of the spaces they are in are profound, heavy, sometimes dark, sometimes cold – but God is there. Some liminal space is just a short set back, a quick recharge, and not as dramatic as others. Regardless, it can frequently be and is against our nature to go to it. To learn in it, to love it, and to lean into it.
I have been challenged to explore where I have been and where I am going but, most importantly, where am I now. Where has God called me to be patient and to wait, standing firm and confident in the threshold? How about you? We all have the waiting. Praise God for the waiting!
I pray this for all of you, who are with me, and understand this space:
Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”