I feel quite often like I am moving backwards. Maybe one of my children gets sick. Or a friendship that I thought was on the mend turns cold again. Or I am struggling to meet deadlines and something has to be left undone. I think I am ready to fly "home" and then something happens to slow me down.
But going backwards isn't always bad. Sometimes it forces me to rest, like when I developed mastitis shortly after our son was born. Sometimes it makes me reevaluate the direction I was heading in the first place, like when I wasn't accepted to the college I had applied to. And sometimes it sets me up for a new direction, new friendships, and a new ministry, like when our daughter Naomi died in my second trimester and, out of our hurt, I discovered the Hannah's Prayer ministries and, eventually, our pregnancy loss ministry Naomi's Circle was born.
In Joel 2:25, God promises, "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten." That was not a promise to erase all of the pain of the past, but to redeem it for his glory and our good. God can, and will, bring good out of every backwards step in our lives.
When have you seen good come from going backwards? Share in the comments below!