Roadblocks or Rest Stops?

UPDATE: Thanks for your prayers!! It’s Monday morning and I’m home. We made it safely to the airport yesterday despite icey roads and snow showers. As we traveled south to Milwaukee the snow became rain and the roads became very clear. Our sweet chauffer, Christie, took us out to lunch in this cute little town and made sure we were at the airport by 4:00pm. Our 6:30 flight took off just after 7:30pm. We arrived in Charlotte just as they were shutting down the airport – it was so empty. I took the shuttle to the parking garage and was in my car driving home by 11pm. I was able to sleep in this morning until JJ got up to take our dog daisy for a vet appointment and I decided to join him. It’s back to life at home and I am so glad I get to spend this day with my family instead of in an airport or hotel. Thank you, thank you for your prayers.

God has such a sense of humor. I have learned to laugh (most of the time) at how He allows circumstances to “help” me live out (again and again) the things He’s taught me and called me to share. This weekend has been one of those times.

I’ve been speaking at a women’s retreat in Wisconsin. I got to the airport on Friday at 8:15am for my 9:30 flight. I had a full tank of gas (remember last week), cash in my purse, and I was ready to go! My plane was not. My plane did not show up early. My plane was sitting in Milwaukee waiting for a flight crew. So I sat and waited for my plane…and waited and waited. It was delayed until 12:30, then again until 2:00 then again until 3:00.

During my 7 hours of waiting I heard myself talking (in my head) about how easy it is to get frustrated by life’s delays, you know when things don’t go as planned. When God doesn’t work according our schedule. Roadblocks that forbid us from moving forward. But but how God often allows roadblocks to become rest stops. Hmmm, that is what I’d be talking about on Sunday morning (today) as I ended the retreat…and once again I was getting to live it.

The blessing in this delay was that this time I was not traveling alone. My friend, Aimy, was traveling with me. So, we parked ourselves at the Starbuck’s and had ourselves a latte. We both had our laptops and made great use of our time. I had a power point to finish for Friday’s night’s message, calls I’d been wanting to make, things I’d been needing to read. It could have been a lonely and frustrating pause, but with friend by my side and God’s perspective in my heart I felt peace.

We finally took off at 3:15 and landed in Wisconsin at 4:30pm their time. The event started at 7:00pm and we had to drive 1.5 hours to the retreat center. We got here just in time.It has been a great weekend. The women of Fox River Christian Church in Waukesha are one FUN bunch of girls! They planned this whole retreat for over 180 women around a luau theme. We had a beach boys band Friday night, an authentic luau last night with a costume party/contest, limbo contest, hula dancing, etc. We have cried and laughed and shared our hearts deeply with God and each other.

This morning I am teaching on Psalm 23, how the Lord is our Shepherd, the One who leads us on life’s journey. One of my points is that He leads us beside still waters and makes us lie down – and how these rest stops sometimes look like roadblocks. I’ll also talk about how we walk through the valleys but He is with us. My point there will be to not get discouraged by danger and delays.

As I watch the weather channel I realize I may get to live that lesson out today. Wisconsin is now called the snow capital of the country and they are expecting a huge snow storm. Our flight home is scheduled for 6:30pm, not much wiggle room for delays. But God is bigger than planes and my plans. However, I sure would love to get home. My guys are out of school and work tomorrow and I’d love to have that time with them. Yet, once again I have a choice to to set my eyes on my Shepherd and trust that He will lead me well.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. You have made lemonade out of lemons again. I love the idea of roadblocks being rest stops. Delay is not denial. We have to keep trusting God.

    I so needed to be reminded this morning that God guides us by “still waters”. My life lately has been more like raging rivers than quiet streams. My Dad’s escalating health concerns have been a challenge, especially while caring for a family of my own. Thanks for reminding me to keep the right perspective.

    Praying you home. God IS BIGGER than planes and plans. He showed me that very clearly a couple of weeks ago when Lysa and Holly arrived here in the middle of our biggest snow storm yet. I know God will guide you home.

    Love & prayers,
    Joy

  2. Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog says:

    Lifting a prayer for you! Loved this post. It is so good to keep God’s perspective on our view of road blocks! That makes all the difference. THanks for your encouragement.
    Much love,
    Angela

  3. Amy L Brooke says:

    Great perspective! I hope the last talk has gone well and that you are able to get home safely.

    Please say a prayer for me. I got an email last night about NIU (Northern Illinois University) needing 300 volunteer MA level counselors over the next two weeks due to the shootings this last week. I could probably swing going up there for 2-3 days/taking vacation days from work. But the email was lacking in LOTS of information. I can’t make plans without it. I also don’t know exactly what I would be walking into with a trauma of that level. So, please say a prayer that if God wants me there that I can get the needed infor and arrange my life accordingly and all that goes with it.

  4. Digging for Pearls says:

    Renee,
    Praying you get safely home to spend time with your guys tomorrow.

