was 1986 and I learned the world was not
fair after all. My first detour as a young
adult: I was not elected homecoming princess.
In my eyes it was a tragedy. People came
up and congratulated me all day and I
had to explain that no, they had misunderstood.
I had not been chosen. My name was accidentally
printed in the school paper, but I never
got to wear the crown. It wasnt
fair! I had come in 6th place, but the
football coach had decided that this yearfor
the first timethere would be only
5 princesses so that it would be more
visually appealing when the queen was
chosen and stood center stage. The advice
I was given? "Get used to it."
A friend of my mothers said that
she got everything she wanted until later
in life, and when the answer "No"
came (as it eventually does) she didnt
know how to cope with loss or denial.
I dealt with it.
back I smile at this childhood "tragedy,"
the tears that were shed, the feeling
of "Its not fair!" and
the moments of envy I felt as I sat in
the bleachers and watched others experience
the joy I wanted so badly. Why do I smile?
Because not only do I realize how fortunate
I was for the multitude of positive experiences
I had as a child, but because I have never
felt the drama of those feelings since
then. Perhaps God knew what He was doing
after all when He said "No"
to this teenagers plea.
didnt know at the time that seven
years later God would say no again. It
would not be fair. I would have moments
of envy as I watched others from the sidelines.
I would care little for the crown; rather
I would just desire shoes that fit onto
my feet. I would gladly trade in the ballroom
dress for knees that could bend with ease,
fingers that could grasp a pen.
16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans
his course, but the Lord determines his
a young woman I accepted my detour that
the illness took me on. However, I forgot
that detours are often longer paths than
the original road. They are often bumpier
paths, full of dust and loud roaring construction
equipment. Sometimes the detour
signs disappear all together and one is
left wondering which way to turn. Sometimes
detours lead you back to the main road,
and then a mile later, you encounter another
make plans for our lives, determined
to be prepared for anything that God
hands us, but just in the midst of
our planning, an unexpected detour
occurs. Our course is meaningless
is we do not follow the detours that
the Lord leads us on.
husband and I have just encountered a
new detour. Side effects of medications
have made a pregnancy unlikely and we
are starting down the winding path of
adoption. I am reminded of Proverbs 19:21.
"Many are the plans in a mans
heart, but it is the Lords purpose
that prevails." Yes, I have many
plans... but the Lords purpose in
this new detour will prevailof this
I am certain, when all else seems unsure.
been said, "If you want to make God
laugh, tell Him your plans." I can
assure you that God has been in quite
a humorous mood lately if Hes been
watching me. I like to have a plan. I
like to plan my plans. I am slowly learning
to surrender them to Him every new day.
Embrace your detours, for this is where
you will grow closest to God. This is
where you will find the most peace. This
is where you will gain wisdom and strength
rather than self-efficiency. "This
is what the Lords says: Stand at
the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient
paths, ask where to good way is, and walk
in it, and you will find rest for your
souls..." (Jeremiah 6:16).
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