"The reality here can be unsettling. Often God chooses to meet us with his blessing in a place we do not choose to be. He will bless us on the detour. He will bless us in the Land Between. Often the place of blessing is not our place of preference."
I'm single. I've always been single. I never wanted to be single. My vision of my life when I was younger was probably a lot like most people's: Finish college, get married, have children. I remember walking through my college town and seeing the families in their houses and thinking "Someday that will be me." Someday still isn't here. Singleness has been an unplanned and very long detour. Yet, reflecting today, I have been blessed in so many ways: Opportunity, travel, some of the world's best friends. The blessings are deeper than that, however. On page 185, Manion writes:
"What if God desires to be present and faithful on your detour? What if he chooses to make his presence powerfully available when you are in the space you least desire to be--the Land Between?. . .Our longing [to prosper in the place of OUR choosing], however deep, may not change the reality. Sometimes we don't get to choose. But will we open our hearts to God? Will we open our lives to his work and his blessing while we are not where we want to be?"
Joseph never got to go home. God was with him, he prospered, and his family eventually was returned to him, but he never got to return to Canaan. The Israelites took his bones there, but that's the closest he came. I don't control very much of my life at all. I cannot conjure a husband and children out of the dust (I have tried. Doesn't work). It is a painful thing to know that some detours may be permanent. Yet, even with that pain, I can see that the Lord has used this season of singleness to deepen His relationship with me and to grow (slowly) my faith and trust in Him. The biggest blessing that I have in my life is my relationship with Jesus, and much of that was born from the seeking, crying, and wrestling which came about because of the trial of singleness. There are days when my flesh isn't sure that the trade off is worth it. I STILL don't want to be here. However, my choice remains: Will I work with God? Will I open my heart to receive blessings in a place that I never wanted to be? Will I relinquish my dreams and accept the ones the Lord has for me? Some days I choose the right choice, and others I don't. I am thankful that the Lord is patient with me, and that His will is perfect, even when I see it as a detour.