It began as a blip of restlessness, a slight stirring of the peace that passes all understanding. A disturbance in the force that fuels my soul. And I knew that I knew – I was about to enter limbo land.
This is not the first time I have sensed God about to change something in my circumstances. In past seasons, limbo land has sometimes prophesied a job change or a different direction in my writing craft. Because I live with a constant awareness that my mother’s Alzheimer’s journey may end soon – I wonder how far away is the phone call, “Mom’s gone.”
But this time, the restlessness and empty spacing centered around my church. God was about to move me to another place of service, where I could utilize my spiritual gifts and add to the effectiveness of the body.
I fought it for a while, unwilling to leave behind the saints I loved and the security of knowing just which row I would sit in and which people would park their families near me. We do fall into seating ruts – even in church. Familiarity thrives even within a discomfort zone.
But after several months of balking and trying to ignore the gentle whispers of the divine, I relented and began my search. Websites, statements of faith, contact info – then finally – actual visits to several churches.
I discovered Sunday is the loneliest day of the week.
But I felt some comfort in believing the Spirit would guide me as I journaled through Psalm 13 – a directional song David must have written during a limbo time in his own life.
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1).
As the weeks became months and the search continued, I wondered if God was trying to teach me another lesson about trust. Often, as we wait, he secretly moves puzzle pieces together and connects the dots so that the final picture is complete and more beautiful than we imagined.
“Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes” (Psalm 13:3).
Every Saturday night, I prayed for his light to illumine the way and shine out the answer. Still, time marched on while I searched and put together my list of pro’s and con’s, talked with pastors and members, tried to discern the best direction for a final decision.
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).
One of the pleasant side effects of my search was discovering the lovely saints in church bodies all over town. When we attend one church for a long period, we tend to think we are the only valid group in our little box of pews. But while visiting other congregations, I discovered an enormous diversity of faith and was cheered by the mission consciousness of the larger family of God.
By its definition, limbo land implies a season of waiting. Even after several months, my search continues. The final answer has not yet appeared but I may have narrowed it down between two choices. Ultimately, I know I will land somewhere and feel a belonging with a new group of saints, a place to serve and use my giftings. I believe that is God’s will for each of us.
In the meantime, even without knowing the final direction, I highlighted the last verse of David’s song, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:6).
And when the answer finally comes, you may hear a “Hallelujah!” from the heartland of Kansas.
What makes it hard for you to trust God?
What other passages have you used to help you gain courage and strength to trust God with your life?
What if you trusted God more? How would your life be different?