We’ve all experienced times when it feels like doors are closing around us through no fault of our own. A relationship ends, a job opportunity falls through, a illness changes our plans. It’s natural to feel discouraged, angry or depressed when hopes are dashed.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: According to many spiritual leaders and philosophers, closed doors can guide us toward our true calling and open up new, often better opportunities even if that seems impossible in the moment.
In this in-depth article, we’ll explore the meaning behind the idea that ‘when God closes a door, he opens a window.’ We’ll look at inspirational quotes and stories as well as tips to maintain hope and find your path forward when faced with closed doors.
Quotes About Closed Doors and New Beginnings
This Too Shall Pass
As the old adage goes, “this too shall pass.” When we face closed doors and disappointing situations in life, it can feel like the hardship will last forever. However, focusing on the temporariness of trials can provide hope. As one popular Persian adage states, “This too shall pass.
It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.” Remembering that both good and bad seasons eventually run their course can encourage us in hard times.
Many motivational leaders and spiritual teachers emphasize embracing the impermanence of closed doors. As spiritual leader Ram Dass famously declared, “We’re all just walking each other home. “ Seeing life as a journey where we support each other through hills and valleys brings acceptance when doors close unexpectedly.
Focusing on new beginnings also fuels hope. American abolitionist Theodore Parker stated it this way: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. “ Believing better things are coming sustains us.
When One Door Closes Another Opens
This common maxim rings true when we think creatively about closed doors. As American educator Booker T. Washington expressed, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life… as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
Obstacles often precede open doors. Setbacks can later be seen as guideposts directing us toward purpose.
In a 2022 Gallop poll, 63% of newly hired employees had to overcome barriers like networking struggles, application fatigue, and interview nerves before landing their jobs. Pushing through repeated closed doors prepared them for the right opportunities.
Seeing beyond today’s disappointments to tomorrow’s possibilities keeps us progressing through closed doors.
Stories of Closed Doors Leading to New Opportunities
Fired NBA Coach Goes on to Greater Success
Getting fired can feel like the end of the world, but it often opens new doors. Just ask Erik Spoelstra, head coach of the Miami Heat. Early in his career as an assistant coach for the Heat in 2008, Spoelstra was promoted to head coach.
However, during his first two seasons, the team struggled and there was talk of firing him. In 2010, the Heat signed major stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh. With higher expectations, Spoelstra led the team to four straight NBA Finals appearances, winning championships in 2012 and 2013.
Getting fired could have derailed his career, but Spoelstra saw it as an opportunity to improve. As he said, “Sometimes the best education you get is through adversity and challenging times.”
Failed Entrepreneur Starts Billion Dollar Business
Success doesn’t always come easy. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx shapewear, failed her LSAT law school entrance exam twice before realizing law wasn’t her passion. She then took a job selling fax machines door-to-door, where she noticed women complaining about pantyhose rolling down.
This inspired her billion-dollar idea for Spanx. Despite her lack of experience, she spent two years researching and developing a prototype. When she first pitched the product to department stores, she was laughed at but kept persevering.
After Oprah named Spanx her favorite product, Sara’s business exploded. Sara’s story shows that failures and closed doors can lead to unexpected success if you believe in yourself and never give up.
Couple Adopts After Years of Fertility Struggles
For many couples struggling with infertility, a closed womb can feel devastating. However, it often opens the door to adoption and new blessings. When Brenda and Steve Andrews were told Brenda had only a 5% chance of conception, they were heartbroken.
After three emotionally painful years of tests and treatments, they decided to adopt. Soon they welcomed home a baby boy, Michael. Six months later they adopted Kristen. Though the process was difficult, Brenda said, “Going through infertility and then adoption shaped me into a different person, a better person.”
Though the couple was initially upset when God closed the door to pregnancy, they found new purpose and meaning expanding their family through adoption. As Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him.”
Tips for Coping When Faced with Closed Doors
Let Yourself Mourn the Loss
When a door closes in your life, whether it’s a job loss, a broken relationship, or a canceled major life event, allow yourself time to grieve. The Kubler-Ross model outlines 5 stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Walking through grief in a healthy way enables us to process setbacks and move forward.
Don’t ignore big emotions or distract yourself with busyness. Make space to cry, journal, talk to trusted friends, or speak with a counselor. Releasing emotions prevents repression and additional stress later on.
Look for the Lessons
After the initial mourning period, reflect on key lessons or silver linings that emerged. Career coach Lynn Berger suggests asking, “How did this experience help me grow as a person? What skills did I strengthen?” She highlights that even negative situations build resilience.
Sometimes closed doors protect us from poor fits or redirect us towards better aligned opportunities. Track insights in a journal to cement growth for the future.
Remain Open to New Possibilities
When one possibility ends, it allows fresh options to unfold. The nonprofit Open Doors states that nearly 60% of people who lost jobs during Covid-19 pivoted to entirely new careers. Approach major transitions as a chance to get creative.
Brainstorm new directions rooted in your values and transferrable abilities. Envision possibilities without self-limiting. New chapters lead to stimulating challenges and chances to impact communities in innovative ways.
Finding Your Purpose After Closed Doors
Listen to Your Intuition
When one door closes, it is important to quiet your mind and listen to your inner wisdom. Pay attention to the subtle signs and synchronicities that can guide you to your next open door. Intuition speaks through sensations, images, feelings or “knowings” that come from deep within.
If something feels right and resonates with your core values, then chances are your intuition is leading you there. Stay open and become an active listener.
Pay Attention to Signs
The universe often gives us signs to point us toward our life purpose and next open door. These signs can come in many forms – a song on the radio with a meaningful message, a stranger with wise advice, a dream with an important symbol.
Pay attention and you may notice the world aligning to guide your way. Keep a journal to record the signs and signals you receive. Over time, a direction will emerge.
Trust the Journey
It’s human nature to get discouraged when things don’t go as planned. But closed doors and detours are part of everyone’s hero’s journey. When we release the need to control outcomes and trust in the unfolding, space opens up for something even better than we imagined.
Know that you are being guided to discover your deepest gifts. Have faith that each twist and turn leads to wisdom and growth. Your purpose lies in embracing the journey.
As the saying goes: “When God closes one door, He opens another.” Meeting closed doors with openness, awareness and trust unlocks our highest potential.
Experiencing closed doors is painful but often necessary for growth. Seeing them as opportunities to find our true calling requires faith, courage and perseverance. By learning from our disappointments, listening to our intuition and trusting there’s a larger plan in store for our lives, we can turn closed doors into open windows.
What closed door in your past proved to be an unexpected blessing? What doors feel closed to you now, and what positive possibilities could they be hiding? With insight from those who have walked this path before us, we can move forward with hope into the bright unknown.