"Today is a perfect day for opening new doors." ` Anonymous
We talk so much about our past, the what could have been and the chapters we've left behind locked doors we often forget to focus on the new doorways waiting for us to unlock. We have this knack of collecting old keys and wearing them around our necks like chains. Maybe we think we'll get back one day, maybe we'll W-40 that lock and jimmy our way back through or maybe we just feel better knowing we have a link to all the doors we've passed through at one time or another. I don't really know, but what I do know is life is full of doors either we have closed or God has locked . Honestly many more times both of those statements are true. I think as human beings we just get stuck in-between doorways, caught between the past and present, one foot over the threshold while the other one's stuck on the doormat on the opposite side. The truth is many times God has already shown us the way, unlocked the doors in front of us but for whatever reason we're still banging on the one behind us. Joel Osteen, has some pretty good advice when it comes to these particular doors in our lives." Every unfair situation, every closed door isn't a setback. It's a setup for God to get you to where He wants you to be." I have to tell you I can speak for me and my family without hesitation when I say we know a few things about doors. As for myself, God has not only closed some doors, He's bolted them shut tight and thrown away the key. That said, it seems pretty dramatic I know. But the reality is closed doors aren't something we should be apprehensive about. Honestly, we should "be thankful for closed doors, detours and roadblocks. They protect us from paths and places not meant for us."
Being the foolish mortal that I am (yes a bit of Haunted Mansion humor), I've spent too much time banging, pounding and trying to shake bolts loose from doors welded shut. What I 've learned in the process, with bleeding hands full of splinters and bruises is the old German proverb is right, "Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." It's fear that keeps us from those open doors ahead of us. It's the fear of change continuing to push us back into those slammed, fastened shut doors again and again. I think sometimes we get so comfortable in our fear and misery that we just can't accept those doors are locked for our well-being, Grace is a door, one offered to us at any time. The problem is too many times we can't grasp grace because we're too busy pulling splinters out of our hands. I love the way The Minds Journal puts it, "When a door closes, knock on it a few times. But when it doesn't open, let it stay closed. In career, in love, in LIFE---when you see the period at the end of a sentence, don't try and turn it into a comma. Know when some thing is over and move on." And that is why we struggle so much with grace. We're too busy trying to open locked doors long after they've been sealed and barricaded shut. Now I know, it's not easy handing over the keys and walking away from our comfy zones. I like the familiar as much as anyone. But I have come to understand how important it is not just to let go but to walk forward into new beginnings.
Letting go of what we thought should be, or what was so important to us at one time is crucial to our growth and to becoming stronger, steady and forgiving people. Forgiveness is pivotal in our relationship with each other, ourselves and with Jesus Christ. After all it is the Son of God who forgave those who nailed Him to a cross. So how is it we struggle so much with forgiving a grudge or a wound we can't even remember the origin of? Being afraid is natural. No one wants to be hurt, and no one wants to have to confront the pain of a closed door, especially when it comes to relationships or dreams we held close. But holding on to resentment, bitterness and outrage only brings more pain. Closing a door is not a sign of weakness, instead I like to think of it as an act of courage. Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us to be brave, to take courage and then goes on to say this, "God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down, He won't leave you. Don't be intimidated. Don't worry." And this is exactly what the Lord has done in my life over the past 3 years. He has most definitely closed many doors, doors I fought to keep open. If not for the doors God in His wisdom shut, taking away the key from me and with Him I wouldn't have the peace, the joy and the strength I do today. See coming to a place where you can look upon a closed door, locks, chains and all and feel forgiveness in your heart means you've finally embraced mercy and grace. It speaks of closure in your life as you cross through the next open door waiting for you. The thing about closed doors is "Every single time. Whenever a door has closed behind me, God has ALWAYS led me to a better place --- a place I would have never have gone had it not been for a "closed door". Trust God. He simply longs to take you from good to best. Every single time." (Stacy L. Sanchez)
Holding on to our past, keeping old doors cracked open and holding onto rusty old keys we no longer need sets us up for missing opportunities God has for us. His grace, His mercy and His plans for us are all waiting just inside the door ahead. Sure that door ahead may seem immensely impossible, massive, even towering but "a very little key can open a very heavy door." All we have to do is trust our Father to open the door. I'm a living testament of this. If not for the struggles, the rejection and the pain of letting go of my own plans and of what I thought was my door, I wouldn't have found His resilience or my unique, independent spirit. Since He closed those doors behind me surrendering myself to His plans and letting Him walk me across new thresholds my life has become more than I could have ever imagined it would be. Today I have a much richer, fuller life. I'm content in the moment, in all I've been given, with what I have with those He's placed in my life. I'm married, happily to the love of my life. I've been given the blessing of two amazing young men who call me mom, parents who continue to offer me their love and wisdom and friends who not only share in life's humor with me but truly make me a better woman. Because some doors closed and others opened I'm teaching, writing with a deeper purpose than ever before and I'm living a balanced but active social life as I simply take one step at a time. I'm not discontent with the pieces of myself left behind or the parts of my life unknown to me yet. I'm not in a hurry to open doors yet unrevealed to me nor am I determined to keep revisiting those doors closed behind me. What I am is happy, content and satisfied with all the Lord has provided me with in the here and now. The doors behind me, are just that, behind me. The doors ahead of me may not be open quite yet but the door before me right now is wide open, just waiting for me to step through.
The truth I am speaking of in Life Lesson #143 ~ Closed Doors, New Thresholds is simply this, every ending brings a new beginning. As a Woman of Faith says so well, "When God gives you a new beginning, He starts with an ending. Be thankful for the closed doors. They often guide us to the right one.!" What I have found in my own life, from all my experiences combined is this: when I stop being so restless and discontent with my circumstances, trying to push open old doors to take a peak, I find real, honest to goodness joy and happiness. The truth I've come to know is that God will open new doors. When you're in doubt, trying to take back the keys and sticking your foot in the door God is closing remind yourself of what Revelation 3:8 says. "I've seen what you've done. Now see what I've done. I've opened a door before you that no one can slam shut." And so I tell you today, from my heart, He alone is the opener of doors. Jesus, my sweet Lord, He alone holds my life and my faith in Him will continue to unlock all the doors yet to come.
"You never know which door will lead you towards your dreams, until you have the courage to walk through it." ` The Light Workers Academy