This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Navigating Seasons of Uncertainty: The Liminal Space | A Couple Cooks

This post is part of our Healthy and Whole series about embracing a healthy relationship with food. Since so much of that relationship connects to the we embrace life circumstances, navigating uncertain times fits here as well. 

Our Story

One Sunday night, we got an email marked Urgent. It was urgent because it had to do with a baby. A little girl who was born and waiting in the hospital. An adoptive family was needed to foster her for one week while conducting a paternity test to determine her eventual home. Depending on the results, she could be our forever daughter. Were we up for it?

Through tears, we agreed absolutely. This was the closest we had gotten to adoption after months of waiting. Since we’d started the process, we’d been matched with two birth mamas. Two times the adoptions fell through right after the baby’s birth. Both were crushing, but at the same time our hearts were full for those mamas, who couldn’t be faulted for parenting their sweet babies. So this time was the third time. Third time’s a charm, right?

After one glorious week with Baby Girl (the name on her birth certificate), we found out it wasn’t meant to be. It hit like a punch in the gut. We hid behind sunglasses to shade our red puffy eyes as we returned her to the adoption agency. Though our everyday was rocked, somehow life continued as usual. Today, we’re thrown back into the uncertainty of waiting, again. 

Want to hear us talk about our adoption journey? Click here to listen, or download the A Couple Cooks Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app and find the episode called “Our Story”.

Liminal What?

Are you in a time of uncertainty? Is one season of your life ending, but the other has not yet begun? If it’s not waiting for a child, maybe it’s your job situation, resolution in a relationship, or an undiagnosed illness. If you feel stuck in a time of uncertainty, you are not alone. This time is normal, and guess what? It even has a name: liminal space.

What is liminal space? According to Google, liminality is the in-between moments, the space between an inciting incident in a story and a resolution. It is often a period of discomfort, of waiting, and of transformation.

That’s exactly where we are. And yes, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s also a season of transformation. If you’re there too, you know it’s difficult to trudge through the everyday. Here are a few survival tips we’ve used to make it through a season of uncertainty in style.

Survival Tips

  1. Name it. Sometimes the most comforting thing during a season of uncertainty is to name it. You’re in the liminal space! And it’s absolutely normal. (After listening to this podcast about life seasons and the liminal space, I gave a sigh of relief. I learned a new word, and it was absolutely fitting to describe my present life phase.)
  2. Circle up. Community is so important, and we feel like we’re crowd surfing on a sea of friends and family during this journey. Texts, calls, and coffee dates have been truly life-giving. Seek out your trusted friends; even though it can be hard to take initiative when you’re hurting, it can be life-saving.
  3. Find a good outlet. Finding a “good” distraction has been an important survival tactic for us in this life stage. For us, it’s been pouring ourselves into healthy cooking and content for this blog and our podcast. For you, this may be cooking new recipes, reading a good novel, writing music or poetry, knitting, programming an app, running a race, or brainstorming a business venture. Things to avoid: tubs of ice cream, excessive alcohol or drugs. Just sayin’.
  4. Blinders: I like to say that I’ve put on a pair of figurative blinders. Instead of comparing my circumstances to other people’s, which appear to be smooth sailing, I remind myself that Alex and my journey is unique. Things will happen in their own timing, and faster is not better. This way, I can be genuinely excited for other people and their journeys. A mentality of abundance, not scarcity, helps to remind us that it’s not a competition!
  5. Have faith. Our faith is the number one thing that keeps us chugging along day by day. Alex and I believe God has a plan for our family, even though it’s taking longer than we thought it might have. Wherever you are in your faith journey, taking time to pause, meditate on what you believe, and examine what you are learning in the liminal space is key.

Are you in the liminal space? We’d love to hear about your story, either in the comments below or shoot us an email at acouplecooks at Whatever you’re facing, keep on trucking: we can do this together.

Update: Months later, we had a baby! His name is Larson and his story is pretty darn amazing.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I think about you guys often and am filled with hope for your growing family. The waiting is so hard! May this period be sweet even in its heartache, and may it end soon. xx

  2. I read every single one of your posts and so rarely comment, but posts like these make me stop and pray and wish so much that I could reach out and give you big hugs. Waiting on God and trusting is truly one of the hardest parts of walking with Him. I see the grace and strength He’s given you and that both challenges and encourages me. I somehow missed your IG post about the fostering so I am glad for this update- thanks again for sharing. Love and prayers for you both.

    1. This means so much Emily, you are such a kind soul. Sending a hug right back to you! Thank you so much for being such a supporter in this time — it truly means the world.

  3. Oh my, please know that we’re praying for you and wishing you love always. You both are such inspirations and I sincerely hope everything is resolved happily for you soon xx

  4. I too have been thinking of you and what must seem love me a terribly long wait. How fortunate(although heartbreaking for you to have to return her) that the little baby girl was surrounded by your love and tender care during her fragile time. I know you are one step closer to having the baby destined to be part of your family arrive. Supportive thoughts being sent your way?

    1. What a kind thing to say — thank you so much, Annie! We truly appreciate these thoughts, especially about Baby Girl. We were honored to have her in our lives. Thank you for writing! xxooo

  5. What a blessing to that little baby girl, only a week, but you were there for her. Continued prayers as you navigate through.

    1. Thank you, Chris! You’ve been such a support in this process. Your encouraging words through the past year have meant so much! :)

  6. Thinking of you! May God give you all you need to navigate through these times!
    And, yes, I am all to familiar with being in liminal space. I love that it has a name, I didn’t know that!
    My husband and I went through four years of infertility treatments before our beautiful (now four year old) boy was born. It definitely was a very challenging, heartbreaking time in our lives, but also one of the most enriching times. We grew so much closer to each other and to God. Right now I’m experiencing being in liminal space again, as I’m trying to find out what I want to do with my life, careerwise. I have so many interests but narrowing them down is the hardest for me.

    1. Ahh, the liminal space! I’m so glad to hear you’ve navigated through it in one sense of your live, though you’re unfortunately back in it again. I hope that it was helpful to you as it was to me to learn it has a name! Prayers that this liminal phase will be fruitful. I’m interested to hear what you’re leaning towards career-wise!!

See More Comments