Adventure, Boundaries-Hemmed In, Fear, Life

Boundaries: Hemmed In

Note: For those who received an unusual picture masquerading as a blogpost from me, I’m sorry! I’m experimenting with Flickr, and well, it backfired. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Image

Guardrails. I like ‘em.

I discovered something about myself while in Yellowstone.

I like being hemmed in. Boundaries protecting me from precipices and drop offs.

Image

I relaxed most when we drove the flat roads with wide lanes and shoulders.

Image

To experience some of Yellowstone’s beauty, we drove on two lane roads with no guardrails. What looked like sheer drop offs on one or both sides of the road had me gripping the arm rest on the passenger side of the car. My heart thumped out silent pleas for safety.

My husband, bless his heart, is such a patient man. One evening, as he navigated narrow turn outs and cruised over winding roads he said not a word about my behavior. Hubby is one of the safest drivers I know, so it wasn’t his driving, it was my fear.

Fear of careening over the side of the road. I couldn’t grasp that I was hemmed in by God’s beauty. Mountains dressed in shades of green, sunset skies painted in puffy clouds and pastels. The setting sun leaving tinges of rose and orange on the mountains as it kissed them good night.

 Image

God’s wild beauty hemmed us in above, beside and below. My eyes took it all in. My heart couldn’t embrace it, because fear already resided there.

 Image

My eyes straight ahead, followed every curve, studying how close we were to that skinny white line on our edge of the road. Fear had me worrying my husband might drive just a little too far over it.

Glimpses out the window had me sighing in wonder at the beauty, but always fear forced my eyes back to the road.

Yes, I like being hemmed in. I feel secure when the outer edges of my life show me the safe places to walk. Like children in an enclosed playground. They play right up to the fences because they know they’re safe. I’m a “within-the-fences” girl.

 Image

Sometimes God sets me outside my personal guardrails and encourages me to trust Him. When I step beyond my “safe place,” worry floods my thoughts, makes my heart pound. I search for an edge to cling to.

When my hand is encircled in His, I’m safe, no matter what life is doing around me.

Image

When obsessing about safety, I miss out on the beauty God surrounds me with. Whether it’s in a child’s hug, a river sparkling as it flows over rocks on its path, mirror-still lakes, wild flowers lacing the side of the road.

It comes down to trust.

Image

Am I going to let worry demand the final word, or am I going to trust God when He leads me into the wilds of His plan, His beauty? I’m slow at letting go of “safe,” but I’m learning to trust God in the adventures of life, as well as in the daily-ness of living.

What about you? Are you a live within or live-outside the boundaries person? What makes you feel safe?

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Boundaries: Hemmed In”

  1. I’m also a boundaries/fences/guardrails kind of girl! I’ve been on a few of those scary roads, and the edges feel so dangerously close…but the vista is breathtaking. I feel safest when I know where my boundaries are. The word of God is a boundary for me. It hems me in behind and before.

    Lovely pictures, Jeanne!

    Like

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Gabrielle! I kind of figured I wouldn’t be the only one who likes to know right where the boundaries are. 🙂 I agree, God’s word provides great boundary guidance for us.

      The vistas in Yellowstone were amazing. I just had to breathe so I could enjoy them. 🙂 BTW, love that verse—His word does hem us in behind and before. What a great thought to close out the day with…or to begin a new day with…or to ponder throughout the day.

      Like

  2. Sometimes the guardrails are part of God’s love – the full experience of the beauty is something we weren’t yet designed to handle, and as such it becomes a temptation – one that can lead us from our God-appointed duties.

    The guardrails on a road slow us down, and keep us reminded that there is a very real fall a few feet away, and that perhaps we have people in our lives who would like to see us come home. Who need us to come home.

    Just as the guardrails on our hearts – like the Ten Commandments – protect us from a fall that may be oh-so-tempting, but one that God Himself might not be able to save us from.

    As for me – I learned early that there really is no safety in this life, and decided to do everything full-out, no brakes. I trust that God protects drunks (which I’m not) and dumb animals (yep) and pretty much leave it at that. (I’ve lost count of how many bones I’ve broken.)

    And in the mountains – Barbara drives.

    Like

    1. Great perspective, Andrew. You got me thinking…I think part of the reason I like the guard rails is because I’m afraid of the fall. When there aren’t guardrails, I focus on the possibility of the fall rather than on trusting God. Interesting thoughts on safety in this life. Pondering…

      And yes, those guardrails for our hearts are definitely important to heed.

      I’m glad you and Barbara have an understanding about who drives in the mountains—especially for her sake. 🙂

      Like

  3. I am somewhat of a boundaries girl, but not always. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the dangers in life by the close calls. The reminders help to keep me grounded and realize that paying closer attention is a better idea than not paying attention to the subtle and not so subtle hints that God is trying to give me.

    Like

    1. Lori, thanks for stopping by! Close calls do have a way of reminding us of our mortality, don’t they? And yes, remembering and learning from them is a good idea. Sometimes I am slow to learn from them. Being sensitive to God’s promptings is always a good thing. 🙂

      Like

  4. I left a long comment…and I poofed it by accident before I saved it!
    GAHHH!!

    Sometimes I’m the girl on the Tarzan rope, sometimes I’m the girl telling me to get down before I hurt myself.
    Feeling safe me knowing my limits. Then I poke at stick at the limits…

    Like

    1. Oh, Jennifer, that is so frustrating when comments up and disappear. I love this: “Feeling safe me knowing my limits. Then I poke at stick at the limits…” I think I want to be the girl on the Tarzan ropes a little more often. 🙂

      Like

  5. Tough one to answer Jeanne. I’m usually driving, so I don’t get to look around much and focus on the road. Guardrail or no doesn’t seem to matter to me.

    On a trail, or out wandering like that, I tend to not worry about the edges (though I’m not the type of person to go lean over a cliff to see the bottom).

    Maybe it’s just a “guy” thing

    Like

      1. No, no leaning over cliffs – I don’t think I could get myself onto the glass-bottomed observation deck at the Grand Canyon. Heights and I do not agree with each other – though I love to fly and think skydiving would be grand. But I get itchy on a ladder.

        Like

      2. I can relate to some aspects of the height situation. If I feel safe, I’m okay with heights. And it usually requires me being “hemmed in” to feel safe in heights. 🙂 I’ve been considering trying sky diving too. You’ll probably be me to it. Have a great night.

        Like

  6. I too am a guardrails-girl, but I realize they’re mostly a perception of safety rather than a really-keep-you-from-going-over-the-edge safety. When my husband and I rode our Harleys to Glacier several summers ago, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to handle the Going to the Sun Road. When I got there—piece of cake! I felt totally in control. Because of my great riding skills? Because of the guardrails? (Kidding! You wouldn’t more than stub your toe on some of the “guardrails!) I think it was a God thing. Trusting in Him, not chariots or horses (iron horses in this case).
    Your Yellowstone pictures are gorgeous. We’re going!

    Like

    1. Christine, thanks so much for stopping by! I think you’re right. Guard rails are a perception of safety. Trusting God is the best way to know “safety.” I love that you and your husband rode Harleys on Going to the Sun Road. I haven’t been on that one yet. And haven’t been on the back of a motorcycle since I was a girl. Thanks for your kind words about the pictures.

      I hope you enjoy Yellowstone as much as we did!

      Like

Comments are closed.