Yesterday, I talked to one of my dearest friends on the phone, and I just have so much to take away from our conversation that I want to share today.

My girl, KJ, is a dreamer and doer. She has these beautiful big dreams and goals for her life, but, like any human, they don’t always go how we expect them to. Recently, KJ received a “no” about an opportunity she had applied to and saved money for. She and her husband, Austin, had been very focused on this one specific opportunity for a while and, understandably, they were disappointed when the answer was not what they had hoped.

Yet, after KJ took time to grieve this closed door, she didn’t let herself wallow or remain in her sorrow. She didn’t victimize herself or all of a sudden think her life had no purpose. She didn’t despair, and instead, she set new goals and dreamed new dreams. 

Gratitude can turn a letdown into a lesson that redirects the trajectory of your life from what you thought you wanted to what you’re actually made for.  ~Jordan Lee Dooley

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 2.27.52 PMKJ and Austin used the money they had set aside for the original plan to celebrate their two-year anniversary with a 10-day trip to California. She also got to WORK and lost 20 pounds in 10 weeks – focusing on diet and exercise leading up to her California trip (like holy moly that takes some amazing discipline right there!!) When in California, KJ and Austin got to visit the most incredible sights, eat at extraordinary restaurants, and, KJ even befriended Emma Slater, the Dancing With The Stars Queen. (See KJ’s incredible ballroom dance performance with Emma on her Instagram here.)

So, from this no, KJ reached a weight-loss goal, took an amazing vacation to California, and is now friends with a celebrity ballroom dancer. CASUAL. She also told me that now she and Austin might even want to move to California instead of  what they’d originally planned, but they never would have known the possibility of this new place if they never had the chance to visit.

KJ took her no and turned it into a beautiful yes that opened new doors full of possibilities for the future. She flipped her point of view and became grateful for this closed door as she looked to the new ones it opened.

As author Kristen Strong says in her book Girl Meets Change,

By offering up your gratitude in all things, you are also showing how you trust God to use all things too.

I share this story because it really inspired me to consider how I respond when I get a “no” in life. Do I continuously feel sorry for myself? Or do I make the conscious choice to explore what doors are opening as this one has closed? Am I working toward a place where I can be grateful for this “no” as it leads me down an even better yes? Am I willing to have open hands and trust God with this closed door?

KJ has encouraged me to remain hopeful and grateful in the midst of closed doors. Seeing how God blessed her in the midst of disappointment because she made the choice to be grateful and hard-working inspires me to do the same. So, today, I encourage you, too, to be grateful for the closed doors in your life.

Who knows where they could lead you instead?

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