“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ~Helen Keller
When One Door Closes…then what???
Hey Friend! Have you ever had doors close in your life and you’re left wondering what next?
What do you do? How do you get through it? I’ve been there and can show you how to start again in your life when you feel like all options are closed.
Doors can creep slowly shut or slam suddenly. In my life, they did both.
For me the door closed through chronic lyme disease – or more accurately Multi Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome.
Before I became sick, I loved hiking three times a week, going on thirteen-mile bike rides up the canyon and down to the lake, kayaking, cross country skiing, teaching classes weekly to young scholars, being a leader in my community, and caring for my family.
In one year I went from all that to spending my days in bed due to pain and chronic illness.
The worst part of it was I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I went to doctor after doctor who had no answers, or if they did it was a $5000 possible fix for just one issue. The problems came faster than I could keep up.
I mourned the loss of my old self and lifestyle. I worried about living chronically ill the rest of my life.
Slowly the door was closing.
After a year of not knowing what was wrong, I found a doctor who put all my symptoms together and told me, “I know what’s wrong with you and I know how to help you get better.”
I felt great hope that I would feel well again. However, it would take 2-5 years of a complete life-changing, intentional healing sabbatical. It meant slowing life down from going 80 miles per hour in the fast lane to a slow crawl on the side of the road.
Soon after my diagnosis, our family made an abrupt move out of state for my husband’s career. We were far away from home, family, and friends. Everything familiar and comforting was gone.
As I lay in my bed, in a new apartment in a new city in a new state, I reflected at the turn my life had made. The door had closed shut on my old life in every sense.
Now what? What did the rest of my life look like? What, God, did you have for me to do in this “healing time” of little activity and influence.
I felt shut out, all doors closed around me, standing alone in an empty silent hallway.
So, I prayed.
All the time.
And waited on the Lord.
It’s all I could do.
And it turns out, it was just what I needed to do.
“…it felt as though I was in open space, like standing in the middle of green rolling hills with blue skies and fresh air…A new beginning.”
I prayed that I would know what He had for me to do in this new life. What did it look like? I plead with God, “Please show me what I’m here for. What is my life now?” What good could I do?
Many days passed. As my mind and body started the healing process, I found myself no longer stuck in that empty hallway surrounded by closed doors. Instead it felt as though I was in open space, like standing in the middle of green rolling hills with blue skies and fresh air. Cool fresh air.
All the old worries blew away from me. All the beloved things from my old life were no longer right in front of me teasing me to come when I couldn’t. Instead, blank open spaces. A new beginning.
“Soon the doors opened wide with breathtaking vistas before me.”
I found that, just as God promises, if we knock He will open to us.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7
God enlightened my mind little by little with ideas. With hope. With inspiration. With a vision and understanding of what I COULD do. Doors began to crack open. Light poured in.
Soon the doors opened wide with breathtaking vistas before me.
God opened new doors for me, and I know He will for you too.
Contentment, creativity, and compassion were the doors that opened for me.
Let me explain what I mean.
“I could still do the things I love, just differently.”
Strenuous adventures were impossible, but I found joy in short day trips in the new beautiful place I lived. We explored San Francisco and wandered the coast and redwood forests near our new home. I recognized that although I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to, I COULD do some of them and feel joy in it. I could still do the things I love, just differently.
Old dreams and hopes came back to life in me. Creative ambitions that were on my “someday” list but that I never had time for suddenly bubbled to the surface. Passion and ideas filled my heart and mind! I felt inspiration to write novels, paint portraits in watercolor, and to create this website to encourage and inspire others to live life ABUNDANTLY.
Although I could no longer serve in big, heavy ways, the Lord quietly showed me how I could simply serve others. He whispered and I acted. Pick up groceries for a sick friend. Make dinner for the young new mother who just started back to work. Leave flowers at the doors of our apartment neighbors introducing our family and telling them we’re here if they need anything. I learned that in small ways I can share the light of Christ each day even with my limited energy.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” ~John 10:9
I no longer feel shut out but that I have more glorious doors open to me than I can walk through at once. The possibilities and opportunities feel exciting and fulfilling. Doors are abundantly opened! I now wake excited for the life I have in front of me and go to sleep feeling so grateful and blessed. I can’t wait to see what is next.
If a door in your life has closed, be comforted to know another door will open. Look forward with hopeful anticipation for the abundant doors He will open for you.
But the key is to go to God first, persistently and patiently.
He is the door that opens possibility and potential to you. He is the door to abundance.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life tht is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” ~Joseph Campbell
So, when one door closes…???
God is able to open MANY new doors for you.
They may look different than those you are used to.
They may be in a totally different place than you expected.
They may be a different color, shape, or size than you ever imagined.
But they will open. When they do, courageously walk through.
Hey Friend, try this:
Listen to this song (The Lord is My Shepherd by Rob Gardner) and consider when God has led you to green pastures? What doors has He opened for you in your life? How has He been the doorway to greater joy, comfort, peace, and opportunity?
If you find yourself in a waiting period, waiting for doors to open, you might like to listen to this talk. It is one of my favorites that teaches us how to wait upon the Lord.