As we think about a variety of landscapes that God takes us through in the Christian life, we consider the detour. Detours come in many different shapes and sizes, but all of them share one thing in common: We didn’t see them coming. They catch us off-guard, leaving us frustrated, confused, curious, even heart-broken. We question why things had to happen this way, at this time. The ultimate temptation is to become discouraged, even angry at God, as we experience our faith being rocked. Gaining a new perspective on detours usually happens in hindsight, but at the time they are just uncomfortable. That is why it is good to reflect on those detour times in our lives and ask God how He showed up. It seems that there are several insights we can gain from discovering God in the detours. God takes us on detours when . . .
1. Why Detour Becomes your New Road
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
1.The bridge or road we are about to cross is unsafe. He reroutes us in order to protect us and avoid problems or harm. When the road ahead is unsafe it is too dangerous to proceed, detours are necessary for our safety.
2. We are headed in the right direction, but we are not yet ready to get to our destination. We are not able to handle or appreciate it. We need more time to mature; more time to get equipped or developed. Sometimes the delay of the detour is for the sake of others . . . they are not yet ready for our presence or benefits.
Awakening is not changing who you are, but discarding who you are not
3. We are not headed in the right direction. We pick a destination that God knows is not in our best interest or His best plan, but He allows us to start moving and then redirects us. It is easier to direct a moving car than one that is stalled. We can often become paralyzed with over thinking and the fear of making a mistake. We may need to start moving and if we refuse to listen, God can direct us with divine detours.
4. He wants to test and prove our willingness to follow His leadership by developing our trust and faith in His goodness. He knows that there is a time coming along our journey when it will be very important for us to respond and obey quickly so He wants us to be ready.
2. Adjusting to your New Normal
The old road often seems like it was more relaxing and easy to drive. The new road can be bumpy and twisty, narrow with sharp curves. We may find ourseleves longing for the ease of what we used to have. But the new road has benefits too, perhaps not in ease but in seeing life differently. More reflectively. Really noticing reality rather than rushing forward, oblivious to our surroundings. Regardless of what we gain, it’s a challenge to accept that the detour is now the new road. There are certain moments in life that I call “before and after” moments, there was a time before they happened, and there will be time afterward. But “the after” may not come easily nor quickly. Meanwhile what do we do?
The days you are most uncomfortable, are the days you learn the most about yourself.
Be Aware of Other Life Changes: If life is changing around you, try to stabilize everything that’s within your control to hold steady. For example, the week after moving into a new home isn’t the right time to embark on a new diet and exercise program. Let your new normal settle down into your daily routine before turning your attention to other new ventures.
Seek Out Gratitude: Becoming grateful for the moments of support does not minimize or take away the pain of the situation. Being grateful shows that the horrible situation does not permanently crush and destroy our spirits. It is very important to acknowldge and thank God for where you are in life, no matter if it took a wild turn or a great turn. He has a reason for every move He makes and it is always for your good and not for evil.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Take Your Time: Don’t write or accept any prescriptions for grief. Meaning, grief or really any emotional state doesn’t follow a set timeline, reaching up or down by measurable requirements. Adjusting to a new normal, whether due to a positive or negative cause, takes time, and a kindness you can do yourself when you are in a transition period is to allow the change to unfold as it will. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and the change in your life, so you begin to understand why you are where you are and what He is trying to teach you.
3. Not Looking Back
We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Don’t look back on the past and assume it was perfect. It wasn’t. This new road that you are on, bumpy and twisty as it may be, is the path that God has chosen for you. It is the best road. The only one worth taking. If you keep looking back on the old way longingly, focusing on what you’ve lost rather than on what you have, you will miss the rewards of the new path. We need to open our eyes. Notice what’s around us. Remember that God goes before you. You do need not to fear, He knows what is up ahead.
“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
God is guiding you on this path.
You are on the right road.
Heavenly Father, I am a work-in-progress, Lord and all I ask of You today is that You cleanse my heart, shape me and mold me into who You want me to become. Reveal Your great plan and will for my life. Use me to fulfill my destiny and spread Your message across the land. I declare and decree that from this day forward, Your never-changing, genuine, undying, never-failing love, will envelope my heart and I will gain compassion, hope, faith and love for humanity and I shall follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Amen.