During a recent visit with my spiritual director, I was sharing my sense of loss of purpose, meaning, and vision for my future. I was feeling directionless with no way forward.
Some may refer to this feeling of nowhere as “liminal space”, that time between the “what was” and the “next”. This is a space of transition, a season of waiting, and not knowing.
This is where all transformation takes place if we learn to wait and let it form us.
It is hard to appreciate the gift of this liminal space. There is nothing I could do to change it or control it. It just seemed like dead space with no purpose. What to do during this time of unknowing?
My spiritual director responded with a quote from Thomas Merton, a mid-century Trappist monk, spiritual author, and social commentator. Merton had written:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have the desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are always with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.1
Merton’s prayer spoke deeply to me as I ponder this call to trust and faith.
I share it with you in the hope that it may also speak to you in your time of unknowing.
– Terri Sersch
1 Merton, Thomas, Thoughts in Solitude, A Prayer of Unknowing, p.79