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4 Things to Remember When a Door Closes

What happens when your life comes to a halt? All of your plans crumble into a million little bits around your feet like crumbs to the cake you were just about to eat.

What do you do when this one thing hinged on this other thing that was bound to work out and then something happened to end it all? Everything was connected and so it all was lost. Dying hopes, dreams, plans, visions, even the deepest desires that you’ve never had the courage to share with anyone else. All of them gone in a moment or perhaps a string of events.

These circumstances have happened to nearly all of us at one point in our lives. And yet how when it happens, do we feel so isolated? So alone. So estranged from everyone else. There have been a handful of really difficult seasons in my life where I felt like I was walking down a dark hallway, and each door I check was locked. Enter ended relationships, broken dreams, delayed moves, failed attempts at eluding my past. I tried so hard to run away from it all. In the end, all I was left with was myself, my confusion, and a broken heart. A myriad of feelings always seems to accompany these low points. Sadness, anger, brokenness, and fear. Fear that it would be like this forever. Hesitancy to hope for fear of being disappointed once again.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned through some of these difficult seasons that I hope will help you through whatever season you might be in:

Our lives are cyclical.

This gives us so much hope. Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 (KJV) says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

There will be many times when you experience the end of yourself, but there will always be other seasons where it’s your time. Your season. Take courage! Things will get better, you will laugh again, and you will dream again.

We are never alone.

Though difficult times can be incredibly isolating, I have learned that there is always someone close enough to us that is willing to share in our burdens. The real question is whether we are willing to be open and vulnerable. Are you willing to share your weaknesses or pain with someone who can pray with you? Will you humble yourself enough to call someone and actually need something from them like support or a hug?

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is One who sticks closer than a brother.” That person is Jesus. If there is no one you can trust enough to call, you can be certain that Jesus is kneeling beside you, sharing your pain, and believing in you. He is able to give grace for every difficult moment.

Gratefulness is key.

It’s easy to become engulfed in your own woes. When it takes every ounce of strength to just get through a day and you can’t seem to escape your own pain, it’s difficult to think of anyone other than yourself.

Gratefulness is the key that changes our hearts. It’s the practice of remembering how God has blessed us in the past and connects that to the future.

I recently heard my pastor say that gratitude hunts down the blessing in every circumstance saying, “There’s a blessing to be had in this.” Every blessing that God has given you must be turned into praise or it will be turned into pride. Pride will actually bring you to a place where you complain about the very thing you prayed so hard for in the past.

You can see it throughout the entire Bible. God’s people who kept their hearts soft toward God through the difficult times were often those who praised him despite their current state. The Psalmist prayed, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

God is not a superstition.

This is something I currently struggle with. I’ve found that when things are going really well in my life, I tend to fight a thought that tells me it’s only a matter of time before the crap hits the fan. Like an impending doom or a constant search for the cloud on the horizon. This thought feeds into pressures of perfection. I begin to believe that I should do things correctly or I’ll ruin the good mojo. That sounds nothing like the Gospel of Christ to me, and it’s a lie.

My challenge to you is to live in the present. You begin to see the opportunities that are around you in your daily life. So what if things might happen in the future. Difficulties will surely come, but you can’t live your life in fear of “what ifs.”

God has so much for you in each season of your life. The Lord is always sanctifying you and trying to draw you to himself. The question is: What will you choose to believe when you are standing on the outside of that closed door?

Melissa Schlabach, photographer

Meet my friend, Melissa! I attended Melissa's wedding in May when I barely knew her. We both relocated to the Nashville, TN area this past summer. She's been my person during this time of transition, and I have been extremely blessed by her friendship. Her passion for life and faithfulness to go where God leads her inspires me.

Check out her photography:

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