Hemmed-In And Praising In The Land Of The Unknown

I hate that hemmed-in feeling of helplessness. Especially when you combine it with the great “unknown” we all must live with.

I know now “certainty” is a myth we must all surrender.

I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in some rather chaotic circumstances.

Our family “looked” normal enough from the outside looking in. But from the inside? It was like trying to daily swim through shark-infested waters! For many years it seemed like the Biblical hero Job had little on us because our family seemed to be caught in one hurricane after another, and that molded my “thinking and reacting” to crisis in some peculiar, yet predictable ways.

First, I began to expect trouble. Not just fear it like most folks, but expect it, like it was the only normal way of living.

I know, that kind of thinking is not good.

Since trouble of all kinds became my “normal” I began to become fixated on making plans in advance of it, in hopes of controlling the crisis and chaos I expected.

This is also—not good. 

These are not the mindsets for developing a hopeful spirit or for believing for the best kind of outcomes. Quite the contrary. Instead, I developed the habit of trying to always have a workable plan for every conceivable disaster.

If that meant having Plans A, B, and C, so be it.


It was mentally exhausting and a miserable way to live. Especially when you combine it with parents who expected me to meet each crisis situation with calm stability and creative ideas. Their expectations required learning the art of wearing masks of cool capability, for rarely did I feel either calm, or stable on the inside.

Instead, fear and uncertainty became my constant companions and ever-present-enemies, hounding me with all their unanswerable questions.


Imagine the conflict created when this marvelous Jesus comes along intending to set me free and flatly states, “This is NOT how I want you to live.”

Imagine all the un-learning that had to take place!

Yeah, my inner-child went down kicking and screaming, because she believed SHE was the only source of safety and the only one who could always be counted-on, or trusted-in.

God who created and runs the universe wasn’t having any of that nonsense! So I had to learn that living in The Land of the Unknown is and always has been—normal.

I also had to learn that He lives in The Always-Known and Always-Going-Somewhere-Good Land, and where He goes I am expected to follow.

It’s taken a huge attitude adjustment on my part—singing in the storms—but I’m getting there.

I am learning to wait for the answers He will send by surrendering my need to focus on controlling my outcomes, holding on in faith to His better ways, and better plans.

And He has sent me friends to help.

Friends to teach me songs along the way—songs to sing in the storms of life’s uncertainty.

Friends to teach me new ways of thinking and new points to focus on.

My thankful-thanks to Christine Caine who sent these great focus points in my email:

Dwell on these truths today: 
  • There is no promise too hard for God to fulfill.
  • There is no prayer too big for God to answer.
  • There is no problem too big for God to solve.
  • There is no disease God cannot heal.
  • There is no heart God cannot mend.
  • There is no relationship God cannot restore.
  • There is no sin God cannot redeem.
  • There is no bondage God cannot break.
  • There is no need God cannot meet.
  • There is no mountain God cannot move.
  • There is no enemy God cannot defeat.
  • There is nothing my God cannot do!

enduranceNow to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21).