God Bless the Broken Road

God Bless the Broken Road. It’s a song by Rascal Flatts, and it came on the radio this morning as I was out doing errands. I’ve always loved this song, because it describes so well my own journey in life.

It so easy to get frustrated with what seems to be dead ends in our lives, especially when we’re doing everything right. We’re listening the voice of the divine, we’re discerning our path and following it as best we know how. And yet we still aren’t getting anywhere. We rail at God. “Why!” we cry. “I’m doing everything you told me. Why am I still as lost as ever?”

We’re not lost though. We just can’t see past the broken parts of the road, past the next bend, over the next hill. To us, it seems the road is ending, but it’s not. If we just look a bit further, we’ll see the next part of the road to follow. Let me give you an example from my own life.

Ever since I was a young teenager, I was fascinated with religious life (that is: being a nun or sister). Which is interesting because I wasn’t even Catholic. The desire never left, and eventually, while  in college, I converted to Catholicism. A few years later I started actively looking at different religious orders. I even entered a convent for a while. But no matter what I did, I just seemed to keep running into brick walls.  I didn’t give up though. I kept pushing at the wall, looking for the next step in my road. And just when I thought nothing would ever happen, close to my 40th birthday, I found just the perfect community for me, and they were thrilled with me too! I was so happy.

And then I posted on the message board of a game I played about missing everyone when I entered the convent. A man replied with all kinds of questions. Why the convent, how does it work, would I still be able to post on the message board, could I have phone calls. So I emailed  him, and he emailed me, and back and forth we went. Three months later I packed everything I owned and moved across the country to marry him. 13 years later, we’re still very happily married.

You see, God never intended me to actually become a nun. He wanted me to eventually meet my husband. He led me down one broken road after another until all the elements were set in place. And then he dropped the bomb.

So, don’t despair when your road seems broken. Keep listening to the divine voice, keep moving forward. Take everything one day at a time. You’ll eventually get there and when you do you’ll understand your own broken road.

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