Thursday, March 4th, 2021

R Shopper Columns




A delightful couple told me I could share their story with you. Before they met each other, their lives had been filled with very painful experiences and failed relationships. Now, they were beginning a new chapter in their lives with someone who could love them unconditionally.

They talked about how they worked their way through those difficult times. She summarized their story by saying, "When one door closes, God opens another." For them, their new marriage and careers were their open door. Commenting on the closed door quote, I injected how the problem with many people is that when a door closes, they stand staring at the closed door. These people see themselves as victims by lamenting that life is not fair. Consequently, they miss the open door. She followed up by saying something I had never heard. She said, "Yes, they never feel the breeze."

Stop! And feel the breeze! When life closes a door, don't panic or despair because you will not feel the breeze of hope and new beginnings. To feel the breeze, we have to be still and listen to our inner voice and to the help others are offering.

Just like those lost in a cave found their way out by stopping to feel the breeze, when we stop to feel the breeze, we may find it leading us to an open door of opportunity and growth. After a death or divorce, many people have found the breeze leading to fulfill some dream that had been sitting on the back burner. For others the breeze has lead them to college and taking courses or finishing degrees they did not have time for in the past.

After her husband died, the breeze took a dear friend to seminary in order to become a minister and missionary to Haiti. Although her life changed in a painful way, she found a way of claiming new direction for her life. The breeze opened up a time for travel and experiencing things she could not do before.

We will not feel the breeze if we rush into making major decisions such as selling our home and moving. We don't want these decisions to be decided emotionally.

We will not feel the breeze by rushing into another relationship without healing and reflecting. Sometimes, the loneliness and broken heart are so painful that we try to "fix" them with another intimate relationship.

When we are lonely and hurting, we are vulnerable to others taking advantage of us. We have heard of people seducing friends under the disguise of caring. It is good to have a support system and caring people but we need to be aware of people taking advantage of us and of our own need to "fix" our heart and loneliness. The more we are aware, we have a better chance of healing.

Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through

Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700