Monday, June 02, 2008

When the Lord Closes a Door, Somewhere He Opens a Window

I think my favorite film of all time is probably The Sound of Music. It was first released the year I was born, and the first time I saw it was in a theatre when I was around 9 or 10 years old. My Mom took my siblings and I, along with a neighbor family that had twin girls the same age as I was.

For the next few weeks that followed, we played "The Sound of Music" almost non stop. Between my brother and sister and I, the twins, and their younger sister, there were six of us who had the scene where the Von Trap children march down the stairs to their first meeting with Maria memorized, and we could perform it perfectly (or as perfectly as 6 kids under the age of 10 can manage). I can still vividly remember playing Liesl under the shade tree in the neighbor's backyard.

There were so many great lines in that movie, and one of my favorites was when Maria tells Captain Von Trapp, "Reverend Mother always says when the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window".

That has happened to me so often in life, and though I've struggled with letting Him take the reigns rather than worry myself into an anxiety attack over what the future holds, I've certainly found as I've become closer to God in my personal life, handing over the reigns has become easier.

The past ten years have been quite the roller coaster ride with both Mr. FtK and myself being self employed, but with all the worries about whether we'd make it from year to year, we've also had many, many blessings. One was that we've been able to spend much more time with our two boys than we would have if we were still employed by the companies we had previously worked for. We were also able to build our own home, which saved us a huge amount of money, though looking back I have no idea how we managed it while working full time. The word miracle often comes to mind.

This past year, we've really felt like God was closing a door in regard to Mr. FtK's business. We've been concerned about the housing market and his future opportunities in designing and building homes, and we've also wondered if he should consider a career move due to the fact that he's not getting any younger and presently he does a large part of the physical labor himself.

He applied for several jobs we found in the local newspapers and on-line, but had no luck. Honestly, in hindsight I was pushing him and sending in resumes for any job I thought he might possibly be able to land. I wasn't trusting my husband or God to find an appropriate job, and I was being pushy and panicky about the whole situation. When I finally said "screw it, I'm handing it over to Him because He'll lead us in the way we should go", things changed. I relaxed about the situation, and low and behold, my husband ran across a job on his own. We were at my son's baseball game, and Mr. FtK was shooting the breeze with an old college friend who graduated from KSU's architecture department the same year as my husband did. He is part owner of a landscaping company in town, and he mentioned that they were looking for someone with my husband's background. Funny how things work out, and the interesting part is that his job started today...the same day that I knew I would be taking a pretty drastic cut in income from June-August. That constant reliable source of income will certainly be a blessing.

As a person prone to worry and anxiety, I've found great solace in my faith. I look at life as a training ground or learning experience for the life that is to come. I believe that what we learn here will make our experience in eternity all the more satisfying somehow. My faith also helps me strive to look for the bright side of life and try to find the humor in even the most difficult situations. It's always there if you look for it.

As my husband left for his first day at his new job this morning, I said a little prayer for him as a touch of anxiety filled my mind. Closing his business has been a hard decision to make because the past few summers the boys have really enjoyed working with him, learning from him, and just being with him. They were kind of sad to see him give it up as they will no longer have those opportunities. So, as my prayer continued, it turned into a request for answers in regard to whether we're making the right decisions for our future. I found myself wishing that God would just make a quick personal appearance and assure me that we're heading in the right direction. Well, the big guy didn't appear before me, but He did lead me to Tom's post later in the morning, which helped ease my touch of anxiety over our decisions. Tom's message reminds us that our future is grounded in the past. It's a very good article and leads to the ultimate assurance...

With all who follow Christ, though, we have an even stronger promise that whatever happens, the ultimate destination will be very, very good.

So although it looks as if a door has been shut in regard to a life we've known for a decade now, we can rest assured that that open window will always point us toward the ultimate reward.