Monday, August 26, 2013

When God closes a door

I have a plaque, well actually, several different items, in my office that says, "When God closes a door, He always opens a window." The decorative plaque was a gift from a friend when she found out that I would be losing my job of 15 years in full-time ministry several years ago. When I left my last parish assignment, I was given a small painted stone with the same saying on it. Ironically, I received a wooden carving with the same phrase a few weeks ago when I celebrated my 50th birthday.  Typically, it is a saying that brings comfort to someone when he/she is facing a job loss, a death, a break-up, or some other type of disappointment. The recent one is a terrific reminder that GOD CLOSED the door on my old way of life....and opened a door to my future!

Yesterday, that phrase gave me much to ponder, but not because of anything overly difficult or any big loss; just an incident that occurred at church.  I went to Mass as usual and went to pick up the Eucharistic Minister schedule (for my non-Catholic friends, a Eucharistic minister assists with the distribution of communion) and I discovered that my name was not on the schedule. Hmm... I thought, a bit hurt and confused.  I wonder what happened? I approached the person making the schedule and discovered that she had made an error and erroneously left me out of the year-long rotation and replaced me with another volunteer.  There was an apology given, but no mention of any type of amends to get me added back on the schedule. Of course, I understood the mistake, but nonetheless, I was hurt and a bit upset. In fact, I was more that a bit upset; I was quite agitated. After all, It took me 5 years to get up the nerve to go back into any type of church ministry after being hurt so deeply several years ago, and I've been serving as a Eucharistic Minister now for the past year, never missing a scheduled day, always being dressed appropriately, and functioning with dignity and respect.  SO... now I'm supposed to just "sit out a year and wait??"  Apparently, I am.

During Mass, my mind was on this matter, but I kept trying to focus on the saying, and since I believe firmly that everything happens for a reason and that God is in control of my life, I must trust that there is a reason why this happened. Maybe someone in the parish will get ill and I'll need to be the replacement; maybe I'll suddenly be unavailable for that particular parish or mass; perhaps God has a bigger job for me to do; perhaps...... I don't know yet why this happened, but what I do know, is that "OLD THERESA" would have used the situation as an excuse to EAT to make her feel better. Old Theresa would have stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought a bag of chips or a bag of cookies. Old Theresa always used food to deal with any type of emotional situation.  I'm so glad that NEW THERESA doesn't live there anymore!  NEW THERESA dealt with it by taking a bike ride, working in the garden, and rationally recognizing it as a simple mistake. So many times, we turn to food to deal with life's disappointments and for any type of rejection, perceived or real. If we are to be truly successful on our journey to better health, we must learn to see food for what it is; fuel for our bodies, and not a reward or comfort.

I am so thankful that "GOD CLOSED THE DOOR on OLD THERESA when HE set me free....AND...HE CERTAINLY has been opening a lot of windows in my life lately! TO HIM BE THE GLORY!!!   When will you Close the door on your OLD WAY OF LIFE????

SO...When was the last time you felt a bit "out of sorts" because of something that happened in your life that didn't go just the way you had hoped, and how did you deal with it?  Certainly something to think about!