Divine Detour

The path you'd never choose can lead to the faith you've always wanted

Christian - Living
235 Pages
Reviewed on 04/09/2023
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Author Biography

After discovering a serious heart condition almost too late, Lori Ann writes to encourage deep faith questions along the detours of life. The award-winning book began as a reluctant hospital journal, and grew into a collection of essays examining the three questions every life must address: Is this life all there is? Is God always good? Is God's plan enough? Vulnerable, honest, and void of pat answers, each essay invites the reader to discover that the value may lie in having permission to ask the questions, and not necessarily in getting an answer this side of Eternity.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In her candid 40-day collection of essays, Divine Detour, Lori Ann Wood reflects on the thoughts, questions, and life lessons she has had to navigate before and after receiving a crushing diagnosis. After going to her family doctor for what she thought were flu-like symptoms, Wood received a devastating diagnosis. In 2015, her life took a sudden turn when she was diagnosed with heart failure, a chronic and progressive disease. As doubt and fear began to rise within her, Wood turned to her faith. Instead of dismissing the questions she had, she turned to God with them. By looking to Him, she has discovered empowering faith and endurance during her journey.

I appreciated that Wood documents her daily struggles with honesty. Her work is a treasure chest of hope and wisdom that has been learned in hard places. I love that the essays do not shy away from the difficult questions many people wrestle with when facing challenges. It covers these questions and goes beyond to give important, life-giving biblical revelations relevant to periods that involve uncertainty and change. I also appreciated that the essays include lessons learned prior to the diagnosis. Other insights shared regarding unanswered prayer, trust, and God’s eternal purpose were practical and eye-opening. Divine Detour by Lori Ann Wood is a powerful, hope-filled Christian work with thoughtful discussions about hardship, change, and hope. It is an encouraging companion for anyone facing unexpected detours in their life.

Laura L. Padgett

What Lori Ann Wood does with her book is help all of us understand that if we are believers or not, we are not immune from uncertainty, doubt, fear and questioning God. Often, we are told that the truly faithful do not ever have questions; they trust without doubt at all times. This is completely overlooking the human factor. But Lori Ann not only weaves the human factor into her work as she shares a life-altering and at times scary detour, she embraces her own humanity and encourages us to authentically go before God - humanity and all. How refreshing to hear that at times it is okay to not be okay with what is going on. And that we can at all times, go before our maker with questions that we're often told are indicative of lacking faith. Thank you Lori Ann for employing wonderful storytelling and excellent writing to tell a difficult tale. Highly recommend this read.

Jen Allee

This is a beautiful, thought-provoking read! Lori Ann doesn't shy away from hard topics and asks the questions we sometimes shy away from. She vulnerably wrestles with each of them and provides a pathway for what to do with painful emotions. There is nothing trite about how she handles disappointment, grief, or weariness. Her stories from childhood and her current journey are weaved together seamlessly in a well-written and easy-to-read way. So encouraging AND a great resource for those you know that are hurting!

Evelyn Sherwood

And as I sit with a copy of Lori's book, I find myself hanging on every word and thinking, "this writer
gets me." Lori has first-hand experience of what it means to be taken on life's detour, with all its uncertainties, questions, and fear of the unknown. And in her book, she is not afraid to open her heart with all its inner wrestling and beautiful conclusions of a God who is still walking her through an unexpected illness. In her words, "God wants us to understand that a good day actually has nothing to do with what’s going on outside us. And everything to do with what’s happening inside us."

Lori masterfully weaves together stories, journal entries, and lessons forged in the fire to create a book of hope for those asking tough questions in unexpected places.

Sherri Garner

I am an avid reader of all genres and often have several books going at the same time. Divine Detour has been my one and only go-to since I started reading it. I found myself rereading passages, taking them apart and finding connections with my life. Lori has taken a debilitating illness and used it to help guide others through life's twists and turns, all the while, bringing us closer to God - recognizing His direction for our lives, and using our faith in Him to trust in all circumstances. It is an absolute MUST READ for everyone, regardless of what road you are traveling.

Desiree Taylor

From the moment you pick up this book, you will be drawn in by Lori's beautiful, authentic, and heart-poured-out words. She will take you on a journey, her own and one that is personal to us as God speaks through the pages. You will walk away knowing this isn't just true for Lori's life, but it is true for ours as well! I encourage you to grab one for yourself and a friend! In this book, I am reminded once again that God wastes nothing in our lives and is bringing beauty through ashes.

Chuck Rogers

This is an amazing story that brings us insight to the age old question - “Why God?” Lori Ann Wood is living proof that the question can be answered if we only take the time to listen. Anyone who has ever found themselves being placed on a path not of their choosing (which is all of us) can gain insight, strength, and peace from Lori’s story. I only hope this, her first book, is not her last.

Christa Spaeth

Lori Ann Wood in Devine Detour immediately draws you into her incredible health journey. Lori Ann shares her raw emotions through her scary moments. She beautifully weaves in stories throughout her life where she leaned on God and times when she felt further away from God. Her openness to sharing her deepest trials will help many on their health journey. I highly recommend this book, you won’t be able to put it down.

Vicki Bentley

With vulnerability and grace, Lori Ann Wood shares her journey in the desert of chronic illness and guides readers through the questions we all wrestle with when faced with unexpected detours in our well-planned paths—questions she saw not as a threat to her faith but as a lifeline to keeping it. Lori Ann’s unshakeable faith is inspiring and convicting, as is her desire for others to deeply know and experience the heart of the Father who has carried her through these dark seasons and remains the source of her ultimate and lasting hope. Whether you find yourself in your own season of testing or are simply in need of some beautiful faith-filled truths from a sweet friend, this forty-day journey is one you do not want to miss.

Ross Cochran

Wilderness is not only a kind of topography, it is a kind of experience, one characterized by hardship, disorientation, and unknowing. In Divine Detour, Lori Ann Wood guides us through the wilderness landscapes of faith as a seasoned traveler. Similar to Joseph’s life taking an unwanted and unexpected detour to Egypt removing all support systems of family, familiar territory and daily routine, Lori Ann transparently recounts her feelings of abandonment, disappointment, grief, vulnerability, and fear as she journeys with a life-threatening disease that brought the primary questions of existence and meaning to her heart’s inmost chamber.

Randy Holman

I've always known that God's word provides us with everything we need to deal with this life. Lori's personal story in her book Divine Detour not only breaks down the difficult questions we all struggle with in our relationship with God our Father, but also provides a biblical perspective in answering those questions in a way that is both healing and life changing.
I found my spiritual yearning and need for my God growing. Also, a desire to share that faith and trust with others I may see on a path they did not choose.
I have always admired Lori's gift for teaching and this book I believe is her greatest accomplishment . I feel confident that anyone who takes the time to read this book will gain new perspective on life's most important questions, and of course those being on the Spiritual level and aimed at an eternal relationship with God.