Our lives can be pictured as two rails. One rail represents the joys set before us as gifts from God. The other rail represents the pains, struggles and disappointments that are part of living in a broken world. We are often on both rails at the same time. Grandpa dies the same week his first grandchild is born. A family feels great joy at a Christmas Eve service and leaves to go visit mom at the hospice house. My marriage is everything I’ve always dreamed but we cannot seem to get pregnant. I’ve just graduated with honors and I cannot find a job. It looks like I’ll be going back home for a time.
Every life gets derailed at some point. The derailment can be a tragedy, a deep loss or even a serious disappointment. The derailment requires a journey to get back on the tracks. The journey may have 6 stages: Shock, Sorrow, Struggle, Surrender, Sanctification and Service. Often people get stuck especially in the gap between struggle and surrender. These six stages of the derailment journey can take years to travel. Each journey is unique.