Closed doors can make you stronger
Closed doors can make you stronger

Closed doors can make you stronger

I really don’t like trite expressions, but I guess there’s a reason they exist.

Perhaps they were true at least once.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “When one door closes, another door opens” many times, and maybe there’s a logical explanation for that. But is it really true? Or is it one of those things we say to make people feel better when we don’t actually know what’s going to happen? Aren’t there some doors that simply close, and other open doors have nothing to do with the ones that closed? Or will there always be another door that opens for you solely because another one just closed in your face?

I’m still trying to figure that one out.

It can be pretty painful when a door in your life closes when you really hoped it would be one you’d walk through. My mom used to love the store Coldwater Creek—in fact, she loved it so much that she once got a part-time job there so that she could not only make a little extra cash but also get a discount on all of the clothes she wanted to buy. (I’m surprised she wasn’t featured in the Coldwater Creek catalogues, seeing as how she was decked out in the apparel from head to toe.)

Imagine her reaction when she found out her favorite store was closing its doors forever.

When you find out you didn’t get a callback to be one of Beyoncé’s background dancers

Imagine how people feel when doors close on things that matter so much more than skirts and shirts and dresses and whatnot. You’ve likely been there before—it’s not a fun place to be. You might realize a closed door will never open again. You might wonder if it’s closed temporarily for renovations. You might know in your heart that the door is merely closed for a bit, and you simply need to wait outside until it opens again.

But what do you do if you really don’t know?

I’ve started watching the Netflix original series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Kimmy literally had a door closed on her for 15 years, living in a bunker until she and the three other girls with her were finally rescued. She walks through the open door that once closed on her, and she goes on to find a tremendous amount of other doors welcoming and daring her to walk through. One thing I love about Kimmy is that she never loses hope, and she doesn’t give up on her goals—or on people. There are a lot of doors that continue to slam in her face, but she keeps fighting, either by trying to kick those closed doors back open or by directing her path elsewhere.

Doors closing have been fairly common in my world lately. Some of them don’t bother me too much—others leave me wondering why they ever offered even little lights of hope at all if they were only going to close right when it seemed like I was about to walk through them. So much about life doesn’t make sense to me, and maybe it isn’t supposed to. I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do and why there sometimes has to be so much pain involved. I was thinking about this Sunday in church when the band started playing a familiar tune I love as the final worship song, some of the lines reminding me that I don’t need to concern myself with any of the doors anywhere.

And I can see a light that is coming
For the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You

It’s easier to say not to worry rather than actually not worry, but the truth is that worrying doesn’t really do any good. It doesn’t open closed doors or find other opportunities. We’re probably all going to face a lot more closed doors in our lives than we want to, but the hurt that happens after won’t last forever. It can be really difficult to trust and have faith during those times, but sometimes that’s all we can do—be the hearts that hold on.

There may be other doors that open when certain doors close, but even if it seems like there aren’t, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any hope left. The door that closes closes for a reason. It may be for a while; it may be forever. Either way, the sadness or frustration or pain or whatever emotion you feel afterward will eventually fade, and you may or may not see the reason you had to go through what you did. But it’s important to keep going through the rain when you’re there and find the strength you may not have even known you have.

Because there’s a light that is coming for the heart that holds on.

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