Article by: Sarah Koontz,Founder of Living by Design Ministries
I just love family game night.
The laughter, conversation and distraction-free time spent together leave me feeling full and satisfied.
Our favorite game right now is Clue.
We picked up the game at a garage sale last month and my girls can’t seem to get enough of it.
As a child, I used to adore games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders.
Didn’t we all?
But as an adult, these games can frustrate me to no end.
All of that hard work to get ahead, but before you know it you are moving backwards rather than forwards.
Motherhood is a lot like the game of Candy Land.
When you hold your baby for the first time, it is like you are transported to another world.
A place where the colors are brighter, the food tastes sweeter, and everything is new and shiny.
You can’t survive in this new world all by yourself, so you reach out to other moms and before you know it you have found community.
You meet Red at your local MOPS group and connect with Blue over coffee to share stories of sleepless nights, first steps and dirty laundry.
Then you start the game.
It is a bit scary at first, but before you know it you are sailing through Peppermint Forest.
Your friends are still close by and you feel optimistic about the future.
Then the unthinkable happens.
Red draws the card that automatically transports her to Lollypop Woods.
Red is good at everything, so you shouldn’t be surprised that she is doing so much better than you in the game of motherhood.
Of course, on your next turn, you get stuck on a licorice space and lose one turn.
As you play on, you feel less and less connected to Red and Blue.
You quickly discover that everyone is playing the game in their own unique way.
Everything comes easily to Red and she has nearly made it to Candy Castle.
Blue’s progress has been slow and steady, but she is always moving forward towards the goal.
Your journey, however, has been full of highs and lows.
You move forward on one turn only to find yourself unexpectedly transported back to the Gingerbread Tree on the next.
You may never reach the Candy Castle, but you are slowly learning to enjoy the beauty that lies in the journey.
Motherhood differs from the game of Candy Land in this ONE crucial way: Motherhood is not a game to be won, it is not a competition, and there are no winners and losers.
Motherhood is a season of life to be embraced, Chocolate Swamp and all!Motherhood is a season of life to be embraced, Chocolate Swamp and all!
On those days when you feel as though you are moving backwards, remind yourself of this important fact: Motherhood is not nearly as much about racing to the finish line as it is about becoming a better version of yourself.
If we want to arrive at the finish line unscathed, we must learn to celebrate the small victories and have an abundance of grace for ourselves when our progress is slow or we face an unexpected detour.
This year, I celebrated my 34th birthday.
As I look back over my life, I have faced many unexpected detours.
- A miscarriage and season of infertility forever changed the makeup of my family.
- A health crisis forced me to step down from many leadership roles within my church.
- A desire to help women live healthier lives launched an unexpected writing career.
I have rarely, if ever, accomplished the things I have set out to do.
My life course seems to change on a daily basis, but God has always been faithful to bring me to the destination He has planned for me.
And I am confident that He is doing the same for you.
Next time you face an unexpected detour, I encourage you to stop and think of the possibilities that this change of course may hold for you.
Here are 6 biblical reasons God may be orchestrating a D-E-T-O-U-R in your life:
The most fruitful paths are often exceedingly difficult. Sometimes the only way to get us headed in a different direction is to put a roadblock in our way. Detours allow God to lovingly direct us toward something that we may not have chosen for ourselves. (Matthew 7:13-14)
We never know what lies around the next bend, but God does. Detours give Him an opportunity to equip us for the future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Personal growth is seldom without pain, and how we deal with pain reveals what we believe about God. The detours of life have a unique way of transforming us into His image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
How we handle detours reveals a great deal about our character. Often, we don’t know what we are made of until we are forced to walk through a difficult situation. Detours allow God an opportunity to observe our faith in action. (James 2:17)
Sometimes, we need to be forced out of our comfort zone in order to be used by God. Detours allow us to walk paths we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves and impact people we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to impact otherwise. (Joshua 1:9)
Detours have the ability to take us to a place of rest and restoration that we may not have discovered on our own. God knows what we need before we do, and what seems like a road block at first might become the thing we are most grateful for in our life. (Isaiah 40:31)
Every single time God has thrown a detour sign on my path, He has faithfully guided me through to the destination.
Looking back, I am eternally grateful for the unexpected detours because they have taught me the value of resilience, faithfulness and patience.Are you ready to embrace life’s unexpected detours, trusting that God has a plan for you?
I am learning to embrace life’s unexpected detours as they arrive, trusting that God has a plan and a purpose in them. Won’t you join me?