I was both excited and nervous to speak to the two hundred plus women at a luncheon that day. I rose early to go over my notes, made breakfast for my family, drove my second grader to school and returned home with my toddler to finish preparations.
After choosing an outfit, applying makeup, styling my hair and spritzing a quick dab of perfume, I felt ready to face the day. Twenty-month-old Molly, dressed and ready to go, was quietly playing in her room across the hall. Proud of the fact that we were both ready with an hour to spare, I decided to read to Molly until it was time to leave. It was when I turned the handle to her bedroom door that I realized she had somehow locked it from the inside.
Trying not to panic, I kept my voice calm and low. “Molly honey, just turn the little button on the doorknob for Mommy. See that little button on the doorknob there? Just turn it like you did before.”
She had never locked her bedroom door before and seemed completely clueless as to what I was talking about. I kept repeating my instructions and she kept trying to open the door by simply turning the knob. Twenty minutes later I felt the panic starting to rise. Palms sweating, heart pounding and thoughts racing, I ran to the basement to try to find some kind of tool that would help me open the lock.
Three tools and fifteen minutes later, I could hear the clock ticking inside my head. I pictured the two hundred women gathered for a luncheon where there would be no speaker. I pictured my little girl on the other side of the door wondering why I didn’t open it for her. I pictured how calm and organized I had felt earlier that morning. I pictured my Molly lying on the floor with her blanket, tired from trying to open a door she couldn’t open. I pictured all of it and wanted to cry!
Finally, I decided I wasn’t going to be able to handle this on my own and called my husband. I knew he was probably having a busy day at work but I was desperate. He jumped in the car, sped home, quickly grabbed a screwdriver and proceeded to take the door off its hinges. It was honestly something I wouldn’t have thought of doing and even if I had I’m not sure I would have been strong enough to keep the door from falling in on my child. Hero to the rescue!
I quickly scooped up my daughter, grabbed the diaper bag, my purse and notes and drove as fast as the law would allow across town to the hotel ballroom where I was scheduled to speak. When I told those ladies how very GLAD I was to be there that day, it wasn’t just a standard opening line. It was very much the truth!
It may be time to consider knocking down the door that divides!
Looking back on that day, I realize what a picture that whole scenario could be for so many instances in our lives when we are blocked from attaining our goals. Is there a relationship with a loved one that is hindered in some way? Is there a wall that divides you and God from the spiritual intimacy you desire? Is there something keeping you from realizing fulfillment in your chosen career path? If so, it may be time to consider knocking down the door that divides!
One of the secrets to opening your door of success may be getting the right help. I could have struggled with my inept abilities and inappropriate tools for an entire day and still would not have gotten that bedroom door open. I’m a highly independent person but three things caused me to lay down my self-sufficiency that day: The first is that one of my dearest treasures on earth was behind that door. The second is that I had a commitment to keep. And the third is that I am a person who is not willing to accept defeat.
What treasure is waiting for you on the other side of your locked door? And what radical means are you willing to employ to gain access to what lies on the other side? I guarantee you that if my husband had not been available to tear the door down that day, I would have assembled a group of neighbors, called the fire department, the police department or borrowed an ax to chop the door handle off if necessary! I WOULD find a way to get to my little girl. A mother’s instinct would allow no other option.
What treasure is waiting for you on the other side of your locked door?
Sometimes our need for resolution must be propelled by desperation. There’s a story recorded in scripture of a woman who was plagued with a disease that caused her to continually bleed. She had dealt with this same issue for years and no doubt had reached a point of “I’ll do anything to find relief from my situation”. The thing separating her and her possible healing was the great throng of people amassed around Jesus. But scripture says that she PRESSED THROUGH the crowd. For a weakened woman who had been losing blood for several years this was surely no small task. But she had determined to tear down the door separating her and the thing she most desired. Her efforts were rewarded as she touched the hem of The Lord’s robe and was instantly made whole. What beautiful part of life is awaiting on the other side of your door and what are you willing to do to get to it?
I am friends with a precious couple in their fifth decade of marriage who so wonderfully model the art of commitment. Their story, featured on a national news affiliate, has since circulated widely on the internet. When the crippling effects of Alzheimer’s locked the door on part of Mel Amrine’s mind, he was still determined to keep his commitments to his lovely wife, Doris. So on Mother’s Day, as he had always done every year since she had birthed the first of their three children, Mel set out to buy her flowers.
The police found him several hours later wandering lost and alone. When they tried to take him back to his house, Mel became very agitated and upset, insisting that he couldn’t go home without flowers for Doris. He had TOLD her she would have flowers every year and he HAD to keep his commitment! The two officers eventually gave in to his pleas and took him to buy the flowers, even pitching in for the few dollars he was lacking to cover their cost. Although Mel didn’t have the tools or the ability to open the locked door of his memory, he found a way to tear that door down to keep a commitment to his beloved wife.
Now Mel lives in a facility where his safety is certain and his needs are met. But every single day his lovely wife Doris arrives for lunch to assist him with eating and to provide him companionship. In a society where commitment has become optional and fidelity fleeting, their story is the Gold Standard, the Pulitzer Prize and the Academy Award all rolled into one! I love that they have each found a way to tear down the door that could have divided them at this stage in their lives. My respect for them both is immense.
In a society where commitment has become optional and fidelity fleeting, their story is the Gold Standard
Randy and Amy Lively are another couple who have my deepest respect. Pregnant with twin boys, they envisioned their sons growing up together as competent and competitive athletes, coupled with the cuteness of being twins. However, their lives took a different turn when, at 27 weeks Amy delivered their boys prematurely. One son did not survive. The other was born with cerebral palsy. But rather than allowing a door that had closed on their future to define their lives, the Lively family decided to live up to their name!
This family is “lively” in every way imaginable! Witty, charming, loving and fun, Randy and Amy, with the assistance of outside resources, have found multiple ways for their son Justin to enjoy an exciting and fulfilling life. At age seventeen, Justin is preparing for college and what lies beyond. He enjoys cheering his younger brother on in sports, recently appeared on a local TV station to promote a summer camp he attends, has a boundlessly optimistic attitude and a wicked sense of humor! I so admire that this family found a way to tear down the door of disability and disappointment and absolutely refuse to live in defeat. They amaze me every single day!
With the help of my six-foot-four-inch-hunk-of-a-husband, I left a gaping hole where a door had been the day that I was scheduled to speak. Since then there have been many more difficult “invisible doors” which have threatened to block me from the blessings God intended for me to have. But I am relentless in my pursuit of His best for my life, relying on the promise found in the book of Matthew, “Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you,”. And some days, you simply have to tear the door down!