Detour Stories, Part IV (Day #54)

Posted in: Thinking Big

Some  of our detours feel more like stoplights.  We’re ready for the green, but we get a red light instead.  And so we wait.  As long as it takes.

And when it turns green, we go.

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The Blessing Is Next To The Wound

By Barbara Nordlund

There are things in our lives that are so deeply embedded in our expectations that we may never even realize they exist until we are told that those expectations may not be realized. I fell in love with Nathan, my freshman year of college and married 5 years later in 2002. As a newlywed we would giggle at the idea of getting pregnant . . . I was methodical about taking my birth control and even though I knew the chances of getting pregnant while on birth control were slim, I would convince myself that I was pregnant even after being just a day or so late for my period.

During our master’s program we had a long ride home one day from Minneapolis to Chicago. We talked the entire way about the pros and cons to starting a family. And it was the first time that I felt the longing in my heart for a baby. That was in 2004.  It wasn’t until 2007 that we welcomed our beautiful daughter Sanne, which means “truth” in Swedish and Norwegian. And truth she was. After years of calling out to God asking/begging/praying to have a family, God responded in the truth of our baby daughter. Looking back it feels like the blink of an eye but our journey to conceive was one of the most difficult things we have ever been through. Filled with invasive tests, waiting, hundreds of shots and blood tests, handfuls of negative pregnancy tests and devastation that danced with hope.

We are now pregnant with our second child, another baby girl conceived through in vitro fertilization, God’s intervention and our tremendous dedication to the process. These have truly been detours in our lives/life that we are grateful for and in the same breath, would never wish on anyone. Never a day goes by where I don’t realize the tremendous miracle that is Sanne and the baby growing inside of me. And that is something that I don’t know we would have felt so organically had it not been for the detour. “The blessing is next to the wound.”

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Why Georgia, Why?

By Amy Roberson

John Mayer sings my question in a song on his first album, “Why Georgia, Why?”

I am from Montgomery, Alabama. I lived there until November 2009. For years, I’d prayed and prayed for God to get me out of Alabama. I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be or where I needed to be for the rest of my life. It felt like my life was going nowhere.

When I graduated from college in 2004, I thought, “This is it. This is my chance.”

God had another plans though. He led me to move in with my maternal grandmother, whom I was very close to, for about 2 years. At the time, I wondered why. Why couldn’t I escape? I applied for jobs in Florida, New York, and Georgia. Nothing came of it.

What I didn’t know was at the time of my college graduation, my grandmother was told that she was dying. She held on for two more years, just to make sure I would be okay on my own. In May 2006, she passed away.

I asked God if it was finally time for me to escape. He said, no. Not yet.

I hit so many closed doors over the next three years. Every time I thought it was my chance, I hit a wall.

During that time, I gave my teenage brother a place to live for the summer when he had nowhere to go; I helped my mother through two difficult surgeries; I took care of my 90-year-old great-grandmother when no one else had the time; I helped my mother through a painful and bitter divorce; helped someone I didn’t even know make her own dreams of moving out on her own come true by answering a roommate wanted ad.

But when God is ready to say, “Yes,” you know it.

I was driving down 85 South, heading back to Montgomery after a trip to Atlanta to visit a friend, thinking about how much I needed a change in my life. In an instant, I felt God say, “Amy, it’s time. Why not Atlanta?”

I laughed it off at first, thinking it was going to be like every other time, but after laughing, I grew serious. I could do it. I would do it.

It meant leaving the only full-time job I’d ever had and entering the world of unemployment, which I knew about because my job at the time was in a department that helped people get unemployment compensation. I had to leave my family behind, give up all of those responsibilities I bore on my shoulders of taking care of everyone but myself, and I had to do it all on my own.

I felt like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade where he stepped out over that ledge and looked down into the abyss and was told to take a leap of faith.

