Thanks to reader Lisa, who wrote the following note on the message board of my “When One Door Closes …” post:
I’m still trying to figure out how/if this applies in my own life. Fall in love at 19 — get dumped, lose my virginity to the wrong person, get pregnant, have abortion. Get smarter. Get married at 24 to man who’d been a friend for over a year. He becomes (AFTER the wedding) emotionally and verbally abusive. Stick it out for five years and get divorced. Get MUCH smarter. See therapist, take antidepressants, read, learn, spend time alone, work the mental health program. Meet man four years after divorce. Vet him carefully for power and control issues. Have happy marriage for several years — he relapses and refuses to get help. I become divorced single parent of a one year old. See new therapist … take meds … work program … lose 140 pounds … get healthy … do some dating … set clear boundaries … fall in love with special man … he tells me every day for four months we will spend our lives together … I love his kids and thought he loved mine … he dumps me out of the clear blue for someone who lives in his town, because it’s less hassle than a relationship with me 70 miles away. No one has been able to understand (or help me to understand) the cumulative effect of all these losses … and all I can come up with is 1) despite all the work I have done to make better choices, I brought this on myself with my terrible choices in men and/or 2) I am a terrible person that no one wants to be with. At any rate … doors keep slamming … and the only ones that open manage to smack me in the face and bloody my nose. Any thoughts?
I was blown away by all the compassionate and insightful notes (60 of them) that followed her entry.
This reminded me to let go and let God, and to remember God can see farther down the road than I can. –Ms. P
When one door closes another door always opens, but sometimes we have to wait in the hall. –Mike
Don’t trip! GOD ain’t through with you yet! –Anonymous
I believe in most cases one door will open when another closes, however, there are many times when it feels like all that is happening is that doors are slamming shut and no doors or windows are opening. I believe it is at this point we need to learn two things: patience and endurance. Sometimes it may seem forever for the door or window to open for us after many a doors have closed, but in retrospect, I think we can all look back and maybe see a time in our lives when it was harder, or we had less, or maybe this is the time it is harder and we have less now. Then this is the time we need to tap into our endurance. We need to know that the bad stuff, the things we don’t want that seem to keep happing will stop, sooner or later, but we are not patient, and its hard to be patient in this day and age. Life is a journey, sometimes you stub your toe, sometimes you break a leg, but in the end, you will be able to count some blessings even if you cant even think of a single one right now. Hang in there. –Kiki
“And the only ones that open manage to smack me in the face and bloody my nose…” You are not alone. Handing one’s life to a higher power does not mean that you don’t keep walking into closed doors. I wish I had brilliant, soothing, words-of-wisdom at this time, but I don’t. About as much as I have figured out is that accepting your own weaknesses are part of the journey. –Shenova
In all the pain and agony of wanting things and people that God obviously does NOT want for me, and learning to embrace God’s will for my life despite anything (or anyone) that I may think I want…I just have to trust God. I have to trust that God knows the outcome and he’s protecting me not only from myself, but from some bigger hurt in the future or from possibly going on a life tangent that will ultimately keep me off track from my divinely appointed course for many more years. If I can just help someone else deal and move on without giving up, that always helps me keep going. In helping others, I shift my focus from myself, thereby maintaining functionality and usefulness while God simultaneously sorts through the mess I’ve made of my own existence in an effort to steer me back in the right direction…that is if I actually use my free will to choose to listen to the still small voice that cries out in the depths of my soul. –Kim Lovette
From your brief story, it seems clear you have lots of inner strength. You know how to take care of yourself, and how to seek the help of others to assist you when you need it. It seems that we sometimes fail to see where the window is opened, that doesn’t mean it isn’t open somewhere. Keep looking, keep believing in the beautiful person you are. Your inner strength and life energy speaks clearly above the adversity you have come through. Peace be with you in your path. –DSK
“When Bad Things, Happen to Good People” by Harold S Kushner. That and some times life just sucks. I’m fifty-two and have a trio of marriages, a quartet of children. Sometimes it isn’t you that has the problem. Sometimes you are someone else’s lesson. Keep your chin up. Uou aren’t alone. One of your sisters –Kathy