The grocery store I usually shop at about 3 1/2 miles south of me. Interestingly enough though, the quickest way to get there is to drive east, rather than south. That's because the road that travels east only does so only for about a mile or so and then it curves south. If I take that road, I am actually about a mile closer to the store than if I originally start out traveling south.
I stumbled upon this "short-cut" by accident when we first moved here. I was just curious as to where the road went and you can imagine my shock and delight when I learned that I had discovered where I ended up. It hadn't looked like the right road to go to the store but in reality, it was the best road.
Thirty-one years ago, my husband wanted to go to graduate school and get his Master of Divinity degree. Somehow it didn't work out quite that way. After getting his BA in Biblical Studies he uh... ended up going to "tech school" instead and got an associates degree in electronics. I know. That's a bit odd but that's what happened.
He never lost his desire though. Someday, he was going to go to grad school. We worked and dreamed but the demands of work and family got in the way. Finally though, he decided to take one undergrad class in classics each semester. He could do that for free at the college he worked at as the AV technician.
He continued to work, study and dream. We decided that when our son got out of college in 2009 we would have the means for my husband to start grad school. Before that could happen, I got cancer, I had a ruptured brain aneurysm and a stroke, I suffered brain damage and I lost my job. It seemed like the dream got snatched away.
Then things stabilized. I got disability and became eligible to also collect long term disability under my pension plan. We paid off a few debts. We began to talk about grad school once again. Then he lost his job last December and has not been able to find any work other than freelancing as of yet. It seemed like the dream had died... or had it.
On September 3rd, my husband started graduate school. God has provided the funds for the first semester. It is not a student loan. God simply provided the money.
My husband and I have been talking about the past thirty-one years a lot lately. Though we may wish that he had completed grad school while he was still in his 20's (rather than when he is in 50's), we realize that he is bringing with him a wealth of experience. He wants to become a chaplain and now he understands first-hand what it is like to learn that your spouse has cancer, to hold their hand during chemo, to lose your job, to deal with financial challenges and so forth. He understands and over the past few years, God has been calling him to minister one by one to men who need to talk to someone who understands and will listen and will pray.
Perhaps we did not travel down the wrong road thirty-one years ago. Perhaps it was in actuality the best road to get this place, the place where God wants to use us in a whole new way. We must always remember that when we trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and do not lean on our own understanding, when we acknowledge Him in all of our ways... He WILL direct our paths. We can be confident that even if it looks like that path is leading in the wrong direction, God's way is sure and we can trust Him... no matter what!
Photo Credit: wiangya/freedigitalphotos.net