the journeyDevelopmental Stages offer us insight into the experience of liminality: the in-between phases of spiritual life that generate tremendous growth.

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Sometimes the best map will not guide you
You can’t see what’s round the bend,
Sometimes the road leads through dark places
Sometimes the darkness is your friend.

It was spring in Winnipeg, and I had moved out of my apartment on Ellice Street and moved in with a friend on River Road. I had finished a year of study at the U of W and was in transition, not sure what was next. But a friend had been talking about Regent College, that graduate school on the west coast, and with most of my family in BC, it was an attractive option.

May was a tough month. Although the snow was gone from yards and streets and the buds were swelling, I felt a chill in my spirit. I had a few options before me, and no sense of certainty as to what was best. A new beginning at a new school in a new city was both attractive, and terrifying. Did I really have the stuff needed for grad school? Would I find a new community of friends? What was I called to do? Who had God made me to be?

More fundamentally, who was God anyway? I had been a Christian for four years, three of them in Bible College, and though I could not clearly articulate it, there were at least two versions of God and the Gospel offered to me. Which version founded my identity: was I a worthless sinner, or God’s beloved? Asked from the other side, what is God’s primary nature: Judge, or Father?