Into the Unknown: Learning to Trust

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

I sold my house yesterday. As long as everything goes as planned, we are going to need to move out by the 31st, and we don’t have a place to go yet. My husband and I are hoping that we’ll find a place to buy in the next couple of weeks, and we’re actively looking, but it could be that we have to wait awhile before we find the right one. This wasn’t my plan, but now we’ve been dropped into the great “Unknown.”

I couldn’t help but notice the connection between my house search and what many of you are experiencing in the publishing world. You have a dream to get a book published, and you are trusting that something good will happen, but there’s really no date in sight for the end of your waiting. Some of you have an agent out searching for a publishing home for you, like I have my Real Estate agent working for me. She’s in my corner, but she can’t force the right fit to come on the market immediately just like a literary agent can’t force a book sale to happen for you. We all work hard toward a goal, but the endings are unknown.

I have a great support team behind me in my search for a house. My husband, parents,  agent, and friends aren’t going to let me handle the stress of this on my own. And you shouldn’t forget that you have people in your corner as well. Your family, agent, friends, and critique partners play a huge role in your publishing journey. Keeping them by your side will help to keep you on the path to success.

I have a little card on my bulletin board in my office that has the quote, ” I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” For those of you who, like me, are in the “Unknown” right now, this is something we need to remember. God has a plan for us, and it’s a plan to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). We all should wait patiently to see the wonderful works of God. (Often easier said than done!)

I’m praying for those of you who are waiting right now. I know how you feel! May you find peace in the knowledge that God has everything under control.

 What Bible verses or quotes encourage you when life has you waiting?

Do you have a “waiting” story that you’d like to share?

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The publishing journey is full of waiting. How do you cope? Via lit. agent @rachellkent Click to tweet.

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46 Comments

  • Waiting and trusting God applies to so many situations, doesn’t it? I remember visiting a college as a high school senior. I wanted to major in deaf education, but the college dean advised me to register for a general special education program and wait to declare my area of specialty until I learned about all my options. That’s just what I did, not realizing that he was only the acting dean (and HIS specialty was in a different area of special ed.) Several weeks into classes, I went to the office to declare “my area”. Imagine my shock when I told that deaf ed. had a very limited enrollment. If I had applied as a high school senior there would have been no problem. My wait to get into the program? Two years. Oh. . . did I mention that my pastor had reminded me before I ever visited that my life plan was all about what God wanted me to do? I guess that well-intentioned young girl needed to learn that lesson through lots of prayer and soul searching! I made it into the program, BTW, and I am so thankful for the season of my life when I worked (a number of years) in that field before Jesus nudged me into writing.

    I love Jeremiah 29:11, too, Rachel! I also would add Ephesians 3:20-21 to the list:
    Now 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.

  • Jeanne T says:

    God has given me lots of practice in the fine art of waiting. Waiting to receive my first teaching job after college—it took about three years. Waiting for God to bring into my life the man He had for me to marry—We married when I was almost 29. Waiting for the gift of children and a years-long struggle with infertility, but then having the privilege of adopting two amazing boys. Waiting to hear where the military would move us next…..not to mention all the opportunities to wait on the writing journey.

    I’ve learned that I can wait in misery, or I can wait actively, anticipating God’s plan, but moving forward with living in the meantime. One of my favorite verses (since you already mentioned Jer. 29:11 is Psalm 37:4—Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When my hope is in Him, I can gain so much more than when I focus on what I want. :)

    I’ve been in the waiting phase with home ownership. I’ll be praying for you, Rachel.

  • Jill Kemerer says:

    Congratulations, Rachel! I, sadly, have been in your shoes recently. Last year I worried we would be homeless! Every time we found a house we remotely liked it either sold or became unavailable for no apparent reason.

    The days ticked down. Our closing date was set. And we couldn’t find a house to buy or to rent. But God got us through and led us to a home we originally passed on but saw through new eyes. We remodeled most of the first floor and I love it!

    Hang in there! God won’t let you down!

  • In 1995, my husband’s work was closed down and his job was transferred east. As in all the way from Ontario, where we had family, to New Brunswick, where we knew NO ONE.
    All along, I loathed the idea of moving to an unknown town, with no friends, or any family. Even annoying family would have been fine.
    But, here we are 18 years later, and I wouldn’t leave unless it was to somewhere that had no snow (we’re in one of the most snowy areas of Canada) and no temps under 65F.

    I love it here, but the wait to make friends was BRUTAL. If you’ve met me, or read even one post of mine, you know I love having friends around me. I went for months on end without talking to anyone I considered a close friend. Months and months and months.

