Tuning In:  Listening to God Through Open and Closed Doors

(Written by Rachel Pickel)

We’ve all heard the phrase “when one door closes, another one opens.”  Or here’s a good one… “when God closes a door, He opens a window.”  (As if we’re supposed to jump through or just let in some fresh air … I really don’t get that one, but that’s just me!)

It’s easy to use a door as a metaphor for opportunity.

We tend to view success as an open door to walk through and failure as a door closed in front of us.  It seems pretty simple – an open or shut case, if you will. But it’s our humanity, our selfishness, our unwillingness to listen to God’s will which makes this all so complicated … The finding of doors, knowing which ones to open, which to walk through and the act of gracefully accepting when one has been closed.

The most recent Heart 2 Heart featured Terrian Bass and Jill Dyson. In case you haven’t heard (or been under a big rock), last year Terrian had the opportunity (aka open door) to audition for American Idol.  She made it through several rounds of auditions and an emotional roller coaster to boot! I listened to this young woman tell her story of opportunity, how she walked through some doors, only to find in the end, it wasn’t her time and that particular door was closed.  She truly understood what God desired through this tough experience.

Let me say first, I/we (Moms at Hope) are so proud that one of our own made it as far as she did. Her journey has only begun too, as she’ll be releasing her newly recorded single soon. But to listen to her story of hope and prayer, where she both listened to God and tuned him out through the process is real – VERY REAL. And to be able to handle it with such grace and humility – it’s a true testament to her faith.

Jill Dyson, both an elder at Hope and leader of Angel Street (where she met and now mentors Terrian and other girls in North Memphis), had a similar experience trying to find her place in ministry. She always knew she wanted to work in both music and women’s ministry, but couldn’t find the right ‘project’ to take hold. In her testimony, she described herself as focusing more on what SHE desired for her ministry and not on what GOD had planned for her. When she felt as though it wasn’t going to work out, after traveling through several doors and hallways of music and ministry, low-and-behold Oasis at Hope was her “open door” to creating a very successful young women’s program, soon to be known as Angel Street.

Photo by Melissa Fagan

Terrian and Jill’s story shows us almost tangible examples of open and closed doors. But when it comes to our own open and closed doors, we have to remember something …

It is NOT us. It’s not about us and it has NEVER been about us.  

What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that one can shut. (Revelations 3:7-8)

Once we realize Who is really in control and Who should be at the center of all of our desires and efforts, the ‘success’ (aka “Open Door” … insert whatever that may be to you here) comes easier and the ‘loss’ (aka “Closed Door” … insert past disappointment or something you wanted really, really bad but didn’t get here) comes more peacefully.

It’s when we put our faith in God and listen, we can take the path He guides us on and fearlessly walk through the doors He wants us to go through. 

A funny side note … I don’t think it’s a coincidence God decides where and when the doors are placed in front of us and the fact that Jesus “just so happened” to be a carpenter. Perhaps He made a few doors in his time – both literally and figuratively. Think on that one for a bit!  🙂

I’m pretty sure we’ve all had our share of doors and windows opened, closed and sometimes even slammed right on our noses! And all are for very good reasons – some known and some still to be sought out.

It’s the asking of God and the seeking of His will that will open the RIGHT doors at the RIGHT time.  

Ask, Seek, Knock.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  (Matthew 7:7-8)



2 thoughts on “Tuning In:  Listening to God Through Open and Closed Doors

  1. Reblogged this on XO, Melissa and commented:
    I loved the Heart 2 Heart that Jill and Terrian shared with the women of hope last week. I have been a small part in their story and have loved seeing the growth and change AND honesty in their journeys. (And taking photos along the way).


  2. I loved the Heart 2 Heart that Jill and Terrian shared with the women of hope last week. I have been a small part in their story and have loved seeing the growth and change AND honesty in their journeys. (And taking photos along the way).


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