Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go your way? Your house is a crazy mess, your kids can’t seem to hear or follow a word you say, you will definately be late IF you ever manage to get everyone in the car, your schedule for the day is so full that even in the best of circumstances you will be lucky to remember and or make it to everything and then just when you think things might go in your favor you hit road construction! As if you didn’t have enough blocking your positive thinking now you literally are hitting road blocks!
This became a metaphor of what I was going through. I’ve been working really hard to do some constuction on me and was just starting to feel like I was getting somewhere when that dreaded bad day hit me. Every road I turned down on my way that morning was blocked!? The fourth or fifth detour I took I had to make myself laugh, for fear of crazy tears coming on, because really this was getting ridiculous! I love to see all the improvements happening in my hometown but REALLY!?! As I spent my day in the car dropping off, picking up and navagating all these detours my mind began to put a twist on it and comparing it to what I was working on inside. I began to question why I was trying to make these changes. Staying the same course is so much easier than paving a new path!? As I stared at the road closed sign before me I realized that this physical detour was just what I needed to see that the work in me will be worth it. I also had to smile because it often seems to take a pretty big “sign” for me to realize that I need to follow what in my heart I know God is pushing me to do! Thank goodness he knows me well enough to provide these moments to gain clarity in my purpose!
Have a Vision and a Plan
When road construction begins there is a plan or a reason the construction needs to happen. The road has worn down, the sewer lines need updating, the road needs to be re-routed to provide opportunity for something else to be there. When self construction takes place we need to do the same vision planning. Where are we now? Where would we like to be? How has this life path been serving us? Has the road been bumpy? How have the choices we’ve made on this path left us feeling? Should we reconsruct the underneath while we are fixing up the surface? Do we need our new path to lead us to a new location to allow for change? Once we have searched out and honestly answered these questions the construction can begin.
Take the Leap
Now comes the messy part. We have so start letting the world know change is coming. The path we have usually taken is now unpassable for us and we need to find a new route to the destination we are wanting to arrive at. The choices that we make are different than usual and may cause others to question what is happening and WHY we would want to take a longer harder path. Some may need to be left behind because they cant help you consruct the path you are wanting. This is where you may have to realize that you can’t change people if they don’t want to change. Take the time to help them try to understand your vision, give them your best and allow them to decide if they want to come along. But as we look at ourselves we know that once this is complete the world around us will receive a much better version of us and benefit as well.
Be Patient and Persevere
Construction is not fast! During this time we have to be patient. Many will grumble about how inconveinient the process is and want you to hurry up. Rainy days will hit and you will have to delay your progress to let the storm clouds pass. People will let you down and not help you meet your deadlines with the “materials and labor” help that you need. Many will continue to think that what you are doing is just stupid and why didn’t you just keep going the same path, cause really why did it need to change?! The detours will begin to frustrate you and you will begin to wish for your old road back. That’s where yet another sign that I had driven by numerous times struck me differently on my drive that day….
Detours can lead you one of two places… We can either gripe and grumble about what is thrown at us and let all those road blocks take us to or grave in misery OR we can let those detours take us off the beaten path and lead us closer to God who knows exactly where he’s taking us!! During the mess of our construction it may be hard to believe that God has any part in what we are suffering through or that any good will come out of this work. We have a pretty important choice to make here. Put our faith in action and have HOPE OR be miserable and make others miserable too. God never said the path would be easy or that the burden would be light. But he does say that it will be worth it!
During this phase:
- surround yourself with people who understand your journey and will continue to push you forward.
- Stay connected and fuel your FAITH as it will be tested!
- Rise above the approval of OTHER people!
- Be able to look in the mirror and know what you are striving for is the true you
- Know that there is a place for the true you in this world, God created you to be YOU not you to be like someone else!!
ENJOY the Process!
Once this phase of construction wraps up and you get to drive down a smooth and beautiful new road, life will settle back into a flow. You will get to enjoy the direct route from A to B and can enjoy the sites of fresh new landscape. It will become familiar and safe again….just in time for a new season of road construction! So find a way to enjoy the process because the best project we can ever work on is ourselves! So when the orange construction cones start coming out signaling the impending construction embrace them and know that PROGRESS is coming!! (Thank you to my SIL Jen for making me see the cones that way!)