Life in Limbo

Me and Toby.
That would be where I'm currently at. Limbo. My least favorite place to be. This time around is different though. I'm okay with not knowing what's coming next in my life--it's become normal for me. I'm okay with being between things--one thing has ended and the next hasn't yet begun. It's a stage--temporary, like the doldrums.

But this is different...

After a life of being in church, I've missed attending for the better part of six months. The first months I was in Arizona, twice, then I was sick for the whole month of January, and then we worked the monkeys every weekend in Cincinnati (five hours from where we live in southern Illinois) and church wasn't an option. I'm so thankful that God gave us the Bible--His Word to us that we are free to read any time we want. I'm also thankful for my commentaries, especially good ol' Warren Wiersbe. His commentary filled the gap left by missing all those sermons at church.

But missing church stinks. I missed the preaching, the corporate worship, my friends. I feel totally unplugged.

In Sunday School, our fabulous ladies' class teacher talked about all the jobs there are in the church and how God has equipped each believer with a spiritual gift so that together we can do what needs to be done. We talked about those jobs and the spiritual gifts that would be useful in those positions. Later, before the evening service, I was caught by one of the men on the nominating committee (it's that time of year in our church) and he verified that I needed to be taken out of my spot. It hurt.

Why did I need out? Because there's a good chance that being in church every Sunday like we once were isn't going to be the norm.

Playing with Toby.
After being so plugged in and involved, becoming a spectator... almost a visitor hard.

Our Sunday School teacher left us with this challenge for the week:
How am I using the spiritual gifts God gave me?

To be honest, I wanted to cry. I don't feel like I'm using my gifts at all. I've not been in church, I've not been part of a ladies' Bible study, and I've not been writing or blogging--all ways that I contributed to God's family in the past. All things that I miss greatly. So I've been doing some heavy duty thinking about this. During this season of not being plugged in at my local church, what can I do use the spiritual gifts God has given me to use for Him?

So tell me, how are you using the spiritual gifts God has given you?


  1. Mostly I'm pursuing my writing. I've turned down a couple of opportunities recently, and I do wonder if saying no was the right thing. But I also believe that they are seasons in our lives, and each season presents new opportunities and often closes the door on areas that we have grown comfortable with. God helps us stretch and grow into the new. Praying for you, Patty! Hugs and lots of love! So thrilled to see this post from you. Miss you!!

    1. Yes, there are seasons when we have to say no for one reason or another. I've reminded myself of that many times, and tried not to wish the season away, but to soak it up knowing there are important things in there for me.

      I hadn't thought about the whole comfort factor. You're so right! I like my comfy spots. LoL. But I like God's spots better. =]

      Thanks, Rita. You always help me think and process. Love and miss you much!!

    2. LoL, Rita. I had to read your comment several times to find the typo. I totally understood what you were saying. =]

  2. So glad to see a post from you! How difficult it must be for you to be in limbo. But God has big plans for you! As for me...I'm doing my best to use the gifts God has given me to try to encourage others.

    1. I've really missed blogging! I'm hoping my sabbatical is drawing to a close, or at least for a break from it. LoL. We'll see.

      Encouragement is one of those gifts so many of us appreciate and love. YOU are an encouragement to many of us, Shelley! =]

  3. A major gift, that is underutilized in the church is prayer. When I'm unable to attend, I can still be sensitive to pray for the church and the different people in's just a gift that people can't see :)

    1. You're so right, Jennifer! Intercessory prayer is something that's been much on my mind and something I've been so thankful for (especially lately). It's so needed.

  4. I know this is a very difficult time. If I may, I'd like to suggest that you are using your gifts and your calling in your busy family season. You are an amazing mom & wife, & some seasons are just like that. YOu know how I've grappled with this stuff. If you have time & you haven't read it already, pick up "Anonymous" by Alicia Britt Chole. You will be SO glad you did. I'm praying for you & I'm thankful to know that the Lord has you firmly & steadily in His grasp even while you limbo. Love you!

    1. Yes, you're right, La. This has been a time when I've really narrowed my focus down to primarily my family. I've had to and I'm so glad I have. Life has been crazy and topsy-turvy...

      I've brought Anonymous up and will hopefully be getting it soon. It looks like it's right along the lines of what I've been studying and mulling over for a year now. Thanks so much for suggesting it! =]



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