Today I was watching our cat Minnie Mix and she was staring at the closed bedroom door. She just can’t stand that she is not allowed in the bedroom and so will scratch at the door and meow and will actually open the door if we don’t lock it. There are two other doors that are wide open, one being to the spare room and yet she sits at our bedroom door staring and fighting to get in. It got me thinking to how many times in my own life I have stared at the closed door, ignoring all the open doors around me. I see it as a metaphor to my life. How often have I wanted something so badly and thought it was behind the closed door when in fact the door was closed for a reason and what I needed was in plain sight. I just needed to stop looking at the closed door to see it.
How often have you stared at the closed door, wanting what is behind it, sure that it is exactly what you need when in fact that door was closed for good reason. Maybe your husband left you and you kept thinking that your life was not complete without him in it and you tried everything you could to convince him that you were who he needed to be with. Maybe you were in a relationship with someone who just wasn’t right for you but you were afraid to be alone so you settled and stayed with him, afraid that you would never find anyone and be alone. Maybe you stayed in a job you hated but you didn’t want to take a chance in a new career or a new firm.
I have learned in my life that there are reasons and seasons for everything and everyone in our lives. People come in to our lives sometimes just to teach us a lesson or we are in their lives to teach them a lesson. Once the lesson is learned then we need to let that door close and stay closed. And it’s perfectly okay. Many times when life takes a turn for what feels the worst, there is a reason and much better things lie ahead if we have faith and courage and take each moment as it comes, watching for the open doors.
I can give you an example from my own life. 2011 was a year where there was a lot of closed doors in my life. My son moved away to live in the residence at university. I had been a single mom since he was 7 and he and I were close. I actually didn’t have a name to most people, I was “Joel’s Mom”. Anyone who knew Joel didn’t actually know my real name, I am sure. I had raised him to be independent but when he moved out, it was a lot harder than I had realized it would be. My identity as “Joel’s Mom” and all that that meant walked out the door. Now who am I as Brenda Walker? How do I live as a person without the “Mom” identity? A few weeks later my husband made some choices that caused me to close some doors. I went from being what I thought was happily married to being “separated” in a matter of two weeks. So, my identity as Mrs. Garrett also walked out the door. Slam!! Then about a month later, I discovered I had herpes. *SLAM!!!!* That slamming door took me about a year to get over. I kept looking at all the closed doors and wasn’t sure what I needed to do. I just knew where I was was not a happy place. I spent a lot of time reflecting, processing, healing, taking courses, going to seminars and eventually I started to see some doors opening again. I adjusted quite well to being Brenda Walker, single woman. I really got to know and like myself and started to really enjoy being single and being free to do whatever I liked. I came to terms with the herpes and actually saw how it was such a blessing because I learned so much about myself and about other people. I had connected with an amazing community of people who helped me heal on so many levels. I met some amazing people who I formed friendships with. I became so much more confident in who I am and started to really appreciate all I had to offer and I realized for the first time my own self worth. I was also able to see how herpes was an amazing filter to help me make better choices when it came to picking potential partners. I was able to take more time and be more discerning with who I gave my heart to. All this lead me to meeting the most amazing man who adores me and shows me parts of myself I didn’t even know existed. He shows me daily all the many ways I can contribute to this world and we have so much fun together. None of that would have been possible without the closed doors of 2011. With those closed doors came learning, healing and growth. And being where I am now in 2014, I am in such gratitude for 2011.
Wherever you are right now, whatever your circumstances, know that even if your life looks like a lot of closed doors, there are reasons for it. You can choose to take your eyes off the closed doors and see what opportunities lie all around you. There are many lessons to be learned, opportunities to be taken if you just have the eyes to see it. Trust me, nothing is an accident and if you have the faith that somehow good will come from what you are going through, eventually the good will come. Keep your eyes off the closed doors and watch to see what can happen.