This past weekend, we attended a wedding celebration for two members of this group, Sam and Kayleen Baguley Hallows. I was talking to Sam about how most of the greatest blessings in my life had come from tragedy. Getting divorced from my kid's mom was the hardest thing I'd ever done. But because of that, I have Cathy, and I have four sons now. So I said, "God bless my divorce." Sam told me that he felt the same way. Despite pain and struggle, he arrived at a better place than he thought possible.
In our faith community, it seems like we are often taught that there are some easy and basic principles that make life go smoothly. My experience is that life is messy. While I do agree with living according to sound principles, I believe one of these principles is acknowledging the fact that God may have a path for you that is different from what you may have chosen. You may have been Jonah swallowed up in the belly of the fish and spat out on the shores of Nineveh--somewhere you wouldn't have gone voluntarily. You may be Joseph who was sold into Egypt by a loved one. The scriptures are full of examples of people who would not have chosen their path, but ended up as pilgrims on the path of glory.