Monday, 21 September 2015

Vicar's Sofa - When One Door Closes

Have you ever had one of those moments where you realise with a crashing certainty that life is working out nothing like you thought it would? It can be pretty darn crappy eh? But this week I have been really inspired on this topic by a new book I am reading by Sally Donovan called No Matter What. It has reminded me of this phrase, slightly doctored from the original, but that I very often have running through my mind – 'When one door closes climb through the open window!'

Rather than simply 'When one door closes another one opens' suggesting you climb through the open window means saying 'stuff this!' when things don't go to plan and instead looking, actively looking, for what opportunities this new situation is presenting. And that sometimes what opens up as a result of a door slammed in your face is even better than the thing you were seeking in the first place.

But apologies, I am getting ahead of myself - Sally's book. Ahh, it is just wonderful! It is one of those books that leaves a mark on you long after you have read it. It is autobiographical and tells the story of Sally and her husband learning that they cannot have children and deciding upon the path of adoption. It charts the ups and downs of their journey to parenthood as they take in two children who have lived early lives of such neglect and tragedy that it makes you weep.

Like pretty much all of us they had it all planned out, Of course life would give them what everyone else seemed to acquire so easily and parenthood would occur naturally and easily. Sally charts so well the process of grieving and letting go of what we assume will just be in life and trying to find that open window then the door has slammed well and truly shut.

I just find this hugely inspiring. Their journey, though not what they would have chose, nothing short of saves these children. It gives them a home and a future. What Sally and her husband do is incredibly brave, incredibly generous and incredibly moving. They are ordinary people who climb through that open window and discover that on the other side is the fulfilment they were craving and a life infused with meaning even if it was never what they could have imagined.

You don't have to be thinking about adoption to get a huge amount from this book. It is simply a poignant reminder that life is only as closed off as we make it. I'm reminded again that if a door is closing look for the open window and climb on through it. There might be something wonderful and unexpected on the other side.

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