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Humming During Limbo

on May 3, 2012

Limbo was that entertaining game we played in my youth involving a fun tune and bending backwards to walk under a stick. I usually lasted several rounds (unless it involved wheels at a roller skating rink, but let’s just not go there!) because I am short and never had to bend as far as other people. I’ve never been flexible, just short enough to walk under a stick. That’s an accomplishment, right?? (I think there is probably a sermon in there somewhere..) It’s funny how a fun childhood game turns into another thing all together when we get older. One of the definitions of “limbo”, according to Webster, is: “a. A place of restraint or confinement. b. A state of neglect or oblivion. c. an intermediate or transitional place or state. d. a state of uncertainty.” That’s it! That is my life in a nutshell at the moment and it doesn’t feel fun or game-like at the moment.

My husband has taken a job in another town located an hour and a half from where we have lived for the last fourteen years. It’s a great job. It’s the next step. It’s an answer to prayer. It’s where we want to go. It’s thrown our family into “limbo”. You see we have this seventeen year old daughter who seems to think that she needs to graduate from the high school she has attended the last three years. Silly that this is such an important detail to her, but it is. And while people have told us that we are insane to try to accommodate her ability to stay in place her senior year and that she would adjust to the other school just fine, I would submit to those people that it is much easier to wax philosophical about things when it doesn’t involve your own child. Don’t misunderstand: We are not all about making our children happy every minute of every day. We are, however, trying to keep the cost of future therapy for our children minimal, so if their requests are reasonable, we try to work around them as much as possible. Her request is understandable this time and we’ve been able to adjust a few things to that we can accommodate it. Dad stays in the other town during his work week and Mom “mans the fort”. It isn’t easy but I have never let things like “this well may kill you” stop me….for long. So we chug along, knowing that we are leaving where we are and starting over in a new place, but not now: a year from now. Welcome to Limbo Land: a transitional place!

Transitions are funny things. They are all a passage from one thing to another, one state or stage to another, but none of them are exactly the same. None of them take the same amount of time. The transition from being the parents of young children to being the parents of teenagers was so gradual that we didn’t even notice it was happening. We know it has happened because having small children around for extended periods of time reminds us, “Aren’t we glad we’re out of THAT stage of life?” The transition of having four kids at home to having three was abrupt. We dropped our oldest son off at college and, BAM, we have leftover food in the house again. Because no two transitions are alike, there is no manual, no set way, as to how to handle them. No way of knowing if you are navigating them “correctly”. Ecclesiastes 3 begins with the passage that is familiar to many people, mostly because it is often read at funerals: “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” (go ahead and finish quoting that in your head.) EVERY season has a purpose; even seasons of transitions. The key I think is knowing what to do during them.

When you examine transitions in music, they all have different purposes. Some are written in to accommodate a key change. Some are to add excitement and build to the incredible ending. Some….well…some are just there. Many years ago I was working with a vocal coach on a couple pieces of music I was to sing for a friend’s wedding. At one point she stopped the accompaniment tape and said, “This transition is really quite long and isn’t really adding anything. I think we need to have you hum or do a little something in here so that you don’t lose momentum for the end of the song.” Don’t lose momentum during a transition? Hmmmm…..

As we reside in our current, rather lengthy, and some days frustrating I might add, place of transition, what can I do that will help to not lose momentum? What can I do to help find and fulfill the purpose of this season? I’m going to start by making sure that I take this extra time to enjoy the people and things that I have grown to love while living here and do my best ignore the things that make me want to run from town screaming. I’m going to look for opportunities to leave something positive behind us. I’m going to enjoy every minute that we have of the last year our daughter will be one of our “full time kids”. I’m going to do each day what God has put before me to do and not worry about the next “round” yet. Most of all: I’m going to hum along with the music and bend the best I can to get under that stick! (Cue music: “Every boy and every girl. All around the Limbo world….” )

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One response to “Humming During Limbo

  1. Sherry says:

    Amen girl!

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