Reader Stories

Reader Stories: Clumsy Limbo Moves (Tripping in Transition) by Katie M. Reid

June 19, 2015 2

Katie Reid for Circling the StoryKatie M. Reid is a Tightly Wound Woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography she encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life.  Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Twitter and Facebook.


My kids sometimes watch a DVD with a Calypso band playing, a slightly off-key yet soulful version of, “Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot”. During the song one of the female band members, dressed in vibrant hues, does the limbo (don’t judge, I bought it for $1 at Wal-mart; money well spent).

It is quite impressive how this woman can get down. She uses her leg muscles and flexibility to bend back—staying controlled—while clearing the ever-lowering limbo bar. I stop and stare, amazed at her skillz.

Limbo: an intermediate or transitional place or state; a state of uncertainty.

I am definitely not proficient or graceful when it comes to limbo. I move clumsily between what was and what will be. I try to keep my balance in times of transition but I often trip, unsure of my footing.

My husband and I have experienced times of waiting with no end in site—unemployment, trying to get pregnant, a long adoption journey, and house hunting.

When I find myself in a holding pattern I feel rigid and out of place. This tightly wound woman likes to know what is happening, and when I don’t, I’m edgy.

I pace, like a caged animal that longs to bust out of confinement. I long for the security of the “known”—the job offer, the positive pregnancy test, the answered prayer, the closing date.

Come on God, just give me something to hold onto.

Reader Stories: Katie M. Reid for Circling the Story

My husband and I have moved eight times in fourteen years. For the past six months we have been on the prowl for a house; hunting like a skilled predator, waiting for its prey to land.

And we prayed for land: a little plot of ground for the boys to run free, a well-lit space for me to write, room for daughter to create and a haven for hubby at the end of a long day.

We scouted far and wide. We spent countless hours searching for a desirable location with a good return for our labor.

Six long months and five offers later we were discouraged and wavering in the waiting.

My flexibility muscles were taxed.

My determination was sagging.

The bar had been raised high but my hopes were sinking.

Times of transition often leave me disoriented and downright frustrated. When the pressure holds me down and the unanswered questions weigh heavily on my mind, I am strategically positioned to grab hold of God. But many times I go forward—relying on my own strength—because I don’t like waiting my turn. My heels get worn with callouses after many rounds of limbo and eventually I land flat on my back in exhaustion—in need of healing—as the ceiling spins overhead.

Waiting for the next thing is hard. I feel lost as I pace and start to doubt as I wonder when things will change. Waiting, with no end in sight, makes me feel overlooked and even forgotten.

Transition is a ripe season for faith muscles to be stretched and strengthened.

Just when I was about ready to run out of hope that we would ever find a home, God provided.

There is open space for three energetic boys to run around, there is a floor-to-ceiling window for me to write in front of, there is a room for daughter to get crafty in and it’s a little slice of heaven for hubby to come home to.

From the resurrection till Jesus’ return we are in a season of limbo. Thankfully, He meets us here in the waiting and prepares us for what’s coming next—while He prepares a home for us.

As I wait, I want to:

Stretch well.

Hold on.

Be ready.

And keep the faith.

Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time (James 5:7-8, The Message).


  • Abby Breuklander

    Thanks for sharing Katie!! I really needed this today!!

    • You are most welcome. May His hope be an anchor to you in this storm Abby.