"When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, "Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt." But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea..." Exodus 13:17-18
This map is a great picture to me of the path we have been on. Back when we were first married at the all knowing ages of 19 and 21 we thought we knew the path we were going to take and just how long it was going to take and what it would look like and that we would arrive at our planned destination quickly and easily.
That is not how it has ended up. He knows us and He knows what would have waylaid us had we taken the quick, easy route so He, in His wisdom and grace, has granted to us the scenic route. It has not been easy. It has not always been beautiful. There have been many painful experiences along the way but He has proven His goodness and His faithfulness to us time and time again through it all and I love Him all the more because of what He has taught me about Himself (and about my own sinful self) on the scenic route He has led us on. I am thankful for the wilderness because I know that I have learned so much in it that I would never have learned had He granted to us the easy way.
Related side note/ example: Time and time again I have thanked God that I didn't have my babies during med school and residency. He knew that I wouldn't have been able to handle that well and sometimes I feel bad that med school entrance may have been delayed as a blessing to me as but it has been so nice to be able to sleep through the night and have "big people" to talk to during the countless hours Glenn is away. He knew best.
One more kind of silly example from today: Tonight I was able to Facetime and text through Whatsapp with Glenn though he is on a rotation on the other side of the world. It made me think: had we been on our plan and our timing he would have been at this point in his training seven-ish years ago and I don't think such opportunities for easy communication existed back then. I'm thankful for the technological advances that allow us to keep in touch.
I give Him all the glory. He is faithful. You can trust Him. Even when the way is long and hard and doesn't make sense.