Hi friends. Welcome to this week’s edition of Soul Food.
When I was 19 years of age, I had been living in the USA with my family for 10 years. My parents then decided to return to Australia and wanted me to come back with them. I didn’t want to go … so we had some ‘intense fellowship’ about this for quite a few months. Eventually, we decided I would come for a year and see how it went.
I remember the emotion of leaving America at that time. I was giving up everything I’d known – friends, connections, opportunities, the familiar – and heading back to a place I barely remembered. It was a bit like letting go of one trapeze and I hadn’t yet got a hold of the next one. I was in-between – my past and my future.
These liminal spaces, as they are sometimes called, are scary. It’s the feeling of the great unknown. The past is gone and there is no going back but the future hasn’t yet arrived. Everything is in a state of flux. Nothing is certain or sure.
After about a year, I had gradually ‘replaced’ everything I had thought I was giving up. I made new friends, new connections, and new opportunities came my way. Although I have visited American again since that time and greatly appreciated the 10 years I spent there, in the end, I realised I was more Aussie than I thought … and Australia has become my home, again. But this process wasn’t easy nor was it quick. It took time and I experienced a range of emotions along the way.
Ancient Israel left Egypt but before they arrived at their Promised Land, they wandered through a Wilderness. In-between times can feel like that wilderness – we’re not where we once were but we haven’t yet arrived at where we want to be. That can be frustrating.
In his excellent book, Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, author William Bridges notes that it is often not the endings that do us in, it is the transitions. Transitions involve the emotion of change during the in-between times, like a trapeze artist hanging in the air! This can be exciting, yet frightening. In these liminal spaces, nothing is familiar or normal.
Let’s recap our main points:
- Transitions are those times in-between endings and beginnings.
- These liminal spaces can be both exciting and frightening.
- Give yourself time to process the season of change you are in.
Once again, find a safe friend or alongsider who you can talk with. Openly sharing your thoughts and feelings is incredibly helpful and healthy.
That’s all for today. See you next week.
You can watch a video of this episode on the Soul Food YouTube Channel.