Typically when I reflect on God’s faithfulness, I reflect on circumstances where he has provided positive outcomes or material blessings (i.e., the house we live in, the progress on our dissertations, the discounted Christmas tree we found at Target, etc.). Also, I often think of the opened doors he has provided over the years and that encourages me that he will continue to open doors in the future. I see his faithfulness in the opened doors of the past.
This week, however, a particular teaching position I applied for in Missouri turned into a closed door. Suddenly, something new struck me–God demonstrates his faithfulness in closing doors just as much as when he is opening doors. It’s just that the opened doors receive more attention and perhaps they also receive more gratitude.
I realize, I don’t often post about the closed doors because many times they are accompanied by heartache or feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, guilt, or shame. Many times I am quick to praise God for providing the open doors and then I blame closed doors on my own personal failure. For some, it may be the other way around–taking personal credit for opened doors and blaming God for closing doors that we think should have been opened for us.
Either way, I think closed doors don’t receive much attention on social media as we try to “save face” or perhaps we simply have an inaccurate view of our circumstances and the sovereignty of God. For this reason, allow me to reflect on God’s faithfulness in some of my own personal closed doors…
Here’s a representative sample:
- God closed the door for me to get a masters degree from Madison. Instead, he knew I needed to be at Regent–such a perfect fit!
- God closed the door for a coaching opportunity I applied for years ago. Instead, God used that to steer me towards earning my doctorate.
- During a time when I was seriously considering moving to Salt Lake City, God allowed me to have a really rough meeting with an advisor at the University of Utah which closed that door. One month later, my dad’s cancer became terminal and I was free to move closer to him.
- I experienced over a decade’s worth of closed doors as a single girl in the dating scene. Yeesh! Yet, it was all worth it the moment I said, “I do” to Ray.
In addition to all these, I can also recall several closed doors that I don’t have answers for–ones I can’t place in a “neatly wrapped package” on the shelf. And yet, I can have confidence that those closed doors have a bigger purpose just like all the ones mentioned above. Not only do they demonstrate God’s faithfulness in my own personal life, but they are each pieces of his overarching story of redemption. All of our pieces fit together perfectly and one day we will see how they are beautifully woven together in the tapestry of God’s plan to save mankind and display his glory.
Not one closed door will be left out.
So as I sit here, staring at the “nice try” email from the school I applied to in Missouri, I recognize that there will be many more closed doors like this as I continue to apply for various positions. I’m sure I will still struggle with feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and heartache. But because of the gospel, I can remind myself that my identity is found in Christ and that he is always at work–weaving together my own tapestry for his glory. That causes my heart to rejoice and my spirit to be at peace
And I can see God’s faithfulness in the closed doors.