Dead Ends

Here’s a lesson I’m learning about God.

Sometimes, as we travel this journey called life, He prompts us to go a certain direction. Perhaps through Scripture or a sermon or prayer or a yearning or a heaviness that sits inside our chest.

So we set out on the road with high hopes and expectations.

But sometimes, for whatever reason, we find ourselves at a dead end. And most often, it’s painful and confusing. Yet if we open our eyes and surrender our plans, we’ll discover a new path.

A path we never would have considered had we not gone down that first road.

I’m learning more and more every day that we don’t worship a God of dead ends.

Let’s Talk: Have you ever gone a certain way with your life, hoping for something, but God gave you something else instead?

*picture by tatooedfolkremovetweetmeme

18 thoughts on “Dead Ends

  1. There were a lot of dead ends I had to deal with along my writing journey. I am sure there will be more. But through them all, God was teaching me something. Learning to let go is sometimes the hardest thing, but sometimes we have to do that to let God do HIs work. I'm so grateful for all the dead ends, both personally and professionally. I have grown through them.

  2. i had planned on writing fiction first, you know. not non-fiction. that idea kinda came out of the blue. but yet here i am!

  3. When I finally finished my B.A. after working and going to school for eleven years, I wasn't sure what to do next. Having been in college so long, I decided to continue and get a teaching credential. I'd taken several classes when the Lord led my new husband and me in a different direction. Gwynly got his dream job teaching the high school-aged children of U.S. Army personnel stationed in Nürnberg, Germany. We lived there four and a half years.

    Instead of becoming a teacher, I became a mom. Our daughter was born in a German hospital during our time abroad, and I spent the next 16 years doing the volunteer mom gig and enjoying life as a stay-at-home mom.

    When our daughter was a sophomore, I dusted off my lifelong dream of being a writer and put my education and job experience to use. I don't regret the change of plans because I wouldn't be where I am today had the Lord led me down a different path. He knew what He had in mind for me, and I'm so grateful for His guiding hand in my life.

  4. Oh, wow. Where to begin?

    In my personal life, my husband and I went through a period where we had two mortgages for three years. We listed one home and bought our new one literally just as the housing market collapsed.

    We've learned a lot, too much to list here, but the interesting thing is that four other families in our church have been or are going through the same thing. My husband's the pastor, and we can so relate to these people and minister because of what we've been through. The door to a home sale was shut for so long, but it made us grow spiritually and empathetically. (Is that a word?) The other night I found myself thanking God for the first time for letting us go through that.

    Now to writing–my second book resulted with two agents offering me representation. Yay! But no editors bought it. Which wasn't expected when two agents . . . you know.

    But now I'm so thankful it didn't sell. The book wasn't ready. What I'm writing now is, to me, stronger and deeper than that second book. So that closed door has turned out in my favor as well, even though I don't yet have that first novel contract.

  5. Katie, thank you for your encouraging words.

    After we adopted our son (he's almost 5)my heart's desire has been to adopt again. Each time we headed down the adoption road we were met with one road-block after another. Most recently, our niece asked us to adopt her baby. We said "yes" but for many reasons it unfortunately did not work out the way we hoped. We have one son and feel very blessed, yet my desire to have another child is a tough one to deal with. God has clearly shown us it is His desire for us to parent our one child.

    In the meantime, I've been working on my first novel (something God has been clearly speaking to me about for some time) as well as other writing projects in the works.

    I definitely don't understand God's plans but I'm trusting Him that He knows best.

  6. Katie,
    This is one of the things I like about you, friend: You are willing to talk about the tough truths. Like dead ends.
    But you offer hope — God is there to meet as at the dead ends.
    Here's something a friend said to me recently when life suddenly ended in an unexpected dead end:
    "This doesn't make sense. Must be God."
    I like that perspective. A lot!

  7. Yes, yes, yes. It always reminds of the line from Garth Brooks's song, "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." 🙂

  8. Definitely, but I didn't always realize it at the time.

  9. Wendy – so beautifully said, woman.

  10. Oh yes…many times!

    But God's way was always the best.

  11. Sometimes I feel like my life is a maze with only dead ends in it, and I'm still looking for a way out. On the other hand, some of those ends could just be completions, even though I don't like the endings.

  12. Not really, but this is because I'm not a planner or a type A. As I get older with a family and everything, I'm forced to make some plans, but overall in life, I haven't paid too much attention so what happens is not that I think I've hit a dead end, but that I'm pleasantly sitting on a bench reading a book and God whops me on the head and says "you should write a book" or "you should have a baby". So then I spontaneously start something that usually turns out so much more better than I ever thought it could. One of my fave verses is that God gives us more than we ask for or can even imagine. He's just that awesome. *grin*

  13. Hard to count how many times this has happened. It's happened with some really big things too.

    So much of this life is about ceasing the banging on the wall in front of us and stepping aside to see the window to crawl through.

    He even lifts us up to get through it.
    ~ Wendy

  14. Yep, I definitely know what you mean. A few months ago, I quit my full-time job to teach at the community college and work freelance writing and editing jobs (as well as start on my first novel). I thought that this was what I'd be doing until we had kids. But for financial reasons, we decided I should go back to working full time for a few more years. God provided a job within a week of that decision and I'll be starting back in January. That is a huge blessing and seems nearly unheard of in this economy.

    I felt fickle, like I was changing my mind so much, but I just see that God knew I needed a bit of a "break" from how hectic my life had been and I needed to get out of a bad work environment.

    He knows best and I'm excited to embrace what he has for me!

  15. Oh yes! for years as we waited and looked for work. I finally gave up as did my husband and said do what you want –we'll go with it. And He sent us here to Texas. Still figuring why though!! LOL

  16. I might have to use the whole "ditto" on what Kelly said. But I'll expand to say I'm feeling led (there's that magic phrase from last week- :)) in a different direction these days with my writing. It's not a direction I would have dreamed up on my own had I not been on this other journey. I'm trying to be patient in my trust that God knows exactly where he's guiding me. I'm kind of hoping and praying God will spell it out for me, though, because I'm uber confused right now.

  17. Oh my Katie- I've been praying this week actually about the whole writing thing. I've felt for years that I was supposed to be writing. And, writing I've been doing. But now? Not so sure. And, I feel like I"m getting no answers. This post was very timely for me.

  18. Good grief! Once again you've confirmed part of my message for this Christmas banquet, which is awesome and thank you.

    I've found trusting God to get me down a path is the only way to find my way. I'm not only directionally challenged physically, but spiritually. So glad God's road map is much clearer than what's in my glove box! 🙂

    Great post, Katie!


Comments are closed.