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Bless the Broken Road

June 28, 2016

Sometimes life is just broken.

Broken dreams. Broken marriage. Broken body. Broken heart.

I often do not understand what God is doing. But the Bible says I don’t have to. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”

Last night some of our best friends came over and we sat on the deck and talked for hours. One of the things we talked about was how I didn’t get the job I recently applied for. Our friend told me that one day I would look back on this time of struggle and it wouldn’t hurt so badly, and that I would see how it led me to something different. He said that he was married before, and when that marriage ended it felt awful and heartbreaking. But looking back, he doesn’t regret it for a minute. Had it not happened that way, he would not have his beautiful kids running around our backyard right at that moment. He said because of what happened in his first marriage, he is more determined to be the best husband he can be now. I love that. It made me think of Romans 8:28.

I agreed that everything that has happened to us, including the very worst of times, shapes us into who we are today. Every experience is a learning opportunity. I always want to let God make me better instead of bitter.

And by the way, when we go through difficult times, it helps to have friends walk with us and speak from experience that things will get better. Thank you to my friends who have felt my disappointment with me. It means so much. And it always brings me to tears! But in a good way, because I feel so loved.

This morning I read another story of God's timing. A dear friend of mine posted this:

“She’s 5! My beautiful, spunky, funny [daughter] is 5 today. My 3rd and final baby…the one we struggled so hard to get here.

"A shout out to my friends and husband on this, my baby’s 5th birthday: After many, many lost heartbeats…I knew she was my final attempt. I couldn’t bear any more loss. [My husband] couldn’t watch me go through it. I talked to God a lot and begged that he spare me anymore loss and in return, I would be patient for the perfect timing, the baby meant for us. A few friends walked through this with me. They cared for [my older son and daughter] as I went in and out of outpatient surgery, they dropped flowers, cards, and prayed over us. There is no one in this world who does not have a story of struggle, and if they don’t yet, they will. Friends who step into the darkness with you, who cry and worry and feel with you, they’re worth their weight in gold. To the friends who stood in the trenches with me, who let me cry and yell at a girls’ night knowing all too well what I was really crying about but said nothing to out me or shut me up, who walked the same trail of loss I did and held my hand, who prayed for my broken heart and raw womb, who didn’t tell me ‘at least I had 2 healthy kids’, who didn’t try to tell me it’d work out, who let me be angry, and scared, and picked me up and reminded me I was not abandoned…thank you.

"I was reminded recently in the words of a friend’s blog: ‘I don’t have to understand what God is doing in order to trust Him. My disappointment is part of a bigger plan. My life is meant to tell His story. He can tell it however He wants to. I just have to surrender.’ – Christi Morley

"I am grateful that I know my diagnosis and now my daughters will not have to struggle through this. One blood test for each of them and they’ll know whether they need blood thinners or not. Amazing right? So, if it resulted in less struggle for my own daughters, I’d walk that path all over again. But I’d still do it hand-in-hand with a few brave friends and my amazing husband. My [daughter] was worth the struggle. Happy 5th birthday to my baby girl!”

What a testimony. Her daughter was worth the struggle.

After I read this post, it brought to mind the song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts.

Although the song is written about broken relationships leading him to his love, it applies to other broken roads. All of our broken dreams have led us to the fulfilled ones.

“I set out on a narrow way many years ago Hoping I would find true love along the broken road But I got lost a time or two Wiped my brow and kept pushing through I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars Pointing me on my way into your loving arms This much I know is true That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you

…But you just smile and take my hand You've been there you understand It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream led me to where you are Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars

Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road

That led me straight to you”

I’m waiting for the day I can look back and see how the dreams I had for myself, the ones that did not come true, were God’s way of leading me to the right path.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

One day I’ll look back and say God blessed the broken road.

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