Don't Fear Detours

Have you ever been happily making progress on a trip only to find yourself delayed by an unexpected detour? Recently, a friend and her father were traveling on the Houston freeway when they were detoured to the feeder road. The detour forced them to add time to their journey with slower speed limits and stops at traffic lights. Although, they didn't know why they were detoured, they trusted it and made it successfully to their intended destination.

Later, they discovered the reason for the detour. A large truck had become entangled with an overhead sign shutting down freeway traffic in both directions. Had they refused to be detoured and kept instead to their intended road, they would have been trapped for hours, as many others were, unmoving, hot and frustrated.

In life, we too can find our chosen path riddled with unanticipated detours. They may concern our careers, our finances, our health or our relationships. But come they will. My life has been filled with them the last ten years.   

A major detour in my corporate career came unexpectedly and honestly, very painfully. Yet had it not come, I would not have been able to step down from management to work part-time. It was a great decision. The flexibility it brought has allowed me to be more involved in my daughter's school, to join the choir, to volunteer and to spend more time with my family. It greatly reduced the stress level in our home. At the time, I didn't know why I was being detoured but I was wise enough to trust the one who guides my steps.

When we married, our planned path didn't include being part of the sandwich generation, caring both for aging parents and children at the same time. But we accepted the detour when it came. What we weren't prepared for was the extremely bumpy, difficult path of living with someone with dementia.  It's a detour we'd rather not be on, but still we travel it as best we can, clinging to the belief that it is God's will for us right now.

Sometimes, the detours are ones we struggle against, finding it difficult to yield. My husband's health has taken our family on a detour. The path has had many twists and turns, with more to come, but we hold to a trust in God that it will be used for good.  

Just as detours can take you down roads with beautiful views you didn't know were there, all of my life's detours have brought me to a path of unforessen reward. When God unexpectedly called me to a writing and speaking ministry, I was able to answer because of the detours He had already led me on.  No where in my plans would I have been writing words intended to aid you in your Christian journey.  He had been preparing me ahead of time. 

You can plan your life, but you might find yourself on a detour. It you do, remember it has a purpose--leading you safely to your intended destination. Don't be discouraged by the reasons you can't see. Just as Jamie and her dad trusted the detour, trust in the One with a heavenly view. He sees things so much more clearly than we do on the ground. 

A man's heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps. 
Psalms 16:19

©AnnWilds2011 If you enjoyed this article, why not share it with a friend, tweet it and "like" it on Facebook. If you aren't a subscriber, I'd love to welcome you to the Lessons for the Journey community. Receive a free copy of The Uncut Diamond e-book when you subscribe.


  1. The reason we fear detours is because we aren't sure where it will lead us, it's just like when we get cross roads in our lives we become afraid to trust God for we aren't sure what will the out come be...but we must trust Him for He knows what is best for us..

  2. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

  3. Welcome to the journey, Dakota. I'm so glad you find it. I will definitely stop by your site as well.