Detours Part 1 of 2

We have all experienced detours. While some detours can lead to happy discoveries and interesting new paths, most leave us feeling out of control and panicked. Truthfully, in our current global health crisis, the detour feels more like a full-fledged wreck instead of a happy reroute. Momentous life changes such as these affect our homes and our parenting as emotions escalate and our ability to plan for the future completely fails. 

  • Are you dealing with a strong-willed child?
  • As the quarantine continues, are loneliness and cabin fever setting in?
  • Has the pandemic affected your income and ability to provide for your family?

You are not alone! Today, let’s look at one tool to calm the panic.

Pull Over and Pause

Ever been lost? On a road trip or a hike when I’ve lost my way, I always stop to gather my bearings, consult a map, or call to ask directions. We are all on a new path during this pandemic. It is appropriate to pause once in a while in order to recalibrate to all the changes.

Anxiety rises when plans gets derailed.  However, nothing good comes from allowing our anxiety to rule our lives. It breeds fear, bad decision making, emotional turmoil in the home, and doubt. What can we do?

Practical Takeaways:

  • When you recognize your anxiety is on the rise, take a minute to evaluate your thinking and its effect on your life. Set aside 15 minutes. Write down the factors in your life that are causing you anxiety.
  • Evaluate how those factors are affecting your relationships and decision making.
  • Schedule time to call a friend or trusted counselor to lend you an ear. Talk through the burdens weighing you down and ask them for much-needed perspective.
  • Are there ways to minimize the negative input? For example, allow yourself to shut down the news and social media that may be contributing to your anxiety.

Understanding our response to the unexpected detours in life is one constructive step to learning to navigate them. Next week, we will look at how to lean into our relationships during these detours.

Until then, this verse from Proverbs 16:3 always reminds me that I am not alone in navigating these bumpy roads of life.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established; the heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes His steps.”

Trusting the Sovereign God and His loving care will go a long way in alleviating panic. There is no detour in our lives that has not been designed or allowed by God for our good and His glory. We are in good hands, and we can move forward in confidence that no matter how messy the road or how much it deviates from our plan, God will establish our steps.

Written by: Melissa Smith

Melissa is living out her everyday adventures in the suburbs of Texas. She loves three things: God, beauty, and words. When she won her first camera in fourth grade, she began collecting beauty. Since then, she has captured snapshots of life: a quiet moment, a startled smile, simple joy. When she is not shuttling her teens to school or homeschooling her youngest, Melissa gathers beauty and writes on her blog, framing suffering in the context of joy with Christ. She hopes to bring a slice of loveliness to her readers and point them to her wonderful, loving Savior.