When was the last time you were driving along in your car, spotted a construction zone with detour signs and thought, “AWESOME! I was hoping I would get to take a detour today”? It doesn’t happen, right? How do we begin to embrace life’s detours?
Guest post by Sarah Koontz of Grounded & Surrounded
No one likes to change direction or take a longer route, but we are often forced to do so. Unexpected detours on the road, and in life, tend to leave us feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
If I could show you a way to look at life’s unexpected detours with anticipation and joy, would you be interested? If so, strap in and enjoy the ride!
I have rarely, if ever, accomplished the things I have set out to do.
This year, I celebrated my 33rd birthday. As I look back over my life, I have faced many unexpected detours.
A miscarriage and season of infertility forever changed the makeup of my family. A health crisis forced me to step down from many leadership roles within my church. A desire to help women live healthier lives launched an unexpected writing career.
My life course seems to change on a daily basis, but God has always been faithful to bring me to the destination He has planned for me. And I am confident that He is doing the same for you.
The scripture verse that has always been of comfort to me during my many detours is Jeremiah 29:11. It serves as a constant reminder that God does have a plan for my life, and it is a good plan.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
The next time you face an unexpected detour, I encourage you to stop and think of the possibilities that this “change of course” may hold for you. Here are six reasons to invite God into the detours of your life:
1. To DIRECT You
The most fruitful paths are often exceedingly difficult. Sometimes roadblocks are the only way to get us to consider an alternate route. Detours allow God to lovingly direct us toward something that we may not have chosen for ourselves.
2. To EQUIP You
We never know what lies around the next bend, but God does. Detours give Him an opportunity to equip us for an unknown future.
3. To TRANSFORM You
Personal growth is seldom without pain, and how we deal with pain reveals what we believe about God. God can use the trials of this life to transform us into better people, but we must first believe that He has a plan for us.
4. To OBSERVE You
How we handle detours reveals a great deal about our character. Often, we don’t know what we are made of until we are forced to walk through a difficult situation. Detours allow God, and others, an opportunity to observe our faith in action.
5. To UTILIZE You
Sometimes, we need to be forced out of our comfort zone in order to be utilized by God. Detours give us an opportunity to re-direct our energy and be used by God to bless others. Difficult circumstances give us a unique opportunity to connect with others who have faced similar trials.
6. To REFRESH You
Detours have the ability to take us to a place of rest and restoration that we may not have discovered on our own. God knows what we need before we do. What seems like a roadblock may become a catalyst for change deep within our hearts.
There is no reason to fear life’s next detour.
Every single time God has thrown a detour sign on my path, He has faithfully guided me through to the destination. Looking back, I am eternally grateful for the unexpected detours because they have taught me the value of resilience, faithfulness, and patience.
I am learning to embrace life’s unexpected detours as they arrive; trusting that God has a plan and a purpose in them. Won’t you join me?
Think of the last time your life took an unexpected detour. How has God used life’s detours to grow your faith?
Sarah Koontz is a stay-at-home wife & mother of two beautiful little girls. She is a closeted coffee addict who is passionate about writing, raising chickens and growing ugly vegetables. Sarah is nurturing her career as a freelance writer, but she pours most of her energy into her two “blog babies” ~ Grounded & Surrounded and SarahKoontz.com. You can also find Sarah on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest.
I was thinking about what you said about God taking us somewhere we may not have chosen for ourselves. I believe he knows us better than we know ourselves, and He sometimes puts a new desire in our hearts-something that we wouldn’t have chosen to begin with. I know some of my deep heart desires, but am trusting God as far as how those work out. I just know that my future is wonderful, but I don’t know the details of what it will look like.
Thank you sharing what you have learned about trusting God. It is very encouraging!
Amen!!!! God allowed such a huge detour in my life that I hardly remember what my “old life” was like. Some days/weeks/months have been really hard, and sometimes I have had to admit to God that I was not happy with His choices for me. But in the end, I would not give up where God has led me. He always and always knows best. All the letters in your DETOUR apply to me! 🙂 Great post.
I can’t imagine why this “detour” in my life has happened. I’m not sure “how” to give my life to the Lord.