I have been a missionary for almost three years. In two weeks, I will be going to New York for “End Terms,” an event to start wrapping up my time as a Global Mission Fellow – Mission Intern. I will be there with the rest of my class of Mission Interns and the US-2 class that will be finishing missionary service in July 2015.
At the same time, I work in campus ministry at Central Methodist University, in Fayette, Missouri, and this weekend is graduation. We have students leaving for summer jobs, internships, and moving on to new chapters in their lives.
So I have been thinking a lot about transitions and changes. And one scripture has continually come to my mind:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 NRSV).
During times of transition, I find comfort in the knowledge that God is with me. Even when I don’t know what is coming next or where I will end up, the underlying fact that God is with me gives me security for the present and hope for the future.
And that security and hope allow me to live those transitory times in my life, or as my friend puts it, living into the liminal space. Living in liminal space is about tension. Tension between what we have done in the past and what we will do in the future. Tension between planning and leaving space for growth. Tension between being present in the moment and looking ahead to what is to come.
And that tension is where God meets us. It is where the Holy Spirit met the disciples on Pentecost. God helps us to use that transitory time to reflect and regroup before making the next big step in our lives.
I know I am leaving Central Methodist in two months. I could take that time to coast until then. But I know that when I leave, ministry will not end at Central Methodist University. I am part of a larger story and a bigger picture. And my action or inaction over the next few months will affect that story.
So I will take some time to reflect on where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. And I know God will help me to live in that liminal space until I take the next big step in my life and go to seminary in Atlanta, Georgia.