When the Road Veers to the Right

[ 9 ] Comments

by Cheryl

Have you ever experienced a point in your life when something has finally started to get better, or it feels like it’s going to get better and then, suddenly, it veers to the right or left and does not, in fact, get better, but does, in fact, seem to get worse? At least in your estimation?

And there you are thinking, “it should have gone this way,” or “why didn’t it go this way?” When I get to this point of wondering what in the world Heavenly Father is thinking, why I can’t seem to have my way, and my faith starts to wane, I think of a road drawing I have used in my gospel doctrine class.

Here’s how it starts. We’re on a road:

On this road, there are several side roads, but the truth is, we’re not heading that way. God told us to go straight ahead (for this illustration – the truth is, you could be veering left or right, but I’m trying to keep things simple):

But we don’t want to go straight, because as we pass the side roads, they look awesome! They look like the right way to go! I mean, look! Awesomeness abounds! At least from what we can see as we pass them:


All we can see in front of us is a road stretching out forever. And ever. Sometimes, we get tired, we lose jobs, we lose spouses, we lose children. All the while, we’re tentatively going, trusting and following, feeling sorrow at times for what we have lost or missed. But the truth is, we’re going to turn a corner eventually –it’s up here:

And around that corner, in a place we cannot see, we are going to find something better than we could ever have imagined:

What is that great thing? Whatever amazing thing you can imagine. Sometimes it’s meeting a person to marry. Sometimes it’s a job. Perhaps it’s a change in a college major or a mission call. For some, it’s children, either coming biologically or through adoption and/or fertility treatments. Sometimes it’s grandchildren or temple sealings. For sure, it’s eternal life.

Regardless of the reward, we need to keep going. Those side roads, those distractions? They aren’t worth it. Not at all, especially if God has asked you to run past them. However, if we truly are distracted and choose to take them, we most certainly could find our way back –in fact, we may be stronger for it. But it could take us many years to get back on the right path, and meanwhile, some of those things waiting for us may have to move on (such as biological children).

So, what is my point? Keep going. Keep your faith. Trust that Heavenly Father knows you and knows what is best for you. Go, go, go and find what amazing awesomeness your patience and perseverance will bring you – especially when the road veers a little to the right.

  • How has your road veered to the right? 
  • Has your patience and perseverance ever brought you something better than you had hoped? 

About Cheryl

Cheryl has been blogging for many years about --but not limited to --her children (there are six), her husband (there is one), her depression (not fun), her travels (very fun!), her religion (loves it), and anything else that strikes her fancy. Right now she's probably reading a book or changing a diaper, maybe at the same time...

9 Responses to When the Road Veers to the Right

  1. jendoop says:

    I’m going to be a negative Nellie here- sometimes there isn’t a reward around the bend. Sometimes it’s a curve in the road that takes us where we don’t want to go and we stay on the path and it’s just simply a different direction. Of course, ultimately the reward is to live with our Heavenly Father, but here in mortality I don’t hold my breath for a reward after the curve. Instead, teasing something good out of the ride has to be enough.

  2. NotMolly says:

    Curves I didn’t expect: meeting my husband by “chance” at a restaurant; him encouraging me (nagging me) to use my skills in a totally different way than I ever expected; learning to find my voice again; having mostly girls instead of the the boys I expected… along with a whole bunch of other curves (and curve balls!) I didn’t anticipate, but wouldn’t change now.

    Even the curves that have taken me into valleys, difficult situations, and hardships have definitely been for my good benefit. I can see so many turns now, and recognize them as the training ground, to help me get through current trials with good grace and a whole lot more hope.

    Isn’t it interesting that even though the road can actually be pretty curvy, the gospel is a constant straightness and guide? When else can something straight and true help us adapt to all the curves God prepares for us?

  3. Bonnie says:

    Sometimes I think my life has been all curves! In fact, I wrote not long ago about my life as a maze, with abrupt, sightless turns constantly. Seeing things that way keeps us from hanging on by our fingernails through an experience, focusing instead on being where we are, not holding our breath. I bet your class loved the lesson!

  4. templegoer says:

    Yay Jendoop. Watching my daughters suffering for the past 17 years has left me with little sense of direction, other than home. Clearly for some amongst us life consists mainly of trial, but I do see the potential for beauty that this creates in us. My daughter really is the most developed person I have met. She will be comfortable in God’s presence.

  5. Cheryl says:

    But Jen, claiming there are no rewards in life would mean a pretty dismal life. When I share this illustration (a crude one, I admit), I use it to show people that giving up on the Gospel and Faith and the Holy Ghost doesn’t lead towards the “reward” or happiness –in fact, usually, people give up just before the road turns. Sometimes, the reward is simply peace.

  6. jendoop says:

    Cheryl,

    What I’m poking a stick at is what some call the gospel of prosperity – if we do what God asks us to do it means constant increase, either in blessings or material goods. That is not the plan for this life. While we as individual souls may progress in wisdom and knowledge, our blessings and material goods will not always increase. Which is why the Lord asks us to prepare physically and spiritually because He knows that this life is not fair, and it is not about being rewarded after the curve. If we expect it then we become slothful when we aren’t rewarded. That is the test of our faith, if we will stick to the path with the curves, even when there is not a forthcoming reward in this life. God doesn’t want rabbits that follow him because of a carrot on a stick.

    If we believe in some version of a gospel of prosperity it creates a chasm between the haves and the have-nots. When we see followers that aren’t rewarded we judge and assume that they must be doing something wrong. I’m thinking of a family in my ward who are both injured, lost their jobs, clinical depression, and have a son with severe autism. They continue to try and live the gospel, but I can’t see many rewards in their life, they could go to their graves with debt and difficulties. People with little or nothing can be wonderful followers of God even when they have no hope for reward beyond wisdom and obedience. I wonder if my faith is strong enough for a road like that, one that never ceases curving.

    God is good and blesses us immensely, but I hesitate to call anything in this life a reward. It is his mercy and grace which brings good into my life, not what I merit myself (King Benjamin said it best). Our love for Him and His son should propel us through the curves <3

    • Cheryl says:

      I still disagree. I think our life is full of rewards, and they are usually just called blessings or tender mercies. Your friends may not have any outward, see-able rewards to you, but I’m positive they have blessings in their life. How could they not? I just read 3Nephi 12-13 this morning, and several times Christ talks about rewarding us openly for obeying privately.

      The thing is, I don’t use this illustration to convince people they should only obey and follow God in order to GET a reward, but that it’s inevitable that when we obey, we are blessed. That is the law and order of heaven. It may not be in the way we want or assume, but the blessings still come –they have to. God has covenanted with us over and over that if we are obedient we will “prosper in the land.” Too many people give up the gospel or stop obeying simply because they are tired or they struggle. I use this to illustrate that giving up or taking the sidetracks will prevent us from receiving those blessings that will be ours –including eternal life. Sure, our love for God and Christ should propel us through the curves, but sometimes, that’s not enough. Even Christ talks about the rewards we will have if we endure and obey God (many times, actually). I think He knew that we would need to be reminded that the “reward” at the end will be worth all the struggles in this life.

      • Jendoop says:

        I think our seeming disagreement is due to the use of the word “reward”. Blessings I will completely admit to; reward, no. In my mind there is a huge difference. I wrote a personal blog post about it if you’re not sick of going over it with me :)

        Love you Cheryl!

        • Cheryl says:

          Jen, I love you, too! But I’m sticking to my guns this time. Christ used the word “reward,” and so I’m going to keep feeling comfortable using it. If you don’t like using that term and feel better with “blessings,” then that’s fine by me. :)

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