    The wait for a true friend was physically painful.

    Years after we’d settled in, a good friend of mine said “When we first met, I thought you were sort of unstable, but after a few months of getting to know you, I realized how incredibly lonely and sad you were. I had no idea how hard it was for you to move here. Now that I know the real you, I’m amazed at how well you endured a dry season like that.”

    I don’t need to fill my days with people, but being entirely without close friends or family for such a long stretch was one of those “wait on the Lord, He WILL see you through this. He will. He will…” times.

    We waited, and now here we are. Home.

    • Jill Kemerer says:

      Jennifer, oh how I know what you’re talking about! We’ve moved too many times. With each move, my support system is ripped away, and it gets harder each time to build a new one. I’m so glad you survived!

    • Jeanne T says:

      I’ve walked it too, Jennifer. I’m so glad that God brought you that friend. And many since then. :)

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      Yikes! I can’t even imagine moving away from family and friends.

      I’m glad you love it there now! I bet it’s beautiful.

  • Congrats on the sale of your home, Rachel. I pray you find the perfect fit for you!!

    I feel like I’m in a holding pattern of waiting lately…waiting to be published and waiting on other things in life. But instead of focusing on my circumstances, I’m trying desperately to keep my eyes focused on Him. A good friend of mine reminded me that when we draw near to him, we naturally become more content. So that’s my plan. Focus on God, settle in, and remember that He’s got a reason for the wait.

  • Karen Sweet says:

    Rachel, I wish you all His Peace in the waiting time. Finding the right home takes effort. I’ve had to ask God for patience when ‘my foot is slipping'(aka crankiness)during the wait. Thank goodness He is merciful. ;-)

  • This fits so well with Mary’s post from yesterday! The wait is hard. Thankfully, in the Christian writing community we have each other to lean on and a big God to trust!

    I’ll be praying about your house situation, Rachel. It must be unnerving not knowing where you’ll be in a few weeks. I’m sure God has something AMAZING in store for you. I can’t wait to hear about it!

  • Rachel, Congrats on the home. Will be praying for you.

    I am a recovering control freak. Emphasis on the recovering. I know all the stories and know my wait has not been very long, but for some reason my toe keeps tapping and my email inbox mocks me with responses I have not received from editors. Pray for me :o). God’s timing is the best. I KNOW with everything I have I will look back and say, “Oh, that’s what He was doing!!!” But for some reason, I cannot convince the toes ;o). God Bless!!!

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      Thanks for the prayers!

      And I am a control freak as well. I’m sure this is one of God’s ways of breaking me of that so I can start my recovery as well.

      And I do pray for you, too! :)

  • Sherry Kyle says:

    Rachel,

    I’ll be praying that the right house comes along very soon. We waited 10 months for our “new” home because it was a short sale. The banks (two of them) couldn’t make up their minds whether or not the owner could make his house payments. They were arguing over how much they should each receive for the sale. Needless to say, we were on pins and needles for a long time. Thankfully, our buyers waited with us. I held tight to Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” I cling to this verse every day—in life and with my writing.

    God bless you!

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      If it takes 10 months I might go crazy, but I will take it one day at a time!

      And that’s a PERFECT verse for writing and house hunting.

  • Lisa Bogart says:

    Just what I needed to hear to day Rachel. Thanks. And good luck too.

  • AshleeW says:

    Rachel! I know what a stressful situation that can be. But you are absolutely right – God will see you through it. And I’ll be praying for you in the meantime :)

  • Robin Patchen says:

    Been there, Rachel. We ended finding the perfect house a couple of days before we closed on the one we’d sold. Perfect, except they didn’t want to close for 90 days. We moved into an apartment with our three little kids. It was the most carefree summer of my adult lifetime. I could clean the whole place in 30 minutes, we saved a bunch of money (’cause we moved into a dump!), and I met a group of people I’d have never known otherwise. I got to share my faith and my life, and it was a great blessing. I pray you’ll be blessed in your journey as well.

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      Ah! I like your story. The three months would be inconvenient, but at least you knew where you were going. :) I bet the 28 days of looking for a house with 3 kids was pretty nerve-wracking though! These things are not easy.

  • Elissa says:

    Moving, waiting, moving again. That has been my life. My father and husband were both career military. The only way to cope with the upheavals is to choose to hope and trust things will work out. That’s a lot easier to do when you believe in a power higher than yourself.

