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The path forward in life is rarely as straight as we might prefer. In addition to many twists and turns, it also comes with many setbacks. And while setbacks might initially seem as if we’re going backwards, these might actually be our way forward – allowing us to see opportunities we would’ve otherwise missed. 

Of course, we’re disappointed when life doesn’t turn out as we had hoped. Perhaps a job opportunity fails or a relationship sours and comes to an end. Or maybe it’s an injury or financial hardship that seems to set back our hopes and desires. 

Whatever it looks like, setbacks by their very nature make it feel like we’re backtracking, or at the very least, simply not moving forward. And to be fair, it generally takes a longer view of a larger story to see them any other way.

But with time and perspective we can start to see how our setbacks can also open the door for new opportunities. 

We’re forced to reconsider what we truly want and explore alternative paths when one door closes and is no longer a viable option. 

As such, we might realize that we’ve simply been fighting to maintain the status quo divorced from the true desires of our heart. Or we might remember our gift can be wrapped in any number of ways and doesn’t depend on this one external expression. Likewise, with 20/20 hindsight we might discover that this setback was a setup for God’s future glory to be revealed in our story. 

Whatever the case, wisdom reminds us to accept even our setbacks in life with hope – trusting God is still working all things out for good and that his story is not over yet. 

We’re more prone to despair and simply giving up without this hope. 

In the end, setbacks are just a part of life. But trust that God is still at work and what appears as a setback might actually reveal your path forward.

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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