Open Doors and Opportunity

IMG_5728 via kimberlyanncoyle.com

When it comes to decision-making, my husband and I have always taken the approach that if a door opens in the direction of our desires, we will walk through it. We pray about it first, but if we don’t feel any specific leading one way or another, through the door we walk, or run depending on how exciting the life beyond the door may be. Over the years, doors have swung open to reveal amazing opportunities, giving us the chance to live abroad, make life-long friends, travel, and in my husband’s case, work hard at a fulfilling job and attend graduate school.

By saying yes to opportunity, we also said yes to sacrificing some of our other desires. We gave up time and memory-making with our extended families, we pulled up our roots, and sacrificed some of our stability. My husband missed a lot of dinners and concerts and teacher meetings, and I single-parented while he chased his career around the globe. When we say yes to a good thing, even the right thing for our family, it often comes with a set of no’s attached.

We’re in a current season of waiting, of holding while we pray for doors to open in the direction of our desires. Recently, a few opportunities came my way, a few slivers of light shining through a crack in the door. And out of fear, out of the certain knowledge that I will never, ever have an opportunity come my way again, out of a despairing spirit, I wanted to push the doors open wide and bask in the glow of light with a resounding yes.

I said yes to one opportunity out of fear, and I felt its magnetic pull immediately, taking me further away from the things I truly want to pursue. I discovered an open door isn’t necessarily the right one, and I second guessed myself until I finally backpedalled my way out of that yes. I had the good sense to shut the door on a few other work offers that would have moved me closer to my desires, but which led down a rather bleak path before arriving there.

All of this back and forth leaves me feeling as if I failed somehow. Failed to see clearly, failed to let my yes be yes and my no be no, failed to move forward in any appreciable way. I am standing exactly where I started. And so, I find myself still waiting, looking for slivers of light through open cracks, wondering if I used up all my chances at open doors.

But, if I listen very closely, behind the whispers of failure I hear the gentle thump of my heartbeat. I am still here. Failure will not kill me or my opportunities. It will only make my heart beat stronger for the better things, the wide open spaces where I can walk through doors more sure of my yes, and better able to recognize my no.

If you find yourself in a similar place today, I want to encourage you to step forward in faith and not fear. Pray about it, make the tough decisions, move in the direction of your desires. Your heart is strong. Failure is a faithful teacher. You will bend perhaps, but you will not break.

………

Have you ever regretted saying yes to an opportunity? What have you said no to lately?

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  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    It doesn’t sound like failure to me, it sounds like careful discernment. And, that saying yes to something out of fear? I was very close to that recently. Waiting grows our capacity to trust and that trust – deepened and broadened – is key to moving forward when the doors (which usually lead to another leap) finally open.

    • Yes! The trust we’re building now, will help us move into the next thing later. I’m finding it hard to wrap my mind around the later, when it’s so stuck in the waiting right now. You’re always a step ahead of me, Kelly:)

  • Kimberly,
    Tim and I are exactly at that same place right now. It sounds cowardly, but our biggest fear right now is being disappointed again. Closed doors when I thought it was supposed to be a on open door of God’s will, especially God’s will to further His Kingdom shakes my faith, and and all those supposedly dead demons rise up again. We just stared reading together Francis Chan’s You And Me Forever: marriage in the light of eternity book (our first book we have ever read together after 15 years of marriage…it’s just not our thing) and his first chapter is surprisingly primarily about “erring on the side of action” because we are called to peruse God. I keep getting these little nudges to go for it, with all my heart, even though,quite frankly the timing stinks. I had such a great one year plan!! Come on!
    Cheers,
    Leah

    • “Erring on the side of action” –that has the potential to change everything, doesn’t it? I’m taking that to heart today. Thinking of you as you decide what you should and should not pursue!