    My husband decided to put in for retirement when he got back from Iraq. It took us a year and four moves (between three states) before we finally settled. Patience is a virtue in most circumstances, but definitely when it comes moving– and publishing.

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      Yikes. I can’t even imagine. I’m so glad you’ve finally settled! I bet having a long-term home feels like a HUGE blessing.

  • The opposite of waiting is ‘forcing’, and I’ve been guilty of that.

    In 2007 I had an offer for a teaching job in New Mexico, and was waiting on the results of a decision at another college in Ohio.

    Ohio would have been a better fit, but I was impatient, and we went to New Mexico. It was a disaster.

    There have been compensations – a number of dogs who have come to us, with nowhere else to go. They have been a blessing, and when I think of what their fate would have been otherwise, I’m happy with the way things have gone. I lost my career, but saved some small and precious lives, and the trade was worthwhile.

    I also started writing in New Mexico. Maybe I would have done the same in Ohio…maybe not.

    What’s done is done, and I’ve learned that when I short-circuit the wait that God asks, life will go on, and it deserves my best efforts.

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      I keep telling all of my family and friends to keep me in check. I don’t want to make a decision to buy something that I won’t be happy with long-term out of desperation.

      I see the dog with you in your picture. Is that one of them?

  • Rachel, you and your family are in my prayers.

    I love the quote. Thank you for sharing it. I am in “the Unknown” right now because I was laid off over two years ago and have yet to find full time employment. Because of this, I’ve had to move in with relatives (God bless them). Both they and I are eager for me to regain my financial independence. I never expected to be out of work (technically I’m under-employed since I have a part-time job) this long. It gets frightening. Sometimes I worry that I will never one. I do love the bible quote that you alluded to: “My plans for you are for well-being and not disaster.” I try to keep it in mind and trust. At times, that’s hard. Today, God spoke to me through you. Thank you for being a messenger of hope.

    I hope you and your family find the perfect fit in the not-too-distant future.

    Many blessings!

    • Rachel Kent Rachel Kent says:

      Thanks, Christine! Your little note brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad my being open was helpful to you and it’s comforting knowing that I’m not alone in this land of “Unknown.”

      I’ll pray for you, too!

      • lisa says:

        I’m praying for both of you! There is really nothing harder than being in the unknown. Those times in my life, when I look back, I can find so many ways God was faithful and growing my faith in deeper ways. It’s hard to feel that peace in the midst of not knowing. I am praying you will.

      • Thank you, Rachel. I’m glad you found some comfort in my words. God is good and all will be well. Thank you for praying for me.

        Lisa, thank you, too, for your kind words and your prayers. Many blessings!

  • I know that’s not an easy position to be in, Rachel. My husband & I searched for a month before finding the right car for our needs & bank account. It seemed impossible for awhile, then suddenly we had two or three options. We just bought one yesterday, and I can finally stop spending too much time looking.

    It will probably be that way with your house, too. You’ll know when God is providing the right one.
    Keep us posted!

  • In my old Christmas letters, I found this about waiting.

    Our son, Joey John (Jr) (3 1/2 years old) is learning to wait his turn, to wait for help, and to wait for what he wants. His concept of time revolves around ‘last night’ for anything in the past, and ‘when the sun comes up’ for anything in the future, but wait is slowly being incorporated as well.

    Josiah, our 18 month old, has not quite learned the meaning of wait—he taste-tests everything that is put into the cookie dough. He wants both shoes to be put on his feet at the same time, but doesn’t want time wasted on putting on diapers, but his 18 month old experience is bringing him to a limited understanding of wait.

    Just as their definition of wait is being developed, so also their mom’s perception of wait is being refined. Maybe I’m most like Josiah, where wait is not in my vocabulary, but I’m learning like Joey John (Jr) that ‘when the sun comes up’ which seems like an eternity is only a few hours with God. I’m learning to enjoy the ‘now’ with contentment. Our days are fill with learning that reminds us of the God Who we serve.

    When I thought of your waiting story—it reminds me of our last year–in a story found here http://bit.ly/161xyk4

    As for sayings that help, I have this by my sink:
    “God is too good to be unkind.
    He is too wise to be confused.
    If I cannot trace His Hand, I can always trust His Heart.” –Charles Spurgeon

    Waiting is hard, but we learn to look up. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sondra Kraak says:

    Habakkuk taking a stand and watching for the answer the Lord will bring. When trials push hard, I dig my heels in and determine to wait until I see God at work. Thankfully, he wants to reveal himself to us and doesn’t hide!

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