In Others’ Words: Doors

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”

~Flora Whittemore, author

Open doors and closed doors.

Sometimes I’ve had no choice in the matter — a door has been slammed in my face with the finality of, well, the slap of a hand across my face.

Sometimes I’ve chosen to shut a door. While that open door may have been right for a season of my life, it’s now time to grasp the handle and push it closed. Not all relationships are forever and sometimes I am the one who acknowledged that.

Prayerfully opening a door (saying yes to something) doesn’t guarantee success.

And prayerfully closing a door (saying no to something) doesn’t guarantee you’ll never be disappointed. Or heartbroken. Or hurt.

Here’s what I’ve learned through the open-shut-them-open-shut-them rhythm of life’s doors: I’ve been given the inestimable freedom of choice. When I make a choice it’s not just me-myself-and-I that is affected. And sometimes I don’t realize that truth until years and years later.

And here’s another thing I’ve learned: Shutting a door takes just as much courage as opening a door.

In Your Words: If you had the choice, would you open a door or shut a door? Why?

 

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34 Comments

  1. March 28, 2012, 4:48 am   /  Reply

    I recently shut a door on an Indy publisher for the chance to land a deal with a bigger one. It took me days to shut that heavy door. But I’m hopeful I can reopen that Indy door again if and when I’m ready to close the bigger one.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:25 am   /  Reply

      I am certain you closed that door with much thought and prayer, Michelle. Making the wise choice, at least for now.

  2. March 28, 2012, 6:16 am   /  Reply

    “Shutting a door takes just as much courage as opening a door.”

    Those are incredibly wise words, my friend.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:26 am   /  Reply

      Katie,
      I’ve learned that lesson the hard way: leaving a door open for much too long. And reaping the consequences.

  3. March 28, 2012, 6:46 am   /  Reply

    Open. Open. Open. Shutting is always harder. Recently I kept getting a prompting (or call it what you may) to shut a door and it pained me. I’m not really skilled at letting go. Learning. Always learning…
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:27 am   /  Reply

      Yes, learning, always learning.
      But that’s yet another thing I like about you, Wendy.
      You are so open to learning. And embracing life.

  4. March 28, 2012, 7:01 am   /  Reply

    I’d only want to open OR close a door if I’d prayed about it and felt a peace. I don’t want to be the type to push against the door until it budges from its locked position. I never want to move ahead of where God has me.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:27 am   /  Reply

      Wise, wise woman, Lindsay.
      🙂

  5. March 28, 2012, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    This is definitely thought-provoking, Beth.

    I’m going to say opening a door. Fear has held me back so often from good things.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:28 am   /  Reply

      Ah, fear.
      Hung out with it for too many years.
      One of these days I just may jump out of a perfectly good plane (with a parachute) just to say “So long!” to fear in a real over-the-top, in fear’s face kind of way.
      LOL!

  6. March 28, 2012, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    As a rush-right-in person, opening doors is much easier than closing them. So much sadness in closing doors, it seems. Love today’s quote!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:30 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Pat, there can be sadness in closing doors.
      I learned that lesson during the years we were a military family. Lots of goodbyes — lots of closing of doors. And yet … it was part of my life back then. And I learned from it. If nothing else, I learned how to say goodbye.

  7. Karen S. Elliott
    March 28, 2012, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    I have had to shut a few doors … family, friends. It is not easy; in one case, it took years to decide. I have often said, “Where God closes a door, he opens a window.” I try to hold on to that when closing a door or having a door slammed in my face. Look FORWARD.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:31 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Karen.
      Look FORWARD.
      I like your attitude.
      Probably why I like “hanging out” with you.
      😉

  8. March 28, 2012, 7:48 am   /  Reply

    I’m so with Lindsay here. My problem is I get easily stuck, one foot in, one foot out and have trouble deciding which direction to go. It takes hard core effort to shut out distractions and try to hear God. Which is why I’m thankful for the times now and then when he just blatantly opens or shuts a door for me. 🙂 Which he absolutely has done. But other times, it’s not as clear…but those are probably some of my biggest growing times because it forces me to seek him more and more.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      Lots of wise truth tucked in your comment, M-Tagg.
      Sometimes the waiting and the listening to find out is it “open” or is it “close”? — that’s the hardest part.

