Rejoicing in Closed Doors – Part II

“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?’”

Matthew 16:24-25 (The Message)


On September 8th, God issued me an invitation to let go of my agenda and instead embrace His dream for my life. I was left with this question: Was I willing to trust His way … or would I continue to insist on mine?

I chose to give up my dream of the vision I had for my life. I gave up my schedule and my desires and chose to trust that God’s dreams for my life would far outweigh anything I could ask or imagine. Taking that first step toward the altar that day at my church was difficult, but I was left with a peace and an excitement to “test God and see that He was good.” But it wasn’t really a testing … it was more of a “trust God and see that He IS good.”

Monday God allowed me to have a conversation with someone which gave me hope … hope that the answer I had been praying for was starting to come into reach when it had been out of my grasp for weeks, months, years.

That conversation spurred me to have a conversation with another on Tuesday, after God had reassured me ahead of time He was in this meeting. I was still nervous though. After five minutes or less, I soon realized that God was closing this door … but I wasn’t worried. I had plan B and plan C to still talk about so I had hope.

Nope. Plan B and Plan C were quickly shut down too. Tightly. Okay. I had a choice. I got off the phone and realized I could do one of two things. I could repeat my attitude in the past and feel like a failure, get depressed, allow the enemy’s lies to beat me down, and give up hope.

Or … I could CHOOSE to trust God. I could CHOOSE to praise God for this closed door. Yes, praise God I was told “no” and trust He had a better plan. So that is what I did.

But, before you think I had it altogether, the enemy sure had fun with my thoughts and emotions all night long. I had to continually choose, about every five minutes, to praise God for the closed door, remind myself His dreams are far greater than anything I could ask for or imagine and God sometimes loves to wait until things look the worst before swooping in and showing off a miracle or two. The one thing I wasn’t going to do? Give Satan the satisfaction of winning over my emotions or thoughts or stealing the peace and joy God had given me three days ago.

Come back next time to see what God did next …

© Cheri Swalwell 2018


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