25 10 2010

Confession: I like to plan ahead. Next time you see me, feel free to ask to look at my planner. I’ve seen worse, but it’s pretty full of inky scribbles, some highlighted, others crossed out…daily assignments, to-do lists, activities, birthdays… There’s a lot there! For me, organization = lack of chaos. And we all have plans for our lives, or at least an idea of what we’d like to do or be, or where we’d like to go. These plans we make are all direct…a straight shot to our destination of career or family or ________. Do you ever plan for things to go wrong? Plan for less than positive events and situations to arise? Didn’t think so. Of course, we know that not every day will be perfect, but we don’t schedule catastrophes!

This morning, my devotional was about detours. It talked about when Paul became ship-wrecked with hundreds of other prisoners on their way to to Rome (Acts 27-28). Things didn’t go as planned. No one on that boat thought “hey, I think on our way to Rome, we’ll crash, spend a few months in Malta, then go on to Rome.” No. But it happened. And because of it, lives were changed…lives were saved.

The author of the devotional writes about how we jam-pack our schedules…we plan and we plan a LOT. But our plans for success aren’t always what will actually bring us there. Sometimes, Someone has a detour in mind that makes NO sense to us, but will be worked out for His glory, and for a greater purpose than what we see in the moment. You can see where I’m going with this 🙂

Did I ever plan on struggling with an eating disorder? Nope! This was SO not what I wanted. It struck at the most inopportune time, and I was not okay with it. But it has a purpose. Soon after diagnosis, I began to wonder why this all was happening. Like I said, it was (seemingly) poor timing, and to be honest, I thought anorexia was the last thing I’d ever deal with. But after I began to ask “why?”, I started to get excited. You see, the Bible says that all things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I decided right then and there that my struggle with anorexia, my detour, wouldn’t be worthless. I decided to talk to people about it, to be open…if someone else could be helped by my willingness to speak, then all of this would be worth it. (Hence this blog! 🙂 )

“A few things about detours…
First of all, they never show up at good times to our way of thinking.
Second, they always mess with our plans.
Third, although they cause stress, they often take us to places (geographically, emotionally, spiritually) that hold unexpected blessings”

But anorexia is a huge detour. It seems like it holds me back in so many areas of life. It’s inconvenient. It’s not fun! And it seems like I should have conquered this by now. Paul was only Malta for about three months. It’s been longer than three months for me. What the heck?!? But:

“Detours don’t just happen for God’s people. Each one is either allowed or ordered by God himself, and since all God’s actions hold purpose, so does every detour. Don’t miss this detour’s importance for your life and others’ lives because of a hard-and-fast hold on your vision of how things should move along.”

My detour isn’t just for me. There’s other lives to be impacted or in some way touched by my struggle. My detour could be important not just to my life, but to someone else’s! Someone else could be blessed or learn something from my detour. That’s a scary thought…yet somehow, pretty exciting.

(Note: all quotes are from “The Daily God Book: a Year of Listening For God” by Erin Keeley Marshall)




10 responses

25 10 2010
The Brain Rack

Very good take on that Beth. You are definitely not alone! You maybe alone in the specifics of your struggle, but EVERYBODY has an unexpected struggle that they thought would be the last thing they would every deal with in their lives. I certainly do. It’s refreashing to hear your success and motivation, and even the set-backs because it’s something that most people aren’t willing to talk about, put themselves out there like you do. Very commendable Beth, keep posting!

26 10 2010

Thank you, Brian! I love the idea of unity (we all have detours) yet individuality (different things to deal with). Thank you for reading!

25 10 2010

Detours are not only for the young who are full of dreams and plans. Detours happen at any age and circumstance. Health problems, financial issues, and many other things can bring unexpected changes. The trick is to go with the flow – when a door closes look for a window! A straight road is pretty boring and tends to lull one into a sleepy state of non-action. Take the detours and rejoice in them, looking for how that detour will make a positive difference in your life and the lives of those you touch.

I love your writing sweetheart. Keep it up! love you bunches, Mom

26 10 2010

Very true, mom. Thank you, love you too!

26 10 2010
De'Dee Brown

Detours… whew some ride you NEVER anticipated or signed up for. The thing about the detour is that you end up being able to use your detour to help someone else either thru their own detour or avoid one of their own.
I would never pick my detour … barren… yet without my detour I would have never opened my heart to my 7 gifts from God. Detours are very uncomfortable… yet when we allow God to come in and touch that place HE does the most miraculous.
Thank you for sharing your detour… God Bless you

26 10 2010

Yes! Isn’t it great to look back and see the good?

26 10 2010
Aunt Alice

U are awesome Beth U r going to get tru this , Love U

26 10 2010

Love you too!

8 11 2010
Aunt Chelle

Sometimes, the detour takes you wonderful places. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

10 11 2010

Hey Beth, thanks for letting God speak through you in this. It was definitely something I needed to hear. As far as organization goes, I’m kind of the opposite of you. I don’t really plan for much. I mean, I make lofty life plans like “I’m going to be at such and such place in five years” or “I will have this kind of job when I do such and such”, but when it comes to my day to day life, I kind of just float around hoping it will all add up to achieve my life plans. Silly, I know, but this is something I am working on because a person has to live with purpose and drive if they want to get anywhere, and I definitely want to achieve my life goals. However, what really hit me was the reminder that God can and will use these hang ups, detours, and struggles I deal with day in and day out to glorify Himself, as long as I am always running back to Him. It can be easy to get frustrated and depressed at what seems like a lack of forward progression in our lives, but to hear that God can actually use these things in our lives? Bah! Mind blowing. God truly loves to use the foolish things of this world, which is just so not of this world sheesh. Ya but thanks again, this post was definitely a blessing to me. Keep it up 🙂

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