Saturday, December 5, 2015

Closed doors

Only through hard experience am I learning to trust God’s hand in my life. Time and time again, when doors have been slammed shut in my face, in the final analysis I accept that my plans, my will, my schemes and dreams, were not what God had in mind.

And so here I am in a season of closed doors, seemingly a long hallway where I keep walking, getting weary, jiggling the locks, and nothing seems to work out. Guess it’s time for a remedial lesson in patience. Again.

In less than a week, a few of the frustrations, large and small:

(1) I thought I might build a little gramma cottage on my daughter’s property in Austin for longer visits with my family and with a vision for living there permanently in the future. But when I saw a potential plan for the cottage I realized it wasn’t big enough for me to do what I wanted to do—collect and paint furniture to fill it and have friends come to stay with me. With that option off the table, I’m saying “What next? What am I going to do?”

(2) My life felt lonely without a pet. My cat died almost a year ago. I thought I could not go through the grief again of losing my dear companion, but eventually the emptiness was worse than the fear. So I started the animal adoption process. I liked a pretty little orange tabby who continued to be available while I got approved and while I was out of town. And within hours of my finalizing the process she was adopted by someone else. Then I considered another cat that looked very much like my dearly departed cat Eva. Sadly, this sweet animal had been abandoned by her family and she didn’t have Eva’s trusting and affectionate nature.

(3) Feeling frustrated and alone, I realized I need a project. So I decided to paint my powder room—easy distraction. Wait—not so easy. Before I got started I realized there is mushy place in the drywall where the ceiling meets the wall. Water. Blasted free-range water coming from the bathroom above perhaps. So I issued myself a stop-work order and sent an e-mail to my contractor to come investigate when he can.

Experience has shown me that the Lord is not slamming doors shut; He isn’t gratuitously making life frustrating for me. Frustrations strung together like beads can feel like an instrument of torture.

“Shut up!” I just screamed silently to myself. Blah, blah, blah. I sound like a histrionic crazy old cat woman. (In preparation for the cat that I didn’t get, I went to the grocery store this morning and bought cat litter, a bag of cat treats, and a cheese croissant. On the way to the quick check-out lane, I looked in my cart and wondered if I should just buy a fresh pack of razor blades so I can slit my wrists if this is the sum total of my life.) Big deal—I’m frustrated, right on schedule for the winter depression to set in, and I’ve had a cruddy week. Stop your sniveling, you stupid old woman, do what you have to do, and move forward.

I told you before that this blog is my therapy. So I just did a Gestalt therapy on myself and saw how ridiculous I can be. Yes, God closes doors. But He opens doors that are more wonderful, perhaps much more surprising, than the doors He closes. I’m waiting. Impatiently.


  1. I remembered your post: For This I Have Jesus ...

    Have a peaceful week, Ms Xander.

    1. Thanks for the reminder. His abiding presence is there, even when I don't feel it.