We’ve all heard it said, “When God closes a door, He always opens a window.”
It’s true, but it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes that closed door can rip your heart out.
The dashed dreams lying in pieces on the floor can feel like your whole world has ended.
And waiting for that open window can feel like an eternity.
I lived in Australia for sixteen years, and although I was involved in many ministries over those years, the dearest to my heart was the Sunday school class I started for the teen girls in our church.
How I loved meeting with those precious girls every Sunday! I won’t say they were like daughters to me, since I wasn’t quite old enough to be their mother, but they were definitely like younger sisters.
Each week, their love for the Word of God grew, and I rejoiced to see them having daily devotions at home, then coming to class and sharing the things they were gleaning from the Scriptures.
We made prayer journals together, and it thrilled my heart to see “my” girls faithfully praying every day. We rejoiced over each answered prayer—whether it was an Algebra test passed, a sickness healed, or family financial needs met.
I poured my heart into those girls, and working with them brought me so much joy. I never expected my time with them to end so suddenly.
That Sunday morning, I had no idea I would never teach them again. We prayed, we shared, we learned together. And then we all went home, expecting to meet again the next week.
But that evening, the rumblings of a storm that had been brewing for some time unleashed its fury upon my family. When it was over, I found myself facing life as a single mum. I immediately made plans to return to America.
With a couple months left in Australia, I thought I would have some more time with my Sunday school class. But it was not to be. It was over. My last class had passed, with me unaware that this chapter of my life had closed.
How I wept the day I was no longer able to teach my class! I cried for my girls, for what had happened to me, and because I thought God could no longer use me. I felt I was simply collateral damage, a victim of the sins of others.
Fast-forward to the present. The past few years haven’t been easy. There were times I really believed I would never be used by God again.
But I was wrong.
Yes, some doors had been slammed in my face.
But the windows of promise were slowly opening.
Over the months, and then the years, God did an amazing thing.
He healed my heart, and then began to open doors of ministry in which I could once again point people to Jesus. He took the pain and hard times I had faced, and used them to encourage and comfort others facing difficult circumstances.
Though I thought my ministry was over, it was just beginning.
The point of my story is this:
When doors of opportunity, of ministry, of relationships, close upon you, it may feel like the end of the world.
But it is not the end.
God has a beautiful plan for your life. He can take anything, anything, and bring good from it.
He can use the hard things.
The heart-breaking things.
And, yes, even the sinful things that people do to you.
And weave them together into a magnificent tapestry of beauty that brings joy to your heart and glory to Him.
If you are facing closed doors today, don’t give up hope. Yes, cry the tears of disappointment. Grieve the loss. It’s okay to feel that pain.
But after a time, get up, look up, and don’t give up.
It may take some time, but those windows of hope will be opened to you.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58)
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
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Beautiful example of the faithfulness of our Lord. He always takes care of His own!
He sure does, Janet. God has never failed me. He is my constant Provider and Protector. Now that I’m on the other side of the storm, I see how He carried me every step of the way.
Kimberly, my heart both breaks and rejoices as I read this. I knew you had been through a “storm” ∧ I had been praying for you off and on even though we didn’t really know each other. I love your parents however ∧ knew how they must be feeling. You have been through a huge battle and continue to serve God and do right. That’s really big. So many stumble in the storm and blame God. I’m so thankful for your testimony. As a mother of boys also, I know your boys will “rise up and praise” you for your faithfulness. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Cindy. I sure appreciate your prayers! The battle was indeed hard, but God has healed and comforted me through it all. It’s only by His grace I am where I am today. Every day I praise Him for His goodness!
Good stuff, Kim. Straight from the heart, unvarnished truths!
Thank you, Rick. I appreciate words of encouragement from another writer! May our words always point straight up to Him.
I’m so glad we have a Loving God who cares and loves us so much! He’s Always there! I’m so glad you didn’t give up Kim! God has used you big time in raising them three Awesome Sons you have!God is Good!
Wow, yes…I am so thankful for my boys. Every day I see them growing and maturing in Christ, and my heart just sings with thanksgiving to God for them. They are so special. God is good, all the time! 🙂
Excellent verses and thoughts Kim. I know too well much of what you are feeling or have felt. Many times I feel like I cannot help others because there are other’s testimonies involved in my own, so I need to be circumspect. But I can and do pray and minister as God allows and leads. I have prayed for you over the last three years. Praying now that this writing ministry you are working on and in will continue to unfold as God wills. 🙂
Thank you for your prayers, Barb. I really appreciate you taking the time to pray for me. One thing that has really helped me in sharing and writing is something a very Godly friend told me. “It’s not important what happened to me, but how God brought me through it.” We don’t have to share all the details to help others. God will show us the right way to minister to those in need.
Thank you Kim for reminding me how much God does care and take care of us. I have been there and he never left me and through his word and strength I made it through a lot of hard times. I can look back and see how he worked all things out for my good and yes he is good all the time and will never leave us. Keep close to him and he will guide you through this chapter of your life.
Thank you, Kay. It’s so encouraging to hear from others who have walked through dark valleys with the Lord, and come out triumphant on the other side. Thank you for sharing with us!
Thank you so very much for sharing this, regardless of some of the vagueness- people who’ve been there can read between those lines…
I was just telling someone that, for me to have some hope again myself, I needed a non-Bible example of someone who’s been through a “Joseph”-type experience… I needed to know it was possible to come back from such life devastation… because that’s where I am right now- five years later and still tearing up over what I lost. This little post is a gold nugget for me!
So, again, thank you so much!
Natalie, I’m always saddened to hear of another woman’s heartbreak, but I’m here to tell you: you are not alone, and you will make it through. Jesus is the Healer of our hearts, and He will bring beauty from your ashes. Keep trusting Him, keep pressing into Him. He will make a way.