The Detour

One Tuesday night this past August, my family and I made the long drive from Nashville to Lancaster County, PA. When our daughter was born three years ago, we switched from flying or driving through the day to driving through the night. She will usually sleep the whole night snug in her carseat and my husband, Dustin, doesn’t mind the late night drive. He is a creative, so those are usually his most inspiring hours.


The drive was going smoothly and it was time for me to hand over the driver’s seat to Dustin. Before I drifted off into a well deserved nap we made a plan. He would get us to the next designated area and then wake me up at a Starbucks, and, with the help of a latte, I’d finish up the final leg of the trip.


Hours later, as the sun poked it’s way onto the horizon, I woke up to see that we were still driving. I looked around and quickly noted that we were not where we were supposed to be. Dustin, seeing my confusion, quickly explained that the GPS rerouted us without him even realizing it and when he finally did, it was too late to turn back so he just went with it. A glance at the GPS’ ETA showed that this new route would take us 15 minutes longer, which doesn’t seem like much, but adding 15 minutes onto 12 ½ hours felt like a cruel joke. I’ll be honest, I was a little annoyed. It was quite petty and immature of myself to be frustrated over not getting my Starbucks, but truth be told, it’s where I was at, and seeing that this rerouted path was very rural, there was little to no hope of finding a different Starbucks location anywhere nearby.


However, despite the hiccup, Dustin and I switched seats and I began the final trek across Pennsylvania as Dustin settled in for some sleep. A few minutes passed by when I looked to my left and saw a sign with the words "Copper Cup Coffee” written on it. In disbelief that it would actually be open, I drove right on by. However, not even a mile down the road, I had a sudden urge to turn around and at least try my luck that: a) It was indeed a coffee shop out in what felt like the middle of no-where and b) It would be open at that crazy early morning hour.


Well, to my complete relief (and excitement) it was a coffee shop and it was open! And just to go ahead and to top it off, there was a drive-thru option at this adorable shop, so I could have my beloved coffee without waking up Dustin or Mila. I was beaming! I placed my order and as I pulled out, mocha in hand, I paused a moment and took a picture of the cafe as a sweet reminder of this blessing on a detoured route.


This is somewhat of a dramatization of a very seemingly insignificant experience on a random Wednesday morning but that’s actually the beauty of it. God was in that seemingly insignificant experience. As I drove down that country road with two of my favorite people in this world sleeping soundly, the sun rising slowly on the horizon, dewy fog floating up from the farmers’ fields and a warm cup of joyous coffee in my hand, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and love from the Father.




I saw the morning story replay in my mind. I had had expectations to get to my parents’ house at a certain time with the help of a Starbucks coffee. I had expected to stay the original course, smooth and predictable in nature. It’s interesting, because the Lord started to shift my thoughts to a parallel in my life beyond that morning and how the last two years have felt like a complete detour as well. I had expected to have a second child by now, possibly even be brewing up a third. I hadn’t expected to be rerouted into unexplained infertility for over a year followed by two miscarriages.


I was filled with gratitude for that small, unexpected gift of coffee despite my grumbling and disbelief...

Tears rolled down my face as I saw the symbolism and I was filled with gratitude for that small, unexpected gift of coffee despite my grumbling and disbelief that there would be a coffee shop out in the rural wilderness. It gave me hope; a symbolic illustration of God’s desire for the greater plan of my family life. I had been led out into the wilderness where having hope felt a waste of time. Yet being surprised by the goodness of that copper cup that morning led me to remember and know that God can surprise me here as well.


My copper cup was figuratively overflowing. My hope was renewed.


In His word, God speaks of fleeting things such as birds and lilies and reminds us that He even cares for them (Matthew 6:25-34). It’s tempting to separate myself from His word and look at these scriptures as a beautiful poem about a far-off utopian type world. But when I allow the Word to become alive in me and see the truth that that road trip, that cup of coffee, that morning sunshine over the green corn fields were all His way of showing me how His care is in the insignificant things so that I can believe big when He calls me into believing and hoping for the incredibly significant things in life. And maybe in that, I will also come to learn that it’s ALL been significant to Him all along.


The detour was actually the best thing for us on that final leg of our trip.

To put the cherry on top of a morning full of hearing from the Lord, a simple panning out on my GPS map revealed just exactly why we were rerouted that accident had occurred on our original path and the highway was shut down. Had we gone our original route, we would have sat in traffic for who knows how long. The detour was actually the best thing for us on that final leg of our trip.


I don’t know, and I may never know, what would have been up ahead had my husband and I not been detoured onto the journey we are currently walking, but just knowing that even in an “insignificant” morning drive there was a reason, I can rest in the understanding that without a shadow of a doubt, there is a reason for the course we find ourselves on currently. God only knows, and maybe one day in hindsight I will find out, but I am just so thankful that He is panning out and seeing the bigger picture, and as a result, I can trust in His goodness. I can trust that He would not allow me to have what I wanted then (and now) because He wants to give me something sooo much greater than I could have imagined.


I can’t wait to see what surprise pops up out here in the wilderness!


For some Biblical encouragement, I recommend reading Matthew 6:25-34 and allowing its theme to sink deep and let hope arise!

Nashville, TN

Mary Kate is farm girl from Pennsylvania who found herself living in Australia and Colorado before settling down in Nashville with her husband, Dustin. In addition to parenting a spirited toddler, they run Plaid Owl Creative. mK is a family girl at heart - she loves to adventure with her family and invest in the lives of families of Creatives. When she's not traveling or hosting, you can find mK curled up in front of a movie with chocolate & popcorn!