I just knew he was “the one”. On paper, it seemed logical. We appeared to have the same interests, similar passions. We could talk for hours, enjoyed one another’s company. It just seemed “right”. Then one day, we had the talk. You know, the “what are we doing?” one.
“What if I told you I found my wife?”
Verbal sucker punch. Closed door.
What happened immediately after that is insignificant.
It is what God has revealed in the years since then that is relevant.
Over the years I have prayed a number of prayers – both answered, and unanswered (rather, not answered in the way I would have preferred).
There are times when I have celebrated because God not only provided what I was asking, but did “exceedingly, abundantly above all I could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20), in ways far beyond my expectations.
Other times, I’ve lamented, so devastated by His “No” that I struggled to believe Him, or believe in Him and His goodness, deciding I would never ask Him for anything else.
In those times, He has been gracious, and patient, waiting until I realize that there is nowhere I can go to escape Him (Psalm 139).
However, the years have taught me, that often times, a closed door is a blessing.
That job that I did not get was because there was another one better suited for my personality and passion. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the closed door to one job would leave me available to pursue another that revealed my heart for educating and serving the underserved.
That closed door to the city that I wanted to move to wasn’t because I did not belong in the city. It was an issue of timing. It would take another 10 years before the door opened, and this time I was better suited to thrive, and commit to the calling God has given me.
That man I didn’t marry, was not because he was not a good guy. He just wasn’t the best for me. I remember a wise woman telling me, “He just isn’t the one to cover you the way that you need to be covered.” After almost ten years of marriage, I understand that better. There are specific ways that my husband is gifted, though different from me, that is exactly what I need. His support, his wiring, his obedience and adventurous bent that leads him to move our family to serve wherever God has us, is part of who we are as family. It is part of how we best serve. I smile when I think about the ways he not only says he loves and supports us, but how he sacrifices to demonstrate it. I am grateful when I consider the things that I did not realize that I needed. God knew…and provided.
Closed doors. The slamming of a door in your face never feels pleasant. It’s painful. The anger, the sense of rejection and insecurity can leave you reeling. But, I am often reminded that “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) He does not promise that all things will feel good, but that eventually, at some unforeseen point in the future, they will work together for good.