I’ve spent a good portion of my life in limbo. You know, that stage where you know something is going to change but it hasn’t yet, and you feel as if you’ve hoisted the anchor but there’s no wind. You’re in-between something, and you’re not sure how to handle it.
When I was five, my family went on a weekend vacation while our bathroom was remodeled. We came home to studs. No walls, no flooring, no sink. Thanks to rotted floorboards in other places and wiring that made the electrician say, “You cannot have used that switch for that light,” more than a year passed before we moved back home. We stayed in four different places.
Four years later, we moved to the next county. After six months, we moved to the next state. Jumping from Georgia to Alabama was fun for me, an adventure; leaving what you knew for ten years does hurt, though. And it soon became apparent that even though we bought a house in our new state, we wouldn’t be staying. So I tried my hardest to protect myself against the coming transplant by not putting down roots. This wasn’t entirely fruitless, but you can’t completely distance yourself from the place you spend five years — and it was a pleasant place to live.
Well, the five years gone found us back in Georgia. We’re settled this time, we say. We won’t be leaving: too much money lost, too much time has slipped away. Oh, no, we’re staying.
And you know what happened? I don’t really care if we stay or not. Somewhere in the moving back, which didn’t turn out to be all I expected, I lost that deep need to be firmly established somewhere. Sure, I’ll always be attached to beautiful northeast Georgia; but I’ll be attached to bustling Huntsville, Alabama, too; and I’ll learn to love anywhere else life might take us. Although I do want to settle one day, I can move again; no problem.
But what I didn’t lose is the feelings that come with limbo. The threat of a move is not the only thing that can put you in limbo. Any coming change can. And I know that, yet again, I’m facing change. I’m excited. But it won’t happen right away. I’m in limbo.
What does that mean? It means at the first knowledge of change, I feel panic. I want out, away, end of this current situation, even though the next step isn’t clear. Just let me go. Let me lose myself in my own world until the next adventure arrives prepackaged. But of course, it doesn’t work that way. What would be the point anyway? So I pray, and give it a few days, and the feeling passes. And I’m back to the peaceful view of “Let come what will, Jesus will bring me through. Meantime, I have plenty of stuff to do.” I’ll likely have times I drop back to the panic, but I’ll recover.
This chapter will close when God writes the last word. Then He’ll turn the page, I’ll scramble to catch up, and we’ll be off to something else. There’s a song that my sisters started practicing before the latest limbo began: While I’m Waiting. It encourages me.
I can and will serve Jesus while I’m waiting. I can and will still worship Him. He’s ever so good.
And He gives me plenty of interesting things to do!