What Does BRAVE Look Like When the Door is Closed?

It’s Day 27 of “100 Days to Brave”!

I wish I could write more frequent updates about this journey, but I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I just can’t fit blogging into my life right now in the same way I did when I started Braver Than Before. Currently, my little family is in our second week of a full summer of working out at camp—and while things are going extremely well, it’s a whole new normal to adjust to!

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But I am grateful for the experience and excited to be catching a few moments this evening to jot down some of my thoughts on today’s “Be Brave” challenge. The reading for today was all about closed doors—the fact that we all come face to face with closed doors at times in our lives—and the reality that being brave sometimes means accepting and embracing that those doors are closed (and choosing to willingly look elsewhere for an open one).

So today’s challenge was to write about a door that has closed in my life. Like most of you, I’ve come up against a number of closed doors over the years. But today I’m writing about a more recent one.

Adoption.

I don’t understand it. It doesn’t seem like this door should ever close for a family that wants to adopt. In my mind, this door should be permanently propped open for loving families who want to expand through adoption. And I don’t know if God has closed this door forever (I hope not). But I do know that right now, for us, it is closed.

This was a hard pill for Ryan and me to swallow. We were under the impression that if we had a biological child, this would cause our adoption profile to be put on hold for a year after the birth, but that we would maintain our position on the adoption wait list. But unfortunately, we were misinformed.

When we told the agency that I was pregnant with Avra, they informed us that our profile would be put on hold until our baby was born… at which point they would close our file permanently. If we ever wanted to pursue adoption again, we would first have to wait until a year after our baby was born and then basically start from scratch.

That hurt. Obviously, we were over the moon excited for our baby to be born. But we were also so emotionally invested in the adoption process and really believed that it was a calling. Adoption was our first choice. It was never a back up plan. It was a door that we wanted to walk through. And having our file completely closed on us was kind of like the very abrupt closing of a door in our face.

We are not in any way ungrateful. We are VERY aware of how spectacularly blessed we are to be Avra’s parents. She was a God-inspired choice too. She was also not an accident, a surprise, or a back-up plan. She is a dream come true, and we can’t possibly imagine life without her. We will be forever grateful that God opened up the door for Avra to come into our family. But we are also aware that this closed a different door. One that we would have liked to walk through together. And for now, we have had to let go of that dream.

I know that it is possible that God will reopen this door someday. I still believe that it was God who put the dream in our hearts in the first place. And maybe it was just a part of His process to prepare us for parenthood. Maybe there were lessons that He wanted us to learn along the way that we wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Or maybe He had some other reason that I just don’t know.

But for now, here we are. In this moment, the door is closed.

Sometimes God does that. Sometimes He closes doors that we think should be open. Doors that lead to good places—things that you’d think He would want you to do! Or doors that you really just want to be able to walk through. Doors that lead you closer to home, or maybe further from home. Doors that lead to new opportunities, exciting adventures, or the man/woman of your dreams!

But the door is closed, and it doesn’t seem to make sense. And like Annie F. Downs writes in “100 Days to Brave”, sometimes being brave is about seeing a closed door, getting creative and finding a way to charge right on through. “Sometimes.” But very often, being brave is about accepting the fact that the door is closed. Choosing to embrace the fact that God is in control, and believing in the promise He gives us in Proverbs 3:6, which says, “in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Right now you might be looking at a closed door in your life. And if that’s the case, I am sorry. Looking at a closed door stings. But I want to encourage you today to be brave. Be brave enough to believe that God is bigger than that closed door. Not only can He open another door (or even reopen the one that is currently closed), but if you choose to submit to Him, He promises that He will make your path straight—meaning that He will lead you to exactly where you need to be. And the truth is… that He knows where that is better than any of us do.

Sometimes I think all we see is the doors. The doors we want to walk through. The doors we don’t want to walk through. The doors that scare us. The doors that excite us. The doors that we think will lead us to our happily ever after.

Sometimes I think we forget that there is something waiting on the other side of those doors that we can’t see.

But there is someone who can see. God can. And He’s got this.

So take heart. Believe.

And be brave.

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