Traveling Through Tough Times

When a Door Slams Shut…

     The young professional mom’s disappointment was palpable.

          She’d just received the call.

               She wasn’t the one selected.

                    This wasn’t the first time her ‘dream job’ had slipped away.

     So, what do we do when a door slams shut on our

          dream job?

               strategic plan?

                    desired relationship?

                         longtime hope?

     My life journey has included many ‘slammed-shut-door’ experiences. Some I’ve handled with grace and dignity. Many, I haven’t!

     Disappointment, discouragement and despair can be great instructors. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from these teachers:

  • While certainly not the first lesson I mastered, it’s now the primary thing I try to remember when life doesn’t happen according to my immediate plan or desire: God is good—always good—and I’ll be most successful when I cooperate and allow God’s will to supersede any job, plan, relationship or hope I imagine is best.
  • Often, my most valuable life learning has been the result of what I’ve done wrong or discovered doesn’t fit for me. For example, once I landed a well-paying job I thought was the answer to my prayers. It wasn’t long before I realized I loathed the type of work I was required to do. The workplace environment clashed with my personality and even my values. Three years later, I took a huge pay cut and returned to a previously-held job. At the time, I felt like I’d failed. Unbeknown to me, that decision turned out to be an excellent career move.
  • I’ve learned much about my own life listening to the stories of older women who have ‘been there, done that’ and are willing to share their journeys without telling me what I “should” do. Their transparency and wisdom have often helped me make sense of my own unique journey, pointing me in a positive direction.
  • Even though we’ve all heard it, and clichés lose potency with overuse, I remind myself often when I’m disappointed, “Okay, Sue, this can make you bitter or better. The choice is yours!” I first heard this saying from a friend whose full-term baby was stillborn. A lovely, gracious older woman attending the same church as we—and who we learned had a story filled with tragic loss—gave my friend this advice. I watched my friend determine she would not allow her loss to make her “bitter,” but would instead become a “better” person despite grief and pain. During my own season of loss later on, my friend passed on the same piece of wisdom, and her example, motivated me to do likewise.

     Most importantly, as a woman who desires to be an authentic follower of Christ, I’m learning to avoid compartmentalizing my life. This happens as I allow Christ to be the absolute center of me. In the next blog post, I will unpack this concept further.

     Today, even if the door seems forever closed, to your dream, plan, relationship or hope, I’m asking God to

     surprise you with divine ideas.

          deliver a glimmer of anticipation to your soul.

               bless you with the kindness of a caring person.

                    provide sufficient light for your next step of faith.

Blessings on the journey….

Sue Reeve

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Summer 2016\09042016_10707.jpgFor some unknown reason, the sight of the vacant red chair and empty table on this dock at twilight created a bit of melancholy for me. I had to remind myself a new day would dawn, bringing renewed activity and joys. The dock wasn’t going to remain empty even as life’s slammed doors don’t remain forever shut!


1 thought on “Traveling Through Tough Times

  1. Thank you Sue; your words continue to help me along the journey — to connect spiritual dots that point me to God’s best plan for my life♥️

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