By Patty Breen

I remember when I got my first real job in parish youth ministry. It was an unknown place I would have never saw myself in if you asked me 10 years earlier. I was fresh out of college with heart full of passion and excitement when a kind, loving priest saw something in me and asked me to take it on. I made plenty of mistakes those first few years and had a lot to learn both personally and professionally. I liked to think I knew what I was doing completely but

God developed and refined me over the years just like he did with Abram as his life story developed.

God called Abram to do something he never would have imagined, to be the father of an entire nation. Can we just stop and acknowledge how daunting that must have sounded to him in the moment? Whoa.

God called him to leave all he ever knew or dreamed into an unknown land, a new adventure. Abrams left everything he knew for an unknown place God told him about, for an unknown place God wanted to take him personally and spiritually. God used Abram’s life and his entire family to be a part of the wider story of salvation.

In our own lives, God calls us to unknown places.

Sometimes we are asked to do difficult things. Other times we don’t fully understand the story as it unfolds around us, and all we can do is trust the word of God. It can feel uncertain, lonely, and even confusing at times. But the unknown places always bring us to a final destination, a completion of what God started.

And God always finishes what He started in our lives.

The unknown places are where God most develops and strengthens our character. He refines us like gold that is purified. He takes us from where we were, to a completely new and different place. And we see this played out later in Abram and his family as their story develops.

Genesis tells us, “Abram went as the Lord directed him.” I often wonder, “Did he doubt God? Did Abram second guess himself or what he heard God say to him? Did he face opposition from his wife or community?” On some level, we will never know for sure. But in his humanity, yes I think he probably did on some level.

Even when life feels uncertain and confusing, we can hold fast to the faithfulness of God’s promises, just like Abram did in his own unknowing. 

We believe in a God that always keeps His Word, always holds fast to His promises…even if they do not make sense to us in the moment. The unknown places in life do not have frighten us. Instead, let’s see them as an exciting, adventure on which the Lord is leading us through.



Patty is a former-know-it-all from the Mitten state. She loves all things red lipstick, old movies, and is mildly obsessed with Ignatian spirituality and reading lots of books. She is a youth minister, writer, runner and thinks everyone should train for a half or full marathon. When not endlessly fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things, at all times. Find her blogging it all at A Modern Grace

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