Life Detours

Lauren Daigle
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At church we are currently in the middle of a sermon series titled: Detour, The Life of Joseph.  It has been such a good sermon series and each week I have felt God speaking to me.  The series is all about detours in our life and how we allow them to get in the way of the life we are meant to live.  So far, we have been learning about how Joseph was favored by his father and how his brothers hated him for that.  They plotted to kill him and then instead sold him into slavery.  During his time in slavery he was imprisoned.  And that is where the sermon series picked up today, talking about Joseph being in prison and the trials and detours his life had taken up to this point.

Today’s message was all about how we need to trust that God is with us even during the detours in our life.  Just as God was with Joseph when he was taken from his family and put into slavery and later put in prison.  It is so easy to believe that God is with us, even to just believe in God, when our life is going smoothly.  But, generally, when things are rough, we start questioning God.  In times of trial some may ask if there even is a God.  For those of us believers, when we are going through our trials, our detours, we ask God why He  allows us to struggle.  We question that if God is with us why would He want to see us suffering and in pain.  The thing is, we have to understand that God is in fact there with us during our struggles.  We may not understand why we are going through what we are going through.   I often say that life is beautiful, and I truly believe this.  But, life is hard.  It is messy.  It is ugly.  It is devastating at times.  But we have to understand that if God is with us through the good, beautiful times, He is also there with us during the hard times.  We also have to understand that going through the hard parts of our lives makes us stronger.  That is why God puts detours in our lives.  As we move through our detours we grow.  God is with us, we are just generally too busy, too noisy to hear Him.  If we can find a minute in the midst of our chaos to choose to be quiet, we can probably feel that God is with us.

I have had many struggles and trying times in my life.  Three of the most difficult times of my life have been suffering from a miscarriage with my first baby, losing my sister to cancer 4 years ago, and my dad having a heart attack and triple bypass surgery last year.  With each of these trials I felt abandoned by God.  I admit I was disappointed in God.  I questioned why God would let these things happen.  Why would He let me lose a baby I wanted more than anything?  Why would He take away my sister and best friend?  Why would He allow someone who had to deal and overcome so many obstacles in her life get cancer and suffer terribly and leave this world way too early?  Why would He let my dad , the most Godly man I know and the man with the biggest heart, suffer from a heart attack and have to have a major, scary operation with a difficult recovery?

My faith was tested during these trials.  Our faith generally does get tested during our pain and suffering.  My faith is stronger today than I can ever remember it being though.  Proof that God was with me even when I felt He abandoned me.  How do I know He was with me?  Because as I reflect on those trials I can see His work.

With my miscarriage, I see that had I had that baby, my life would be completely different.  Not comparing it to my life now.  It just would have been different.  I might not have switched jobs when I did many, many years ago which meant I might not have met my friend I work with now which has allowed me to be with my kids each day.  I would not have the kids I have now.  If I would not have had the miscarriage, I would not have had my Scout, which in turn means I would not have had Petey or Muppet.  I am sure I would have had other children and I would have loved them just as fiercely, but they would not be my Scout, Petey, or Muppet.

The trial I have had with losing my sister is honestly still work.  I was so, so angry with God for taking her.  I felt angry for a very long time.  I had no desire to go to church.  My faith was very fragile.  I still believed in God.  I never thought to myself “There is no way God exists.”  I was just so deeply angry with Him.  I no longer feel anger, but I still question why He took her.  I am still searching for that answer.  Maybe one day God will reveal to me why that was part of his plan.

Last year when my dad had a heart attack and had to have triple bypass surgery I was scared.  Again I questioned why God would allow something like that to happen to such a wonderful person.  My dad has the strongest faith of anyone I know.  I questioned why God would allow something so devastating to happen to our family after all we had been through with my sister.  I was so scared of losing him.  My parents are not just my parents.  They are my friends.  I love them not only because they are my family, but because they are incredibly wonderful people.  I wasn’t ready to even begin thinking of losing one of them, not that I ever will be, but I need them in my life for way too many more years.  So, I started praying again in a way I hadn’t prayed for a very long time.  The morning my dad was in surgery I prayed to God that if He watched over my dad and kept him safe, I would find a church to call home and start going back to church regularly.  I happily have lived up to my end of the bargain!  My dad recovered from his surgery beautifully and is stronger and healthier today.  (Going to take a minute to give a shout out to my parents because I am so proud of both of them for the lifestyle changes they both have made and the hard work they both put in to getting my dad’s health back.)

These past nine months my faith has become stronger.  I find myself taking more quiet time to just pay attention to what God is doing in my life.  That is not to say I don’t have trials.  And I know that I am going to have many more detours and struggles in my life.  I am going to face hardships.  I am going to have periods where I question what God is doing.  I am going to have moments when my faith will be tested.  I know this because this is life.

But I am learning that God is always there, especially during the difficult times.  As our minister said in his sermon this morning…God has a plan from the very beginning to the very end.  He has given us His Holy Spirit and He also places people in our lives in the midst of our struggles.  We (and this is something I strongly have to work on) have to understand that God is with us during our struggles and if we are just quiet, for just a minute, we can feel Him working and we can start recognizing the “God moments” in our life.

I am going to leave you with a piece of scripture and a video of a song we sang in church this morning.

John 14:15-17  “If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

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