The kids were upstairs playing, enjoying the later bedtime freedom that summer brings, while Joel and I plopped on the couch and started listening to some of our favorite songs of the 80’s and early 90’s. Flashbacks of high school slumber parties, listening to Wilson Phillips, Chicago, and of course Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You”, suddenly flooded my mind. It is in-con-ceivable to me that high school is well over 20 years in my past.
How life has changed.
I’m certainly not where I thought I would be when I was belting out Wilson Phillips’ hits at the top of my lungs at the tender age of 17. As seemingly insignificant as they were, I had plans for my life. I had hopes, dreams, and a lot of prayer that things would go a certain way for me. I headed off to college with high expectations. And this (Lord have mercy…this) is where my life hit a major detour, and all my plans flew right out the window. The road I wanted to travel was not the road I found myself on. And believe you me, I fought tooth and nail to get back on my original path. I desperately wanted things to go a certain way, and for a reason beyond my human understanding – at the time – God held firm to the detour. There was tension and frustration of having to let go of certain expectations. And I would add, God and I have played tug-of-war many times over the years, and there are still times I just want to yank that rope over to my side, but experience has taught me this is never a good thing.
Life will happen. In fact I’ve noticed, at least with me, life interrupts my life when I least expect it or desire it. This interruption sets me on a new course, a detour from my original path, and I have to adjust. Experience has taught me to embrace the detour, as long and unknown as it may be, because it is the detour that has made me who I am today. It has shaped me, softened me, matured me, and drawn me closer to my Heavenly Father.
If you are going through a detour right now, stop resisting. If your life has been interrupted by an illness, or a death in the family, or the loss of a job, or depression, or an unrealized dream, understand this: it will not be the end of you. It will most definitely hurt for a while…trust me in that…but it will not overtake you if you don’t allow it to. Trust that God is truly in control. There are things that will not be defined or explained right now, and perhaps never, but the process he is taking you through will not be for nothing. There is a purpose in everything. Everything. Every loss, every pain, every broken heart. There is most certainly a purpose. BUT, you’ve got to hang in there, follow the detour, walk the difficult, unplanned path for as long as it takes in order to see the purpose at the end.
And here is the silver lining…that which truly makes the detour worthwhile.
He makes all things new.
He takes the most bitter and ugliest parts of our stories and makes something beautiful, precious, rare and exquisite.
He sees everything. He knows everything. And he holds everything in his hands. He is in control of everything.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” - Revelation 21:4,5a