  9. March 28, 2012, 8:39 am   /  Reply

    It’s so interesting that one of the names Jesus gives us for Himself is, “I am the door…” and in Rev. 3 knocks on our heart’s door (also Song of Solomon). How true that is that He comes and finds our door and knocks. I love opening doors, hate closing. I’m now thinking about God’s city and its 12 gates of pearl . . . Hmmm . . .

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      Dee,
      Love where you went with today’s quote, friend.
      🙂

  10. Jeanne T
    March 28, 2012, 9:32 am   /  Reply

    I guess I like to have an inkling of what’s on the other side of that door before I answer open or close. 🙂 I, too, have to agree with Lindsay. I like to pray for the Lord’s guidance before I move toward open or close. I find that when I rush to open or close a door, I usually regret it later.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:33 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne,
      I’ve had regrets both ways: when I’ve opened a door and when I’ve taken too long to close a door …

  11. March 28, 2012, 9:56 am   /  Reply

    What wise words you share today, Beth. I prefer to open doors, as well. To new possibilities. Grand God adventures. New life stages. But I’ve come to realize when God’s opening a door in my life, He’s shutting another one somewhere. I’m in the hallway this week waiting to see how He will move in a certain ministry area. I’m peacefully seeking to see where He leads. Either way, His will be done, my Friend. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:34 am   /  Reply

      Not surprised to see God is opening more doors for you, Donna. And yes, saying yes to something (opening a door) often requires saying no to something (closing a door.)

  12. Loree Huebner
    March 28, 2012, 10:28 am   /  Reply

    Shutting a door does take courage.

    I prefer to open doors.

    Wonderful post.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:35 am   /  Reply

      🙂
      Loree: Would love to know what you (and others) have found on the other side of some of the doors they’ve opened.
      Another blog post, eh?

  13. March 28, 2012, 12:37 pm   /  Reply

    Opening and shutting doors can be tough for me. I tend to get comfortable and have to work to step outside the box. I’ve been opening a lot more doors lately, though, and the rewards have been many. I’ll keep on doing so, but that will mean I have to close a few, too. I remind myself life holds beginnings as well as endings, and I have to learn to deal with both.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 2:01 pm   /  Reply

      Good perspective, Keli –and one that makes the opening and the shutting of doors easier.

  14. March 28, 2012, 6:00 pm   /  Reply

    Hmmm…It’d have to be closing doors for me. Too much stubborn involved. So hard to tell when it’s time to “shake the dust…”

    You always get me thinking, Beth.:)

    • Beth Vogt
      March 28, 2012, 11:09 pm   /  Reply

      🙂
      Thanks for joining the conversation, Julia.
      The back and forth from others gets me thinking too.

  15. March 29, 2012, 7:52 am   /  Reply

    I’ve had to shut the door a couple of times. Very difficult, but worth it in the end. I’ve had to open a new one and it’s been a challenge. Sort of like someone’s holding it to make it more difficult to open, but I’m determined to go through it. I know if I just jump through the first few hoops, the rest should be auto pilot.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 29, 2012, 8:08 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Stacy.
      That first step (or two) through a newly opened door can be tough.

  16. March 29, 2012, 9:34 am   /  Reply

    I love the observation that it takes as much courage to shut a door as to open it. Reminds me of a writer who felt convicted to put writing away for a couple of years. She’s now a published author. It’s amazing the different roads that lead to the same place!

    ~Debbie

    • Beth Vogt
      March 29, 2012, 9:40 am   /  Reply

      Would I happen to know this author?
      😉

  17. March 29, 2012, 1:12 pm   /  Reply

    Courage is the significant part for me, because fear is what gets me stuck. There are shut doors that I still look back on, still can cry about, but I have to keep moving. Still I know I look for meaning and those lessons (whether I fully know them yet or not) stay with me.
    Lovely post Beth. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      March 29, 2012, 1:24 pm   /  Reply

      I understand the feeling of looking back, mourning a little. I sometimes think about walking back aways,testing the handle on a closed door … but I’ve learned it’s (usually) best to let it be.

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