Closing Doors Open New Opportunities

That Door That Just Closed In Your Face Is Setting You Up For Greater Things To Come

Sometimes, we have to lose something to gain something greater.

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Break-ups are hard. Ending friendships are hard. Goodbyes are hard. Sometimes, we question why doors have to close, not realizing until we're stuck in the aftermath that it closed for something better.

This past week, one of my best friends said something that really stuck with me. Something that I have really been reflecting on. He began talking about how had he and his girlfriend not broken up, he would not have developed such deep friendships with me and our other amazing friends this past summer.

In his exact words: "God really does take people out of your life to bring better people in."

What a wise and honest statement. Sometimes, we can be so focused on the negative or the "closing door," that we aren't taking notice of all the wonderful things that it led to.

Every door was meant to be open. Each door that you open is a part of your own individual journey and you should never be ashamed of that; however, not every door was meant to remain open. And most times, it is because there is a greater door waiting for you. You have always had the key, you just didn't realize it.

This goes for relationships, friendships or simply everyday life. Not every person that you meet will remain with you through the end of your journey. But more times than not, when they walk away, someone or a group of people are waiting to stand by you.

That's what happened this summer. Just a group of friends, all going through different things, experiencing closing doors who found one another. Life takes unexpected turns.

Sometimes, we lose something or someone and we aren't in search for anything else. But sometimes, when we aren't in search for anything else, something else is in search for us.

I think my friends and I were searching for one another this summer, it just took a few closed doors to open the one that would lead us to where we are now. I have never felt more loved by a group of people, and I am so thankful for that.

It's amazing how such a simple statement can cause you to reflect on so many things. I never considered how accurate what he said was; had he and his girlfriend not broken up, none of us would be the group that we are today.

I now notice that with many things. So many doors have been opened for me due to me losing something else. At the time, it was hard, but now, I'm grateful.

Many people experience this. Feeling like they can never catch a break. One door closes only for another to close, but I promise you, no amount of closed doors will ever defeat the one amazing door that will be waiting for you.

You never know the amazing opportunities you will be offered, or the amazing people you meet whenever you finally allow a closed door to stop dictating your life, but instead, allow a new one to appear.


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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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My Favorite Teacher From Elementary Through High School

This teacher inspired me in way I could've never imagined at such a young.

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I've had some incredible teachers while growing up. Teachers are there to help students learn and grow into a mature and knowledgeable adult. When you're a kid, you don't acknowledge this.\

When I was a little girl, I came to school with the mindset of having fun. Of course, that's not what school is about, but in elementary school teachers try and mix studies and fun together so the kids don't lose interest. In the third grade, I can't recall a single day where I wasn't excited to come to school. A big reason for that is because of my teacher, Mr. Woods.

I remember how nervous I always got as a kid when I moved up a grade and was assigned a new teacher. I had no clue what to expect and if they would like me or not. When I got to know Mr. Woods and his teaching ethic, I grew more and more comfortable in his class. He helped me grow out of any shell I was hiding behind and show my true self. I can't even begin to count the number of times he let me come to the front of the class and read all the random stories I wrote any time I wanted.

His energy and passion for his job show through every lesson he taught us, kids. I don't think I would be writing this right now if it wasn't for his motivation. As a kid, I never fully processed all he did for me. He always managed to make sure my class and I were okay. He cared about us kids, and I could never repay him for all the things he taught me, academically and as a person.

I had the pleasure of going back to my elementary school the day before my graduation for a ceremony. Kids who were graduating this year were allowed to come back and we were honored. We were shown to the elementary kids, hoping to inspire them to further their academics. On the way to the school, I was joking with my mom saying, "I was Mr. Woods' favorite kid, of course, he will love to see me back!" to which then my mom would say, "Oh please I bet he doesn't even remember your name." So when I got to the school I was excited but nervous. When the lady at the mic told the current teachers to stand up, Mr. Woods yelled for me. It was a moment for the teachers to be acknowledged, but instead, he yelled, "Hi Paige!" I visited Mr. Woods every year I could at least once, but I never thought it meant anything. That day, I saw him crying,

I know he was proud of all of us. It's because he is someone who cares about his current and past students well being. He is the epitome of a great teacher.

He cheered for me once again when I was called up individually. When I got to walk the halls one final time, he gave me the biggest hug I've ever received. I got to visit him when everything was finished and give him a gift. He asked about me, let me talk to his students. If I could go back and relive through the third grade I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Never in my life could I ever repay all that he's done for me. He helped me grow into the person I am today and pushed my passion for writing. He is absolutely incredible, and I always wish the best for him. I went through middle school and high school waiting for someone else to become my favorite teacher and while I had many good experiences, no one really compares to the impact Mr. Woods had on me. I'm forever grateful for him. I always will be.

Never take your teachers for granted, the giant majority of them just want what's best for you. Certain people touch people's hearts in different ways. Mr. Woods made an everlasting memorable impression in my life.

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