I love the Thank You Journal that some friends gave me several years ago. Each page is a specific date, divided into spaces that cover five years. This morning as I was looking back over today’s thank-you nuggets over the past three years, I was reminded of where I was a year ago today. I had thanked God for meetings with four agents and publishers at a writing conference, even though all four were closed doors.

It took me back to that week. I had hopes before I sat down with each one that God might open a door to get my Bible studies out to a broader audience. God, please open a door. But, each one resulted in a closed door. Closed doors are initially disappointing. Hopes are crushed. Doubts creep in. Disappointment overwhelms us.

But, closed doors are a gift.

  • Closed doors keep us from going down a path that God doesn’t intend for us to go down.
  • Closed doors keep us from going in a direction that’s not good for us or best for us.
  • Closed doors keep us from missing the door God wants us to walk through.
  • Closed doors keep us from getting ahead of God’s timing.

I thank God for the gift of closed doors.

While I was finishing my studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, I submitted resumes and had several interviews at churches in Dallas for a position in Women’s Ministry. I had big hopes for each opportunity, but one by one, the door closed. Tears would flood my eyes as I cried out to God, “This was the PERFECT fit! Why did you close the door?”

The day I finished my last class, I took a flight out that afternoon to begin the interview process for the Women’s Ministry Director at a church in Memphis. I wasn’t keen on leaving Dallas and moving to a city I knew very little about. I went, but only because I felt I needed to pursue every opportunity, fully expecting it to be another closed door (and actually hoping it would be).

However, this time, it was an open door, and God said, YES! This is my plan for you.

Now, 13 years later, I can look back and thank God for closing all those other doors. They were not His plan for me; they were not His best for me. This open door was.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of closed doors. Thank you, Lord, for only opening doors that are your perfect plan for me.

I need to remember this as I head to another writers’ conference this summer and plan to meet with agents and publishers and editors. There will be closed doors, and if God chooses to open one, I can walk through that door with full confidence, knowing He’s opened it for His purpose.

How have you seen God close doors in your life, only to open another one that was so much better? Will you thank God for the gift of closed doors?