I chatted with a friend a few weeks ago who is going through a hard time. Life took an unexpected turn and placed her somewhere new and she’s scared not just of the new path she has to walk down, but because she feels like she fell short. She feels like she wasn’t enough and since it didn’t work out last time maybe something is wrong with her. Maybe she just isn’t cut out for this. Maybe she is a failure. And if it didn’t work out last time maybe it won’t work out this time or the next time or ever. I think she wondered in her heart of hearts if she should just give up.
In 2010, I took a leap of faith and moved across the United States to live with a good friend of mine. I made the decision on a whim in the hopes that moving would draw me out of the directionless rut that my life had fallen into. I packed up my worldly possessions, crammed them into the back of “Peppy,” my trusty blue green Toyota Corolla, and headed out West.
My friend flew out to make the long drive with me and we were having a pleasant trip until, when driving through central Iowa, we encountered an obstacle. We came upon a lake where the highway should have been that was blocked off by several large road closure signs. Unbeknownst to us, record rainfall had flooded the interstate making it impassable for more than 30 miles. We had to take a detour using back roads through a state we had never been to. We had no idea where we were going. It was daunting, discouraging, and completely unanticipated.
But when we got to that road closure sign and saw the river beyond it that used to be highway, it never occurred to us once to turn around and go back to where we came from. It certainly never occurred to us to move there and put down roots. We found another route to our destination. And although it made us take a path that was much more difficult to navigate, we saw so much more beauty in our travels than we would have ever encountered on that bare stretch of highway anyway.
Life is just like that sometimes. We are cruising down the highway singing show tunes at the top of our lungs (don’t judge me) and life says, “Nope, this road’s closed. Sorry.” And we have three choices. We can give up and go back, we can stay where we are, or we can choose another, sometimes harder, path to take us to where we want to be.
If you are facing your own road closure sign in life, please remember, the journey doesn’t end here. Be brave. Keep going. You can and will make it to your destination. I have faith in you. You are not a failure. Please don’t give up. Your detour may make your journey harder and longer than you planned, but I promise there is beauty to be found there too and in the end you will arrive where you were meant to be.
Light the Darkness,