Why detours can be blessings

November 1, 2011

“Gradually I began to realize that the best planned outings, where everything went as anticipated, left me somehow empty afterward. By contrast–unplanned surprises–contrary to my temperament and my expectations–often left the happiest memories. The more I had anticipated the results in detail, the less satisfying the outcome proved to be.”

– Thomas H. Green, S.J., When the Well Runs Dry

Have you ever planned your own surprise party? It just doesn’t work that way, right? No one wants to plan their own surprise party. But oftentimes, that’s what we do. In our eagerness to experience blessings, we take matters into our own hands and try to work out all the details of our story. Can you relate to this? I know I’ve been guilty!

In recent years, I’ve been learning to let go of the details and leave them in God’s hands because I realized that He’s just way better at writing my story.

Several years ago, I lived in New York. I wanted to be in the middle of all the action, where I could experience something different every day. I dreamed of climbing the “ladder of success.”

But I didn’t stay there for long. Due to a variety of circumstances, I ended up going back home to Manila. It was heartbreaking for me back then because I really wanted to stay in New York.

But today I can say for certain that everything worked out better than I imagined. If my plan was followed–if I ended up staying in New York–I would have missed out on a lot of great experiences which I treasure today. I also would not have met a lot of the amazing people in my life right now.

I’m currently living in Southern California, and I have to say, as great as New York is, this is so much more me. I love driving around Orange County and I love being 10 to 15 minutes away from the beach. I love sitting by the water and watching the sunset. And to top it all off, the weather is pretty awesome too.

Detours can be disappointing, but the next time you encounter one, you can hold on to this promise:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.”
-Romans 8:28

Can you think of a detour in your life that turned out to be a blessing? Tell us about it!

By Liz

Writer, blogger, strategist, communications specialist, doodler, traveler, adventurer, author/illustrator of Art to Feed the Heart, founder of Travelthecity.com, doer of random stuff.


  1. Reply


    Hi! It’s my first time to comment here but I guess I’ve visited your site for a few times. I’m from Davao and after finishing my MBA here, all I really wanted to do was to work again Manila. So I went there last year but a day before my second interview for a corporate researcher post for a bank, my mom passed away. That job would have been a very big lift in my career – sort of a big milestone. But the detour pushed me back again in Davao. As of now, life has started to become better but I’m still wondering what is it that this detour would give me? Your post has helped me feel better. I love that Bible verse. It has become one of my favorites.

    A recent blog post from karina: Finding Beautiful Things over the Weekends

    1. Reply


      Hi Karina!

      Thanks so much for sharing! I get you…it’s challenging diba? But it’s also exciting to know that God is unfolding a plan for your life that is better than what you imagined! :)

  2. Reply


    Hi, Liz!

    You know what, this reminds me of that book I won from you (Plan B — which I love!).

    Detours often blindside us and that makes it heart-wrenching. Sometimes it’s a rude reality check, but one that is really needed. The best thing talaga is to trust God’s plan. :)

  3. Reply

    Joy Relos

    I agree with your post Lizette.
    I always questioned why am I here in the US if my heart and mind
    belongs to some other place where I wanted it to be…

    But when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the treatment they offer
    here in the US is far way ahead than the other countries. I just thanked
    GOD for bringing me here…no more questions asked.

    Right now, i’m just humbled with his path for me…truly, I trust in HIM everything, every detail of my life since he surely knows what’s best for me and for the rest of us.

    Thanks for sharing your experience…

  4. Reply


    I always encounter that verse during the past 7 or 8 mos. na wla akong work, Through that verse I hold firm in faith that when God wills, He provides. I’ve learned a lot from that transition, I agree with you Coach Liz, detours can be a blessing. Always be, if it is laid into the hands of God. We will never be shaped unless our form be changed, the changing part may be hard, but it’s worth it.

    I love ung part na “sitting by the water and watching the sunset.” Isa un sa mga breath-taking moments ko, I hope someday ung small group natin sabay2 na ma-witness un sa jan sa Southern California! haha. I claim it!

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