    God sure has a way of reinforcing what we are learning or teaching about, doesn’t He? Glad you could see the positive in the situation. 🙂

  5. Renee,
    Praying you have a safe trip home and get to spend some time with your guys tomorrow.

  6. Okay, I understand that flying to some of your destinations on the best airline is not feasible but if you ever get a chance give Continental a try. Remember from last week, we’re the ones that serve the free food. However, I have been stuck in many snow storms and you’re right, there are just some things you can’t control. I’m glad you’ve made the best of it.

  7. Wrinkled Shirt Ministries says:

    Okay, I understand that flying to some of your destinations on the best airline is not feasible but if you ever get a chance give Continental a try. Remember from last week, we’re the ones that serve the free food. However, I have been stuck in many snow storms and you’re right, there are just some things you can’t control. I’m glad you’ve made the best of it.

  8. God has such amazing timing, and humor too. We often get frustrated by what he does NOT do, but often times it is for our safety or our growth that OUR plans do not go the way we would like. Many times I have found the circumstances would have been unfavorable if I had gone ahead with my plans without listening and following His direction.
    Praying you get home safely.

  9. Mocha with Linda says:

    Ah, you mean the speaking life isn’t full of glitz and glamour?! LOL

    Hope your safe & snug at home with your guys today. Thanks for the great encouragement to see the bigger picture and rest in our times of waiting.

  10. MrsProverbs31 says:

    I’m so glad you’re home and okay. God bless you.

  11. Renee,

    I’m so glad you made it home safely and got to spend time with your guys today.

    Keep reminding me that road blocks can be rest stops;)

    Love you sweetie,
    Melissa

  12. So glad you made it back safe….

    Love

    Turtle Chick

  13. hi,
    I really love your blog, ok, I’m not married, no kids, just a single girl living in NYC…though i don’t have a busy life as you all do, i work, go to church, very little activities and friends/acquantances, but I’m learning to accept my life is the way it is for a reason, there must be a reason…nevertheless He’s been good and I cannot complain, anymore… i do enjoy your blog, you’ve blessed my heart numerous times and I just wanted to stop by and say you’re a phenomenal woman of God. I want to be just like you when I grow up…:)!it’s hard to find real women of God like you, I am humbled by your openness and the many others who have join you daily with their comments. I especially enjoy the real me post…as a single woman of God, I so relate to you all… I am going on this journey with you on discovering myself since I have no idea who I am really…again, thank you for being you.

  14. Renee,

    I’m so glad you made it home safely and got to spend time with your guys today.

    Keep reminding me that road blocks can be rest stops;)

    Love you sweetie,
    Melissa

  15. Renee Swope says:

    Hi to my new friend from NYC! I loved hearing from you. We married women need some cool single chicks in our lives.

    Girl, please do not aspire to be me when you grow up – you just might end up stuck in airports for hours, and fall asleep on the couch during family time when you get home and end up calling your husband at work to tell him your 6th grader failed a math test and it’s his fault. That he needs to stay on top of studies with his son and then when he gets home the first thing he’ll ask is if you have lathered yourself with the hormone cream b/c he knows it’s that time of the month. 🙂

    It’s real around here alright. But I love it b/c that is where real friends are made. So glad you feel at home here with me/us.

    Hugs from sunny North Carolina!
    Renee

  16. Renee, I am so glad you made it home safe. I am one of those Fox River women still in Wisconsin :), but like you said I am trying to find the beauty in it. I just want you to know the retreat had a very powerful affect on me. Three weeks ago I was in the hospital for the severe depression and just not wanting to go on. When you started talking about depression I knew it was no coincidence…God work at hand. Thank you, Kris

  17. Everything is better with a friend! I’m glad that the Lord helped you keep it all in perspective! You are an inspiration, dear friend!
    Laura

  18. Thank you and I thank God for your devotion on self talk,
    Last evening after speaking with my mom I felt as if every button had been pushed, I’m not a good daughter a loving wife, considerate sister. i was giving my heart to the enemy and not standing strong in my power and identity in Christ. I slept fitfully and when I woke up my obsessive thoughts were “What wrong with me, why can’t I do…be…” As I sat down to begin my quiet time I opened your devotional and the longer I read the more the Spirit moved in my heart. Sure there are behaviors and attitudes I need to exam and work on but the truth is that I am asking the wrong questions and looking to myself instead of Christ. And again I am tempted to berate myself for this. Self-hatred runs deep and is an ever piercing thorn that I have to bring to the cross time and time again. So Renee, thank you for Gods words this morning. My He bless you with continued grace and wisdom in all you do.
    Katrina Bristol

  19. Debbie Giese says:

    I am one of the Fox River girls and you really touched me this weekend. So much of your teaching spoke to me, especially the woman at the well and Psalm 23. All the ladies in my room really liked your message. One came to Christ for the first time!! Thanks for being the messenger.

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