For the past 40 years of my spirtitual journey, I have practiced the concept of “open and closed doors.” When I don’t know if something is God’s will or my will, I pray, “God open or close the door.” It hurts when the door is slammed in my face and I am left wandering in the hallway until the next door opens, especially when it takes a long time for the next door to open. Over the years, I have learned to trust that when a door is closed, there is always something better and more aligned for my highest good.
“Closed doors are a valid part of GUIDANCE. When God closes a door, it’s because there is a better plan. If He closes one door, He’ll open another, according to His timing, not mine. I keep moving in faith, even in the face of closed doors.” Basham 1975
Alan Cohen in his book, “The Grace Factor” discusses grace and GUIDANCE. He writes “Never underestimate the power of grace to find you where you are and take your hand. No situation is so dark, dismal, or disgusting that grace cannot enter and move you to a higher ground. When you stepped outside the gate of the Kingdom, a homing device was implanted in your heart. That device has functioned perfectly, constantly feeding you information about where to turn, when, and how. The fact that you have chosen not to listen to its message has not daunted it from broadcasting impeccable guidance. YOU KNOW ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOU NEED IT.”
Here are a couple of examples in my life of closed doors that turned out for my highest good:
1. A year after my divorce, I met a man and we were engaged to be married. We were together for 2 years. As I look back on it today, I realize that we would not have made it together. God closed the door and I remained single for 15 years before I met Larry. If God hadn’t closed the door, I would not be where I am today. It was the desire of my heart to meet my soulmate and I “waited” in the hallway for 15 years. At times, I felt angry and didn’t understand why it took so long. I tried banging on the door because of my impatience and lack of trust. That didn’t work! I learned many lessons in the hallway about trust, surrender and God’s perfect timing. For me, it is always about TRUST and I am learning to trust that when I am ready, the door will open at the perfect and right timing.
2. During my divorce, I prayed and asked God for guidance whether to sell my house or remortgage it because I couldn’t afford the monthly payment. When I finally made the decision to re-mortgage my house, the peace came. My ex-husband needed to sign the papers because we weren’t divorced yet, which he agreed to do. On the day of the closing, he decided he wasn’t going to sign the papers and there was nothing I could do about it. A week later, to my surprise, I received a letter from the mortgage company informing me that the interest rate had gone down (on its own) because it was an adjustable mortgage. The payment was the same as if I had re-mortgaged. God closed the door through my ex-husband’s last minute refusal to save me money.
I don’t know about you but, as a parent, it is difficult to watch your child suffer when a door is closed, especially if it is something they really wanted. Recently, one of my children applied for his dream job and it looked very promising. When he told me that he didn’t get it, my heart hurt and I felt sad and disappointed for him.
It was important for me to allow him his feelings and process. It was not the time to talk about closed doors and the door closed for his highest good. I needed to be there for him and be compassionate, loving and supportive. I had to wait until he was ready to talk about it without pushing and prying. It is easy to do a spiritual bypass which means to deny your feelings and push them down. I didn’t want that to happen to him.
When I am living in faith, I trust that a Higher Power or the Universe knows what is best for me (and my family and friends) because I don’t know what lies ahead. I am sure we have all had experiences when a door has been closed and it’s only afterward that we understand why.
Are you in the “hallway” now in some area of your life? Learning to wait with grace takes trust, surrendering to “what is” and patience. When we trust that our Higher Power has the perfect plan and timing for us, we will have peace that passes all understanding. I love the statement “God has my back.” Do you agree?
I had just finished my walk and swim at the Fairmont Hotel when I decided to stand at the edge of the ocean and look out over the horizon. It was low tide and the ocean was calm with small waves. As I stood there looking out I noticed a young adult male who appeared to be physically/mentally challenged with goggles on walking into the ocean. As he walked deeper into the ocean, an older man, perhaps his brother reached out to him to grab his hand. At first the young adult refused help from his brother. It was like he wanted to do it by himself. Then, the brother became more insistent and they held hands and walked more deeply into the ocean together.
As the first wave began to break, the young adult looked fearful and started to turn back. With that, the brother grabbed him with both arms and they held each other tightly in a bear hug. I was so touched it brought tears to my eyes. When the wave passed, they gave each other a high five sign. I am sure that the young man felt excited that he didn’t turn back, but faced his fears. It looked like he did what he wanted to do and had enough. He walked out of the ocean by himself kind of jumping and kicking the water. I noticed his brother watched until he was safe on land and found his chair.
We are always being called into the ocean of Love, to go deeper with God. But we get afraid and think we have to do it by ourselves and then when the waves get big or the shit hits the fan, we turn around and go back to where we came from. We forget that it is God inviting us into the ocean and is within us and holding us. I am reminded that we are always being invited to something bigger and better in our lives. Love is always giving, that is all Love can do.
Where have you turned back in your life because of fear? For 1 year I put my “book to bed” which was almost completed because of fear. My denial was so strong that I really didn’t know it was fear until I was ready to face it and do something about it. I also dropped out of college in my junior year for one year due to fear because I didn’t think I could write a 20 page paper. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree, then went on for a Master’s degree and had to write a paper every month for 17 months. It is hard to describe the feeling of exhilaration when I walked across the stage for my diploma, truly a highlight in my life that I will never forget.
I am not beating up on myself because I believe everything is in perfect and right order. I shudder to think where my life would be if I hadn’t faced my fears and had my book published. My book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” has opened many doors for me, including living in Maui on the ocean and finding my soul mate. As I am writing this, the radio is playing “My faith with lead me on.” I encourage you to let your faith lead you on.
Where is God calling you to come deeper into the ocean? Only you know the desires of your heart and what keeps you stuck and going back. Over the years, I have counseled many women who were in unhealthy/abusive marriages (including myself) and they felt trapped and fearful. What a joy to see them takes steps to free themselves and now have healthy loving relationships. It takes courage and strength to leave something or someone that is familiar or comfortable, but just not working anymore for you. It may not be a marriage, but a job that is killing you and you hate it. Your gifts are not being used and you know there is something more for you to do. God may be calling you to take a risk and do something different. It may be something you have always wanted to do, but felt afraid and didn’t think you could do it. Remember, with God, all things are possible.
Like the young adult, we often don’t want to accept help and think we can do it by ourselves. Is that our pride and ego? Do we not want to appear weak in the eyes of others so we act like we know what we are doing? It’s important to know when we need help and when we need to do things by ourselves so we know we can do it and that we are strong.
Rather than it being a weakness, I truly think it is a sign of strength when we know we need help and can ask for it. The young adult in the ocean finally accepted his brothers help by holding his hand and they were able to ride the wave together. There is always help available for us. God is always with us, ready to guide us and to keep us safe.
I have learned that it is important for me to spend time alone to go within and to meditate so I know what I need to do next in my life and to hear the small, still voice of God within. It is impossible to hear God’s voice if we are busy running around in circles or taking care of everybody, but ourselves. All our answers are within, but it sometimes takes another person we trust to help us sort things out to know what is true and what are false beliefs about ourselves and life.
Fear is an illusion. It is also called False Evidence Appearing Real. Feel the fear and do it anyway. This is your life to lead and we are not promised tomorrow. All we have is today. Say YES to God, to the Universe, to yourself and watch the magic begin.
I would love to hear from you and how you have worked through some of your fears and are on the other side and living the life of your dreams. If you would like prayers because you are stuck in fear and want to move forward in your life, I would be happy to do that for you.
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- The Divine Pause
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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