Friday, March 8, 2013

Life Lessons—There's a Good Reason for That

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

Last Saturday late afternoon, I drove home from an outdoor video shoot in North Florida that never happened. The wind was blowing so hard, we would never have been able to complete the shoot.

After an afternoon at the Home and Patio Show with a friend, I cruised down Interstate 95. Suddenly, the traffic came to a complete stop. If you’ve ever been on I-95 in Central Florida, you know that’s not unusual.

But the traffic continued to sit parked on the freeway. I knew something was up. After thirty minutes I was able to inch my way a half mile to an exit. As I drove on the overpass crossing the highway, I saw a solid line of vehicles as far as my view would allow.

I drove through pristine old Florida Tomoka State Park and, as I watched the sunset over the marsh, I soon forgot all about the traffic snarl. The next day I realized the traffic was stopped because a forest fire jumped the interstate and was burning out of control on both sides of the road.

When things like this happen in our lives, sometimes it’s hard to remember that there’s a good reason for that. Just that one incident ushered in all sorts of blessings in my life. Here are just a few.
  • I didn’t burn. Don’t know about you, but I have no desire to drive right into a forest fire blazing out of control. Fortunately for me and thousands of other motorists, the authorities blocked the road and kept us out of harms way.
  • The detour was much better. The view of the hammocks and marsh was stunning. That was a blessing I would not have received had I not gotten out of the fast lane.
  • I used my ingenuity. There’s nothing like the feeling you get with your noodle figures a way out of a dilemma. What a rush.

You’ve probably faced something emotionally similar to my roadblock in your writing journey. When you’re not gaining ground you may think you just can’t get there from where you are.

But the principles I learned in my trip apply to your writing journey as well. There’s a good reason for that detour or that roadblock. And, the alternative route you’ll take is much more enjoyable than the fast lane.

So don’t despise that detour. Embrace them. There’s a good reason for that.

Have you been stalled in your writing career? Do you sometimes feel you’ll never get where you’re trying to go? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching ( She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.


  1. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate the detours, Reba. I've had several the past few years and sometimes I forget they're necessary.

  2. I appreciate your words, Kim. It's so true. Life has a way of moving us from one thing to the next through detours.

  3. Reba, you're absolutely right. I have a novel waiting to be written... since 2004. I've hated myself for my lack of confidence and ultimate disbelief in God's promises. I've doubted the gift. I've buried the talent. I've found myself, on my moments of determination, facing the blank screen and suddenly panicking and getting the writer's equivalent to stage fright (forgetting my lines, and everything I'd received in my quiet time).
    Almost 10 years. But I can see now, that when I was 25 or 26, I wasn't ready for this novel. I needed time to mature. I needed a lot of affliction and pain for my characters to develop depth. I needed to learn from God, in the sometimes almost unbearable situations I've faced, so that I could apply those lessons to my writing.
    The novel? I've barely completed bits and pieces of a chapter here and there. But now, finally, I feel I'm ready to begin.
    (And time... the main detour that hinders me now is lack of time!)