Detours

I attended a retreat recently - really just a girls getaway. While I was there, I was doing some reading and I came across this quote by Christa Wells on her blog:
Today and for the past week I’ve fought hard to stay present and emotionally-armed as I am reminded at every turn of a painful detour in my life. My friend said a week ago: “The detour is the path.” It’s been bouncing around in my head ever since.And making me angry, too. I mean, some detours could be avoided, right? Some detours become necessary only because people are selfish and put up roadblocks that affect everybody on the road. Right?Yes.So what? Here we are. What are we going to do about it? Here I am taking this unexpected route, a route I didn’t see on the map, and have no knowledge of or interest in. Taking this route is going require re-arranging and will make me miss some beautiful things I’ve looked forward to. I’m tired and my pack is heavy and the view ain’t that great.This detour hurts. A lot.

Oh, how those words resonate with me. Over the last 12 months, I have found detour after detour that I hadn't accommodated for in my own plan. But I can't control them; I can't change them. And so, they have become my new path. 

Some of those detours have made me blindingly furious. Furious at other people for making selfish decisions and being so short-sighted they couldn't or wouldn't see how their choices forced others to abruptly change long-held plans, miss amazing moments we had all been looking forward to and re-route in a direction I was never interested in to begin with. I've had to work to let go of the anger - which, let's be honest, is just a mask we wear to try to hide the pain from anyone who happens to be looking. 

Some of my detours have actually stopped me in my tracks. They sent me down a road I didn't ever expect to find myself going down and the way was rough and ridden with huge potholes. I came to a complete standstill, paralyzed by the place I found myself in. Everyone I know would have expected me to plow right through the obstacle in front of me and keep going, but I didn't. And then I had to face my own reaction and why it was and what that meant and how I would handle that same kind of rough, treacherous road again if ever I was forced to take that same detour. 

And then somehow I got separated from the group and began to travel, seemingly alone, down this latest detour. There don't seem to be too many people going this particular way, and that is disconcerting all on its own. The signs aren't very clear, and sometimes it seems everything ahead is shrouded in fog and all the corners are way too sharp to see around. 

Sara Groves sings a song that says:
"...The future feels so hard And I want to go back But the places they used to fit me Cannot hold the things I've learned Those roads were closed off to me While my back was turned The past is so tangible I know it by heart Familiar things are never easy To discard I was dying for some freedom But now I hesitate to go I am caught between the Promise And the things I know."
I know I'm not the only one who is facing detours . . . whose plans went from well-defined and scheduled to unclear with an entirely unknown arrival time. I'm not the only one who has hit the ground hard and gasped desperate to fill lungs with air after having their feet completely knocked out from under them. I'm not alone in laying there, flat on my back, staring at the ceiling and wondering if I even have it in me to get up again. 

But I know you are also like me in the fact that you will pull yourself up off that floor, even if it's on to unsteady feet. You will raise your head up again to look into the distance and search for just what might be on the horizon. You will find a way to look around to the few other travelers on your solitary road and encourage them, and it will mean even more because it is birthed from a woundedness that is common to only those walking that same road. 

I know because I see it happening. I know because it's in your eyes even when the pain there is so heavy and thick, it's hard for people to see past. I know because it's your character. It's WHO you were meant to be even when you don't remember, for the moment, who you are. I'd love to be the one to remind you . . . to encourage you . . . to offer to walk with you for as long as I can . . . to remind you that there is hope - there is always hope. 

Sara Groves sings another song that says this:
It's been a hard year But I'm climbing out of the rubble These lessons are hard Healing changes are subtle 
But every day it's Less like tearing, more like building Less like captive, more like willing Less like breakdown, more like surrender Less like haunting, more like remember 
And I feel you here And you're picking up the pieces Forever faithful It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation But you are able 
And in your hands the pain and hurt Look less like scars and more like character Less like a prison, more like my room It's less like a casket, more like a womb Less like dying, more like transcending Less like fear, less like an ending 
Just a little while ago I couldn't feel the power or the hope I couldn't cope, I couldn't feel a thing Just a little while back I was desperate, broken, laid out, hoping You would come 
And I need you And I want you here And I feel you And I know you're here And you're picking up the pieces Forever faithful"

That is the direction I'm headed in. 
Wanna walk a little ways with me? 


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