Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

                                                                                                                       Proverbs 19:21 NASB


In my book In a Mirror Dimly, one of my favorite stories was entitled, “My Plans, His Plans.” On a trip to the beautiful coast of Maine I saw a sign in front of a little church there. It said, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!”

I’m in an interesting time of my life now. After so many years of relative stability and “permanence,” major changes are all around me. Some things were torn away; some others I’ve had to move on from. Plans that I had counted on for many years were suddenly trashed. Doors closed.

After Sally’s death I was certain that I’d be moving to our place in the mountains of western North Carolina. We’d had it for many years, it was comfortable and I had friends there. In the summer I made a trip there planning to spend four weeks. On day three I was clinically depressed; she was everywhere there! She had chosen and placed almost every piece of furniture, her perfume permeated our bedroom, the bathroom cabinets were filled with her things. On day six I left there and drove back to Louisiana. Several months later, I made the decision to move here to Nashville to be with family. A door closed.

Soon after I moved here, my son and his family traveled back to North Carolina with me to “clean out” our house. It was more difficult than I could have imagined, but I made the decision to sell it. A door closed.

I made several trips back to Louisiana. But something major had changed. I no longer felt “at home” there. Being alone in that house was more painful than I could have ever imagined. On my last trip I decided to come back “home” here in Tennessee two days early. A door closed.

My children and I have finally decided to sell that house where we lived together and raised our family for over 40 years. So many thoughts, so many feelings. A door closed.

Over the past 11 months I’ve seen someone very special here. She was introduced by a close friend. For both of us this was to be companionship – someone to enjoy dinners and conversation, but really nothing more. But then we each began to notice a change. And in six weeks she will be Mrs. Michael Fleming!

Helen Keller once said, “Often we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one that has been opened for us.”

It took me nearly three years of closing doors before I saw the new door that God had opened for me. Now He’s opening new doors for the new “us” everywhere! His plans.



2 Comments on “Doors”

  1. Hi, Michael,
    This blog is beautiful. I also know about doors opening and closing! I was married for 25 years and suddenly I found myself going through divorce after my ex had found “another”. We had 2 beautiful kids (boy and girl…both ” miracle” babies as I was told by 4 drs. I could not have kids!)
    It was during my on-going divorce period that I met my current hubby who was also going through divorce after 31 yrs of marriage. I had prayed for years for my “ex” to love the Lord and his church…but for whatever reason, it never happened. My husband, Wayne completely loves the Lord and it is wonderful to have a spouse pray with you and read Scripture together! What a blessing! We know how the Lord feels about divorce, so it’s hard for us to understand why he brought us together, but we KNOW He allowed it.
    I am now 66, but I have known the McMillen family since 6th grade. We attended Two Rivers Baptist Church together…and I even dated David (Debby’s brother) a few times. Her parents were so sweet and everyone just loved them.
    I’m so very glad that the Lord has brought you both together “as such a time is this”.
    Debby and I have been distant friends on fbk, but we live and work in different towns ( I live in Murfreesboro and rarely come to Nashville). Please know that I will be asking the Lord to prepare your hearts and minds as you seek to become man and wife.
    With love and blessings,
    Carole Cox Flansburg

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