Joy

The Road Less Traveled…

Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads trying to determine which way to turn?  Have you wondered what outcome a certain decision could make and stood anticipating the possible difficulty of the way ahead?  If you could see a road filled with potholes and struggles, would you keep going, or would you choose a different route?

I make no secret of the fact that I have always had a difficult time making decisions.  I have shared my struggle with trying to determine whether a difficult road is worth the time and effort.  And if I am completely honest, I can admit to you that some days I find myself frozen in the road trying to determine whether it is even worth it to keep on going.

I have never once doubted the value of life itself, but there have been days in the past (and even the present) when I have wondered whether life would be easier if I could just avoid any possible difficulty on the road ahead of me.

Someone asked me the other day whether I thought I could ever truly love again.  And if I could would it be worth it?  Knowing you have had a perfect love and lost it, is daunting.  Knowing that life is fleeting, is even more haunting.  They asked whether I could open myself up again after all the pain and suffering I lived in losing Ben.  Without hesitation I answered yes.  If you told me fifteen years ago that the road Ben and I travelled would be riddled with infertility, loss, cancer, and death, I might have run away scared.  I am not sure if I could have handled knowing what was ahead when I was 23 years old.  But in hindsight, I know I would not give up a minute of the time that we had together for an easier road.

The road ahead is always uncertain.  And sometimes we can look down two paths and see difficulty ahead.  It may appear that one path is straight and narrow, no pain in sight.  We may long to run down that path as fast as we can towards the beautiful, picturesque horizon.  But even the path that is beautifully well laid out may have potholes and struggles around the first scenic curve. (1)

The choice of which path to take some days reminds me so much of my Christian walk.  Deciding which road to take may seem so clear, but that doesn’t always mean it will be easy.  Regardless of the path we choose, we will likely face some kind of difficulty.  But if we are heading down the path that the Lord has for us, we will never regret it.

I am trying not to avoid the scary unknown these days.  I am trusting and believing that whatever path God leads me down will be full of happiness and joy… but if not, I know He is still good and I will look back with no regrets, thankful for the beautiful scenery that I was able to see while navigating the broken way.

When I was in high school, I loved the poem, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost.  I had it memorized and can still recite it when something or someone brings it to mind…

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

                     Some days I truly do believe that taking the easy, predictable road would save me so much pain and heartache.  Yet, I am thankful that God allowed me to experience 15 years of happiness with a few struggles mixed in to know that even a painful, less traveled road is worth every obstruction that we have to navigate along the way.  I don’t shy away from the broken, twisted road anymore.  I know that on that broken path, so much beauty and love can be found.  We only have to open ourselves up to receive it.

2 thoughts on “The Road Less Traveled…

  1. I have always loved “The Road Not Taken,” and even shared it with all my children whenever they had to do poetry projects for school. I, too, have always struggled with making decisions–I think it is because I am such a perfectionist that I can become paralyzed if I worry that my decision might result in imperfection. Then, my lack of making decisions results in being reactive instead of proactive. It can be such a trap. But if there is anything I have learned since the death of my son, it is this: I am not in control anyway … as much as I might wish to think I am. Still, I know the One Who is. “And that has made all the difference.”

    Like

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