Clinging To The Safety Of The Known

I don’t know about you but when I fear the uncertainty of the unknown I often settle for the perceived safety of the known. Even if it is clearly not the best choice.


Recently God used Mildred to remind me of this tendency and help me move forward, continuing to step out in faith on the journey He has invited me into.

An Unexpected Encounter

I first Saw Mildred online when the local humane society posted her picture. I was immediately drawn to her.

A few days later while at the shelter with a fired I made it a point to see Mildred. There she was lying on her bed. A beautiful little black Italian Greyhound, weighing all of twenty-five pounds.

I was smitten.

The next day I had to go back to meet her. We spent a fair amount of time together. She gave me some kisses, and when I picked her up and placed her on my lap, she remained there calmly.

After a while, the shelter worker returned. As we talked Mildred left me to lay beside her caregiver. She was calm, comfortable, and content.

Clinging To The Known

We both joked with Mildred that she should lay by me to increase her chance of getting a forever home. We told that although the shelter was taking good care of her, she didn’t want to stay there any longer than necessary.

But Mildred remained contentedly beside the shelter volunteer whom she had only known a week.

Why? Because it was familiar and seemed safe.

Her reaction reminded me of not only when I adopted Sadie (she did the same thing) but the times in My life when I choose the familiar rather than risk stepping into the unknown.

I wonder how many times I have actually settled for the safe and predictable. The good rather than the best.

To become who we are created to be requires a willingness to take risks, stepping into the unknown and trusting that He will lead us down the right path.

Step Into The River

In 2010 my Pastor preached a sermon called Step Into The River. He shared the story in Joshua of the Israelites crossing from the desert into the promised land.

They had been wandering in the desert for forty years but the time had come for them to cross the Jordan river and enter the promised land.

“When the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, [come to] rest I the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing down from above will be cut off, and the will stand in one mass [of water].”  Joshua 3:13 AMP

Notice that God did not act until the priests stepped into the water. In other words, He was asking them to take a step of faith – to trust Him. If you read the full story in Joshua 3-4, you will discover that the river was at flood stage when this happened.

When the priests stepped out in faith not only did the water back for approximately seventeen miles, but the ground was completely dry. God worked but not until the people obeyed and responded in faith.

That message made a tremendous impact on my life. Step into the river has been one of my mantras ever since. It was a catalyst for things to come.

Letting Go Of The Illusion Of Safety

It fueled a dream to become a writer, and I took the first steps to learn how shortly after hearing this message. It was just a small step but doesn’t every journey begin with the first step?

Now let me share right now, I have never been much of a risk taker. I have always liked things safe and predictable, well planned out. But God does not call us to safe, predictable lives.

“God invites us to graduate from the baby pool to become wave riders in uncharted waters that are only navigated with Him.” – Allen Arnold

When you pursue a dream with God, the world will tell you that you are crazy. They criticize you for giving up the security of a good job or whatever other risks you might be taking to pursue your dream.

But truth be told, safety is an illusion. That job you cling to may cease to exist with a moments notice. We don’t know what the next day or even the next minute holds.

So why cling to seems safe (the known) when God has called us to step into the river?

What Are You Waiting For

Five years later, in 2015, after many small steps along the way, I left the seemingly safe routine of a 9 to 5 job with a great organization and co-workers I love to begin a new adventure as a writer and virtual assistant.

Although the move was definitely outside my comfort zone and contrary to my personality, I felt God was leading me to take this next step.

Has it gone exactly as I had envisioned? Definitely not. Have there been challenges and scary bumps in the road? Absolutely. Do I regret the decision? Not for a nanosecond.


I have no idea what the next step of the journey holds. Like hiking down a foggy trail, you can’t see what lies ahead. But I know I’m not on this journey alone. He is behind me and before me and in me. And I am doing this WITH Him.

Oh, and by the way, I didn’t get to adopt Mildred. I received a notice from the shelter the next day letting me know that another applicant had adopted her.

Although I was disappointed for my self, I am elated for Mildred as she leaves the good safety of the shelter to enjoy the best, the joy of a forever home. She will be a great reminder to me anytime I want to cling to the known instead of taking the risks I need to in my journey to becoming me.

“Pause and remember that God brought you to this moment on purpose, to prepare you for your future.” – Christine Caine

What’s holding you back? Isn’t it time to step into the river (your future) and feel the water of His love?

What river is God asking you to step into? What’s holding you back?

I’m a writer and storyteller. Each week I write about and invite readers to join me on an extraordinary adventure to discover and live the unique story God has penned for each of us.

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5 thoughts on “Clinging To The Safety Of The Known

  1. I always like posts and people who let me feel validated for my many steps…leaps even. Although I’m perplexed by your question…what’s holding me back? For now, I feel like the answer is nothing…but maybe something will come to me later 😉

  2. KL,
    Thank you for sharing your very personal journey!
    It’s absolutely true: “Like hiking down a foggy trail, you can’t see what lies ahead. But I know I’m not on this journey alone. He is behind me and before me and in me.”
    I’m presently in the middle of a crisis situation at my lifelong job, although I’ve ventured out on the writing path for the past 2 -3 years, (I’m working on making it a viable fulltime endeavor.) This present crisis is pushing things faster forward.
    It’s hard—but perhaps what I need.
    Thanks for the post!

  3. “But truth be told, safety is an illusion.” So true! I’ve experienced this the hard way several times in this year alone. I took it as a sign that I needed to put myself out there more, take more risks, and trust in a higher power. Loved the story about Mildred.

  4. I love this post and the idea of stepping into the river. Good to keep in mind. Truth be told, I am sitting on a small book manuscript about Christian motherhood, have been for several years. I feel the time has come to polish and organize it and add to it quotes/stories to support the raw ideas. But I do hold myself back on this project. I push it back or to the side of everything else in my life. If I finish it, I will have to show it to someone. It is so powerful I fear it. That book came from such a deep place inside of me and I fear the vulnerability of releasing it into the world. Yet I know, deep down it is being asked of me and I must. I am always reading other books, hoping someone has already written my book, to get me off the hook!

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