A few years ago, a door in my life closed. At first, I didn’t really believe it was closed. I thought that maybe, with a little time and maybe a little oil for the hinges, it would open back up again.
Unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that the door is shut, stuck, locked and bolted. And possibly welded closed.
The only problem with this, is that I really, really, REALLY want what’s behind that door. So bad. It’s been almost four years, and though I’m trying, I still haven’t been able to truly accept the fact that I’m not going to get this particular thing. No matter how righteous, no matter how good it is. I can’t have it, and I don’t know why. I may never know why.
This has caused me a great deal of heartache and confusion. I was certain that God wanted me to have what was on the other side of that door. I just needed the key. Or a crowbar.
I hadn’t actually thought of this “closing” in my life as a “door” until a few weeks ago, when I was scrolling through social media, and up popped one of those heavily clichéd inspirational quotes plastered on top of a nature photograph. Usually I pay no attention to these, but some small part of my bruised heart resonated with this one. “When God closes a door, stop banging on it! Trust that whatever is behind it wasn’t meant for you.”
Suddenly, I was able to picture my lamentation and my refusal to move on from this “closing” as banging on a door that God had shut. Since recently I have been making greater efforts to move on, this began to be my mantra when I felt the familiar fog of sadness, frustration or desperation settle on my heart and mind. “The door is closed. Stop banging on it.”
Though it has helped me greatly to remind myself of this, I still have struggled to put this chapter of my life behind me. If I’m not supposed to have what’s behind the door, what am I supposed to do instead?
One Sunday during our women’s meeting, the lesson was about adversity, about how even though one door may close and cause heartache and pain, God will open another door for us. I was caught completely off guard by this subject that hit so close to home.
Yet in my mind, my angry and petulant side planted a hand on my hip and yelled, “Yeah? Well, where’s my open door?” Despite the anger my spiritual wounds produced, I felt the Spirit whisper to me, “You’ve been too busy banging on the closed door to see the one that has been opened.”
This thought hit me like a ton of bricks. The truth of it reverberated through me. I tried to share my thoughts with my dear sisters in the gospel, but the emotion choked my voice to the point that I was almost unintelligible.
In this journey, I have spent hours upon hours, (years, even) at this door. I have stared at it, knocked on it, banged on it, cried out in desperation to the heavens, and examined every single inch of the door for just one tiny weakness I could use to break it down. Sledge hammers, jackhammers and chainsaws come to mind when I think about how hard I tried and how much I hoped that this door would somehow budge.
The pain of this closed door hasn’t lessened any. Despite this, I find myself finally beginning to trust my Heavenly Father, that maybe what’s behind the door really isn’t part of His plan for my life, and that I will find true happiness in the path that He has laid for me. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s this:
I can’t find my way to the door He has opened, if I won’t leave the door that has closed.
Going forward, my goal is to walk away from the door. My goal is to look around me, and prayerfully search for the door that God has opened for me. I haven’t found it yet, but I trust that there is one open for me. I just need to have the faith, the humility, and the patience to find it.