Don’t close the doors you ask God to open for you.
Being a young adult is rough. We are steadily going into debt over schooling, dealing with friends coming and going, trying to find someone to love, and making decisions about starting a family. Basically, all of the major decisions that will effect the rest of our lives. No big.
It’s easy to feel lost. We feel like we get door after door slammed in our faces. Often we pray to be led to a new path, a new open door. But if you’re like me, even when you see a new door open, you stay by the old door and wait for it to open again. Which is about as effective and life changing as locking yourself in a broom closet.
I’ve spent a good amount of my time in life feeling alone. Cumulative, I’ve probably spent days or even weeks crying and praying to God to put anyone in my life who would care about me. Acknowledge my existence when I wanted nothing but to disappear. Give me a reason to stick around.
And He did that for me. So many times, now that I look back. He has put incredible people in my life that have made me incredibly happy and extremely grateful. But, they aren’t always meant to stay.
God opens a door. What was supposed to be a short walk through a hallway turned into me locking myself in a broom closet. He wanted me to open the door, but I wasn’t meant to stay. But I did. I fought. I screamed. I blamed God for giving me this blessing I didn’t want to give up.
But doors sometimes have expiration dates. Something can be good for us, put us on the right path, but we still have to be willing to follow God.
I dated my first boyfriend for a long time. Many years. He was a very important piece of my life. A good door. But not one I was meant to keep open. Over a period of years, I had promptings to move on. I know what was right and what God wanted for me. But I said no. I disagreed with God and stuck my foot in the door. An accurate representation of my feelings would probably be a small child who gets locked out of a room and could leave, but chooses to stay and lay next to the door distraught, hoping that the power of their temper tantrum will open the door.
In the mean time, God was opening other doors. I had opportunities to go on a full-time mission, but I didn’t. I had opportunities to date other people, but for the most part, I didn’t. My heart was still at that locked door.
Eventually I got exasperated. I knew what God wanted. What I wanted obviously wasn’t working out. So, for the first time in years, I looked away from the door. What I thought was a broom closet turned out to be a hallway. A hallway with an open door. Behind it? A very patient man.
And so I started dating my current boyfriend. Mostly just to try it out, at first. Walk in and out of the open door, since it had been a while since I’d seen one.
I enjoyed this feeling. It was new and exciting, but more importantly, it felt right. I prayed. I got God involved from the beginning. I didn’t want to waste my time anymore. And I felt that God was pleased. Probably because I was actually listening to him for the first time in my life (Bless Him. I can’t imagine being in charge of this hot mess).
So I’ve been reflecting. A lot about metaphorical doors, apparently. How long had I sat at that door, hoping it would open again? How long had I ignored God’s promptings? If I had just listened when He first shut the door, what would my life be like now? But I’m not dwelling on that. I’m recognizing when I felt alone and abandoned, God really had a whole house full of open doors for me still. I was just too stubborn to look.
Don’t chain yourself to a locked door. Give God your burdens, your insecurities, and your sadness. It’s okay to mourn the closing of a door. But don’t forget to look around and see the miracles and opportunities God is constantly laying out for us.