I feel like last week got away from me, and I didn’t get much posting done at end of week. Between not feeling well and a lot of other things taking up my brain power (things I will hopefully be sharing soon – it’s good news!), blogging just didn’t happen.
But I did write this last week for my#LiveFreeThursday group; I just never posted it. I was tempted to leave it in my draft folder forever but decided I would go ahead and share it and hope that it helps some of you who might find your life in transition – in limbo.
When I hear the word “limbo”, I think of two things: playing the limbo game and being in a place of unknown transition.
I wish I had more fun and experience doing the limbo as I do being in the place of unknown transition.
But that is not the case, especially in recent years. Unfortunately, it seems we have taken up residence in the city of Limbo. It has become a bit of a home – not a very comfortable one for sure – but it has been where our days have been being lived out during this long season of unemployment.
In fact, we are kind of tired of living in this place and hoping for a new home. “I just don’t know” has become a pat answer for so many things in our lives. It’s hard to plan for anything when you aren’t sure where you are going to be living, as many of the jobs have the potential to take us far from our current home. Everything constantly feels up in the air from how the bills are going to get paid to where we might be living. It’s crazy really.
As a Type A planner who likes to have her ducks in a row, this has proven to be very challenging for me! Really challenging. There are so many things that are out of my control and that require me to wait and see what happens. You can’t plan for what you don’t know.
So how do you live in “limbo”? How do you find peace and rest when everything is in transition? Here are a few things that I have found to be useful.
1. Control the things you can. When your life seems to be in this place and you have no control over what is ahead, control the things you can get a grasp on. Ultimately, you and I both know God is in control but there are things in your daily life that you can have some say over. Do those things and do them well.
You have control over your attitude and how you respond. You can either let the limbo tie you up in a knots or you can have a grateful attitude and go with the flow. You can control what finances you do have and create a budget to live with what you have. But most importantly of all – don’t allow everything to be overwhelming – manage what you can and be at peace with that.
2. Do the next thing. When it all seems like too much and you aren’t even sure what the next day will bring, just do the next thing. Ask yourself what needs to be done and create a list and do them.
Does the laundry need to be done? Do you need to schedule that appointment? Do you need to create a menu for the week? Do you need to make follow-up phone calls on job applications? Figure out what is weighing on you (besides living in “limbo”) and just start doing what needs to get done. You will be surprised at how this relieves some of the stress and gives you some structure to your days, which helps you feel like you are progressing.
3. Be grateful. I’ve mentioned before how several years ago I started counting the gifts each day. It’s been a game-changer. There are so many things to be thankful for and it puts our hearts in the posture of gratitude, which makes it easier to accept the place you are in.
Struggling to be grateful? Just find 1-2 things close at hand – be thankful for a roof over your head and clothes in your closet. Thankful your family said “Thank you” for dinner. Thankful that even in the unknown, you serve a known God who is faithful. I could even challenge you to be thankful for the place of “limbo” because God uses everything – and I mean ALL THINGS- in our lives so He will be using this time of limbo even if we can’t see what purpose it serves right now. Get a notebook and just start counting the gifts each day!
4. Do NOT isolate yourself from friends/community. This is the worst thing you can do. You might feel that since you don’t know what is going to happen, it is just best to hide from the rest of the world. It is NOT the answer. Ask me how I know.
Granted, we all need time to think and be by ourselves but I’m talking about not having a social life outside of your home and the day to day. We need people. We need relationships and being part of a community. Life is still happening even if it feels like you are at a standstill.
Keep going to church. Join a bible study. Have dinner or coffee with a friend. Volunteer to serve someone/somewhere else. Call or text a friend on those hard days when you think you will never, ever leave the town of Limbo and things will never change. You will be surprised how important this is to remain connected. Not only does it take us outside of our situation to realize that many people are dealing with hard things (some worse than ours). Being involved also gives us an opportunity to share, laugh and even cry with one another. I’ve said it before but, life is just plain hard, especially if you have been in the valley of limbo a long time. Don’t isolate. Call a friend!
5. Stay in the Word and Pray. There is nothing more important than coming before Him every morning, bending the knee, submitting to His plan for your life, and reading His word. Absolutely nothing is more important. This is where life gets real. He changes things in our lives when we do that. Even if our situation does not change, He talks to us and our shapes our response to limbo.
Grab your bible and your journal. Why journal? Because when He speaks to you through his word, you can jot it down to ponder. Also, find a place where you can pray uninhibited and pour our your heart. Although He already knows what is going on in our lives, He wants us to come before Him with our prayers. He wants a conversation with us.
In fact, He tells us that we can come before His throne boldly (thanks to Christ) and give our hearts desires known to Him. HE is a God who hears and answers prayers. Maybe not as quickly as we’d like (like those of us in Limbo know so well) or how we’d like Him too (i.e….Lottery Jackpot) but He will answer us.
Limbo is not a fun place to be, but there are things we can do to make it better. Make the best of it knowing it’s not forever and God is on our side (even in Limbo Town).
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