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Detours

I am fearful.


I worry excessively.


The image I want to display for others to see is one of a peaceful, gentle, carefree woman. But most of the time, this state of mind is just not so.


My biggest concerns stem from the fear of making a wrong decision. When faced with big decisions – college, relationships, job offers, you name it – I am paralyzed with insecurity, with dread that I will regret my choice.


Quite obviously, I lack faith and this is shameful, given that I have a sovereign, detailed, and loving God who leads my life. But man, do I struggle with the feeling that I am somehow going to mess it all up.


In God’s own ways, He reminds me in simple moments of how I can trust Him even if I do make a wrong decision and cause myself to detour. I was driving home this week and I forgot to make a stop at my grandparents, as I’d planned, before it was too late and I had already missed the turn.


When I remembered my original plans to stop at Grandma’s, I made a quick, hurried decision to turn around and get back on the right path. I just so happened to perform my 180 in a driveway that placed me in a field sprinkled with wildflowers, clothed in a glow lit by the evening sun.


I have driven by this place a thousand times.


I have never paid attention to the simple details of its beauty.


It took a detour for me to take notice of a beautiful moment, a setting and a scenery that was all too common for me to ever take time to appreciate.


I suppose that God can use our forgetfulness, our  mistakes, and our even our naivety to bring us to places of beauty. Places we likely wouldn’t have seen unless we’d missed a turn.


Detours, disappointments, and delays – they hurt. We are frustrated by their inconvenience, scared by the uncertainty of their impact. But can’t they, along with all other things, be used for good?


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). I do admit that sometimes I’m annoyed by this verse, because I certainly don’t always see or feel good. But for God’s redeemed children, this promise stands.


God doesn’t waste a thing.


If you are discouraged due to a missed opportunity, a delayed decision, or a ruined dream, do not run away in tears.


Do not run away from this moment.


Wait.


Please consider that there could be a field of wildflowers right beneath your feet. You could be standing on a platform of glory you refuse to believe exists in the present moment. Right now, perhaps no flowers have had a chance to grow yet; maybe it’s the dead of winter and you’re in a place of lifelessness, death, and dismay – that’s what it can feel like at times, I know.


But what if that place could become a field of wild and living things, if only we allow God to plant and nurture and bloom us there?


I wonder what wonders would be revealed if we gave all of our disappointments, detours, and delays to a God who wasn’t surprised by any of them. He has a plan for you there.


Detours are not dead ends.


I still made my way to my dear grandma’s house. I got to where I needed to go.


But I experienced wonderment along the way that made my trip more adventuresome, exciting, and lovely. If it had gone as planned, I would have done what I wanted to – but in a boring, expected way.

God can take our mishaps and missed turns and lead us into places of life, truth, and delight.


Detours are not dead ends.


Don’t let their disguise fool you and cause you to miss out on something memorable and treasured, something so ordinary you may have never thought to care – before this wrong turn forced you to see it.