Promised Land

My dad was a coal miner.

I grew up in a coal mining town in Bibb County, Alabama.

There was a Main Street with houses lined up on each side. The gas station kept your tab in a notepad like you’d see in Mayberry.

It sounds a place that would have picket fences and lawn sprinklers and Sunday afternoon homemade ice cream.

I did have those things for a while, complete with a garden where I learned to shell peas and remove corn silks. That’s also when the homemade ice cream churner would be spinning on the front porch as a reward for our labor.

Unfortunately, our family fence was broken by the time I was five and my brother was three. It was 1980.

After that, I moved around a lot between my mom, my grandparents and a brief year of living with my dad and brother.

Ever since then, I always had it set in my mind that I would be different from my parents and have a real family…the dad, the mom, the kids, and everything that goes with a white, picket fence illusion.

I fully expected to have my version of the promised land.

What were God’s promises?

Well, I never asked Him.

The promises I wanted were my own.

I had never even read His Word until I was 27…after the marriage, building a house (with a partial fence), two babies, and a dog.

I didn’t read God’s promises until after all of that, plus the betrayal, the divorce and the bankruptcy.

I did not want to live in the land I had chosen.

Well, I’ve run this Earth for many years

If there’s one thing I know

There’s nowhere on this side o’ Heaven

Where streets are made o’ gold

I’ve long laid down my grand illusions

Lookin’ toward the day that I’ll be home

TobyMac, Promised Land

When I heard this new TobyMac song last week, I was immediately playing it back again.

And then I was applying it to myself.

Was I still looking for my version of the promised land after 40 years?

It’s been 40 years since my parents divorced.

Surely I’m not like the ten Israelite spies who were afraid of where God wanted to take them?

And now I have been walking in circles for 40 years looking for something that may not even be mine.

Out here on this desert road

It’s hot as fire but I’ve grown cold

Circlin’ like a plane that never lands


In the story behind the song, he says the music video portrays him as a coal miner in honor of his granddad. His dad grew up in a coal mining town.

As I listened to Toby McKeehan explain the origins of this song, I was reminded of his family’s overwhelming grief after losing his 21-year-old son last year.

I cried when that happened as if I knew them personally. When you follow someone’s music for almost 20 years, you do feel like they’re a friend.

My oldest child was the same age as his.

My daughters and I had listened to TobyMac and truDog (his oldest son’s stage name) since the Boomin’ album.

TobyMac was their very first concert.

Blog Post: Steal My Show

So, as we walk through dark valleys that never seem to end, or we wander in circles through the desert, where do we look to find our promised land?

We look up.

We store up our treasures in heaven and not on earth.

We go about the King’s business no matter what it gives us or what might take away.

Watch here: Promised Land – Song Story


Promised Land Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
Head down as I punch this clock
The hours roll, they never stop
And I can’t ever seem to get ahead
Alway’s tryin’ to do what’s right
Straight and narrow, it’s gettin’ tight
Don’t know how much longer I can stand

[Chorus 1]
And I’m wonderin’
Yeah, I’m wonderin’
Where’s my promised land?

[Verse 2]
Out here on this desert road
It’s hot as fire but I’ve grown cold
Circlin’ like a plane that never lands
And even though the questions change
The answers always stay the same
Maybe someday I will understand

[Chorus 2]
So I’m wonderin’
Got me wonderin’
Whеre’s my promised land?
Yeah, I’m wondеrin’
Still, I’m wonderin’
Where’s my promised land?

[Bridge]
Well, I’ve run this Earth for many years
If there’s one thing I know
There’s nowhere on this side o’ Heaven
Where streets are made o’ gold
I’ve long laid down my grand illusions
Lookin’ toward the day that I’ll be home

[Verse 3]
I won’t give up on this race
Broken but I still have faith
That this old life is part of a plan
And I can feel it in my soul
One day, I’ll stand before the throne
With nothin’ left but hope and these two hands

[Chorus 3]
Through all these seasons
I’m still believin’
You’re my promised land
In all my grievin’
I’m still believin’
You’re my promised land

[Outro]
You’re my promised land
Ooh ooh ooh-ooh, ooh ooh ooh-ooh
My promised land

You’re my promised land


This song reminds me that the “promised land” was never a place with a fence and a lawn sprinkler.

The promised land is a relationship with Living Water.

That beats a sprinkler any day. ❤️


I won’t give up on this race

Broken but I still have faith

That this old life is part of a plan

And I can feel it in my soul

One day, I’ll stand before the throne

With nothin’ left but hope and these two hands

TobyMac, Promised Land


TobyMac Music Videos:

Promised Land

21 Years / See The Light

21 Years

Til The Day I Die

Lose My Soul

The Elements


Keysha’s Related Blog Posts:

The Crayon Mountain

Help Is On The Way

Steal My Show



See you November 7th in Montgomery!

🙌🏼🙌🏾 10/22/21 UPDATE:

I heard this women’s conference message today by Priscilla Shirer and she says, “Some of us thought we would have a certain kind of life…with a picket fence.

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