When I stepped out on faith, God filled in the gaps. He gave me a place to stay with friends. He helped me sell all of my furniture and pack what I had left in my tiny Corolla and He helped me save up to $2K in about 6 months, which was difficult given the bills I have to pay.

I cried the moment I got in my car to leave Montgomery and cried so hard, I thought I was going to have to pull over to the side of the road. I had never been so afraid in my life.

When you’re on the right path, though, God makes sure everything falls into place. It’s amazing how much fell into place for me almost immediately. Within a week of arriving in Atlanta, I had a part-time job with a babysitting service. Within a month, I had a part-time job at Publix. Within three months, I had a full-time job as an administrative assistant. Within four months, I moved out on my own.

Atlanta’s unemployment rate is around 10-11%. The friend I moved in with, her husband has been unemployed for 2 years. It was totally against the odds that I would find a job and even more so, a job that pays better than any job I’ve ever had and put me with a group of the best coworkers I’ve ever had.

I never expected to move to Atlanta. I thought for sure I’d move to Pensacola and live on the beach or move to North Carolina. I don’t know how long I will live here, but it’s obvious God waited for the right time and the right place to come along before He put me on the path to get here.

Once I embraced the detour between my journey of leaving college and leaving Alabama and said, “Okay God, Your Will not mine,” He said, “Now we’re talking. Just you wait. I go to prepare a place for you.”

And here I am and it’s better than I could ever imagine.

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Two and a Half Years

by Nicole

My Detour is similar to many women in their child-bearing years, but it starts a bit before I was in the “child-bearing mode.”

December 24, 2005, my family (mom, dad, brother, SIL, and husband) was in Hawaii for Christmas. My husband, brother and I decided to go snorkeling that morning, and to make a long story short…our boat driver was reckless on the way back from our adventure. He hit a big wave, the boat – a zodiac – went 8-10 feet in the air, and I fell on the bottom of the boat and could immediately bear no weight on my legs.

When I went to the hospital, I discovered that I had sustained a compression fracture with retropulsion (part of the bone chipped off) of my L-1 vertebrae. Merry Christmas to me. Spent 4 days in the hospital, as I could not walk, not due to lack of feeling or paralysis (thank goodness), but because of the fracture, and was released the day before my 30th birthday. I was determined not to be in the hospital on Christmas AND on my big 3-0. Fast forward 7 months, after a brace, physical therapy, etc….my back doctor tells me I am free and clear and might always have a little pain; will probably have arthritis where the break was, but I can walk, talk and we can start trying to have a baby….finally, since all of my friends have multiple kids by now.

March 2007, am now 31 and learn that I am FINALLY pregnant….doctor does an ultrasound….not measuring quite right…double check and find out that at 10 weeks (May 2007) the pregnancy isn’t viable.

June 2008, am now 32, I am pregnant again after 13 months of trying, trying, trying….gosh it was tiring…doctor does an ultrasound…see a glimmer of a heartbeat…go in for a high resolution ultrasound….pregnancy is again not viable (August 2008). Crushed. Heartbroken. Will I ever have a baby? All of my friends have babies…my best friend is pregnant with twins after her fourth round of IVF…I felt like I was the only one who may never have a baby.

December 2008, I am now almost 33….still trying…celebrate the New Year with friends….and on January 2, 2009 I get the magic positive test…but definitely don’t get my hopes up. I then take seven more tests over the weekend. Call my doctor on the 5th…start progesterone…wait until I’m 8 weeks to go in for an ultrasound…just to make sure…and on January 29, 2009…we find out that I am due with a little one 9.9.2009. YAY!!

September 17, 2009… our little guy is born at 41 weeks 1 day….the detour was a broken back and two-and-a-half years of trying to have a baby….but now our new tour has begun with sleepless nights and the joy of a sweet baby boy.

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(If you have a detour story you’re willing to share, please send it to me!  After this week, I’ll be posting detour stories periodically and would love to include yours.  Email them to me at lauren at embracingthedetour dot com or use the contact form on the sidebar.)

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