We’ll Get There Eventually

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Photo 2016-06-05, 9 19 40 PMA person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. –Proverbs 16.9

Our little suburb has been undergoing some serious growing pains lately. We have had an influx of new businesses and homes and that means a lot of delays in getting where you need to go. As roadwork has become a normal occurrence and traffic has increased, you have to leave earlier to get where you’re going. I’ve just become accustomed to expecting delays.

This week, as I came to yet another halt near my home there were flashing signs warning of a detour, a road up ahead closed for the day. It wasn’t just a delay but a complete change of direction. The way ahead wasn’t clear any more. If you wanted to get where you were headed, you had to follow the signs guiding you, trusting they would take you to your destination eventually.

The delays and diversions all around me have me thinking about how I am no stranger to changes of course in my life.

In college I changed my major three times as God continued to narrow down the dreams He had for me to pursue. Each new dream meant the death of an old one.

Expect delays up ahead.

I left relationships behind to follow what God was saying, moved away from home, pursued more school, and readied myself for the job overseas I thought was the fulfillment of my dream.

Then this handsome face from my past who had previously just been a friend reappeared.

Warning: Detour Ahead.

We started a life together and God gave us a new dream. Our roots as a family had barely begun to settle into the earth when we pulled them up and moved to the Middle East. We felt like we were thriving there, coasting ahead. Then, we started to see red lights ahead  again.

Within six months, we found ourselves back in our old apartment in the United States. Family issues had arisen and we knew our place was back home for this season.

Road Closed.

I won’t lie and say each change of direction was easy; that all roads are equal. Some left me reeling, questioning if I’d heard God correctly. It took years before I understood why we had to give up our dreams after such a short time and return home.

When our course is abruptly redirected or stopped altogether, it can be jarring. But we aren’t left alone. If we will keep our eyes on the path ahead we will see signs leading us on.

After the last giant course correction in my life I spent a lot of time feeling like a child of Israel, wandering without direction and longing after the land I’d left behind.
I finally stopped running long enough to realize the signs had been there all along. I just wanted to go my own way, kept going in a direction that was a dead end. I couldn’t see the signs until I looked up and started moving in the direction God was leading me.

I got home after my little detour on the road last week, a little later than I’d expected, but I made it nonetheless.

My family, now plus two little ones, is currently in the middle of listening for God’s guidance in s new direction. We’ve seen some road signs placed before us that say “Detour” again. We are exploring what that means for us and praying about where God’s path will lead us next. It certainly doesn’t look like we expected. Our paths rarely ever do.

The thing I’m learning about detours is that they aren’t the dead ends I often expect them to be. They are simply different ways of getting me to my end goal.

If I let a dream, a particular path, even a person be my goal–well, we all know that story about people wandering endlessly in the desert.

If my aim is to be right where God wants me, following the course God’s laid out for me, I know I’ll get there.

Eventually.

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