“The Detour is the Road”

My Musings

God has taken me on another detour in my life—Widowhood…

This detour was something that I have often thought about but never dwelt on, as it only brought up painful and hard thoughts. I always wondered how I would ever handle this detour if it did show up, and deep down felt that I could never walk that road well.

It’s not the first time God took me on a detour, but it is the hardest one I have ever walked. There are so many stories. That’s what happens when you live through a few decades.

I want to share a new song with you that God brought along my detoured path recently. The words to this song are so meaningful to me right now. I weep almost every time I listen to them. The name of the song is “The Detour” from the album, “Faithful”. You can listen to it at this link from YouTube or wherever you find your music.

“…I am not passed over in my suffering.

You hold my broken heart and my broken dreams”

The Detour

Suffering is hard. Grief and loss are hard. Losing a spouse or a child is considered to be one of the hardest things to face in life. No matter what our heart desires or dreams are, it is difficult when they are taken away or interrupted.


“Your love has held me warmly through the night.

I have seen Your faithfulness with my own eyes”

The Detour

I have been reflecting on times in my life when God surprised me by allowing the circumstances of my life to change in amazing or drastic ways. Sometimes He still gave me the desires of my heart, and in other cases, He removed someone close to me or removed something I held close to my heart.

  • My dream to become a schoolteacher—I began to desire to teach children around the age of eight when I was in Grade Three.

Later in life, I was all set to register for college and begin studying for an Education Degree as our youngest son was just starting Grade One. Mr. Van had encouraged me to see if I had the qualifications to take this next step, and I did.

And then I walked into our church office and was unexpectedly asked if I would consider working there one day a week. My “yes” response to that question led to twelve years of serving our church family, eventually as the full-time Office Manager.

  • My dream to shepherd the children at our church—After working in the church office for all those years, God called me, unexpectedly, into vocational ministry one Sunday morning at the end of a service where our Pastor had issued an invitation to respond to that opportunity.

There was a transition journey involved, but eventually I had the privilege to hold that role of Director of Children’s Ministries for fourteen years.

This role satisfied all those longings I had to teach children, and I had the privilege to create opportunities for them to get to know God personally and to learn to walk with Him.

“You’ve been good to me; I am safe to hope.

I will dare to believe when the way is long and slow…


The Detour

Every time God gives a new opportunity or direction, we have a choice to “let our hearts grow cold or to despise the wait”, or to willingly see it as a time when He is changing our life direction and sending us down a new path.

These changes could happen in our marital status; in our children growing up and leaving home; in our health; in our job; or even where we live. The changes may be “long and slow,” or they may be “immediate with no choice”.

“And I am full of doubt, but You are kind and close.


This time will not be wasted. All the sorrow I have tasted.


The Detour
  • A Call into Retirement—There came a point where I knew, for my health’s sake, that my time shepherding the children had come to a close. Many tears later, and after some time, I found myself at home full-time again and wondered how my future days would look.


  • A Call into a New Ministry Focus—And then God asked me to take another detour to focus on the Moms and Grandmas who were raising all those children Mr. Van and I had loved so much. He also asked me to share with them how He had worked in my life to teach me to walk with Him.

Out of that new detour eventually came the opportunity to write, direct, and teach a new ministry called “Heart2Heart: Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity”. The focus of the course is to help women learn to live in intentionality as they desire to know God more deeply, and also to learn how to love their people well.

“Oh, I will trust the detour is the road.


The Detour
  • A Call into Widowhood—This present detour of widowhood has been, as I said at the beginning of this post, one possibility I never wanted to think about very much. It came as a total surprise into an ordinary day that has turned into a two-and-a-half-year journey so far. As I stood at the crossroads where my life turned inside out and upside down, I knew that I was changed forever and so would be the road I walked.


My desire for writing here at Mrs Vans Musings is not to dwell only on my role of Widowhood and how my life has changed, but entering that role has given me pause to again:

  • Reflect on my Values.
  • Reaffirm my Belief System.
  • Redirect my footsteps to walk even more closely on the path of the beauty of Jesus
  • Reestablish the places I belong, and to
  • Remember that my story is only a blip on the timeline of God’s Big Story, but He has provided a place for me to share that story and to establish my legacy as I continue to age, depending on Him as my Faithful Companion. Joy and Sorrow will also walk with us on that path.

Your Musings

As you look back on your life can you see times when God chose to send you off in a direction that was totally different from what you had planned?

How have you responded to His direction for you?

Perhaps you also need to pause and reflect on your values; your belief system; who you are becoming; where you belong; and then acknowledge and share the story God is writing of your life.

Psalm 23:6 in The Message says, “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.”

God does sing hope across the valley of our tears. And so I will keep on walking and not give up…

He’s waiting for us to come to Him. Come and walk with us as we all companion together on this path of the beauty of Jesus…

We’d love to have you join us…

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