Sometimes God nudges us to take a detour. Sometimes, we’re pushed right into one.
I stopped today. I had been in a rush. After a quick down and back to Lincoln. I was in a rush. A rush to get to my list of things to conquer on my “day off”.
And then, I looked up at this building. The one I always drive by on I80. With no kids in the car. And no timeframe to deal with, I decided, this is the day I should stop. After being on a 9 month detour, what’s one more adventure?
It was quiet there. I was one of two people in the space. I looked around at the vast openness of the windows and the incredible span of the beams. I looked at the cars whizzing down the Interstate. And at the green grass surrounding the exterior. I looked and took in the calm of the place. And I began to pray. For a million things. For a million people, it seemed. For my cancer to never ever come back again. I prayed that whatever detours lie ahead, he sticks with me. And with my family. And friends. I prayed for people who I’ve grown apart from. Relationships that need mending. I prayed for those who have stuck by my side as tightly as they can. And that God protect them from any harm. I prayed for my boys. For their someday spouses that God is working on right now. I prayed for my parents. And Adam. I prayed and prayed that Adam know exactly how much I owe him. How much I love him. And I prayed to God that Adam might catch a break for a bit.
I thought about the detour. The cancer. The shock and awe campaign in my world. And I noted that God didn’t push me into this detour. He didn’t say, “hey, ash, I’d like you to be sick”. At least that’s not how I think it went down. But he’s guided me through it. When life brought me to it.
Nine months ago, I wouldn’t have typed those words. I would have felt like my faith might make others uncomfortable. Or judge me. Because as my tshirt says, “I love Jesus but I swear a little”. I’m incredibly flawed. Fully imperfect. And so, I’d keep my lovey gooey God-talk in my head.
But now I know what I thought I knew before. I used to say, I don’t talk about my faith because my faith is my own. I didn’t want it offending anyone. I didn’t want it to be divisive. Or group me into a certain category. But now, I know. My faith is my own. It doesn’t mean I expect anyone to feel like I do about it. It just means I have faith. Just like I choose to wear Birkenstocks. Or let my kids wear pajamas all day. I choose to have faith in a higher power, and in God, as the fabric of my heart and should hope that wouldn’t be offensive to anyone. I would never want to have something based on “loving one another” become the very thing that pushes us apart.
Because we all get to choose, based on our life experiences, when we believe, what we believe, and how we believe. We are lucky like that.
For the last 9 months, I’ve been on this detour. One that I did not want to take. One that I didn’t always believe I’d make it through, and yet, somehow, from this view… from the rearview mirror, it feels like I was traveling down the road that was paved for me. And I think that that “somehow” is called faith. And so today, I took another detour. Another road that though unpaved, felt like I was intended to travel it today.
I talked to God today. And asked him to make me healthy. Keep me healthy. And remembered. He can make all things brand new. Sometimes we just don’t find that newness on the path we expected.
For some reason though, he’s letting me to continue having adventures. And for that, I feel both lucky and humbled. But for those who are on their own detours and are unsure of where you might be headed, I prayed for you today, too.
And hope that you find the small gifts in the midst of your own unknown paths. Through faith, hope, coffee, or otherwise.