When we're meant to change direction, the universe starts shutting doors.
September 2008. Five months since we'd relocated to a Chicago suburb from Chennai, India. I was applying for jobs everywhere, but ran into a wall every time. America was in the grip of a recession and the economy was in terrible shape.
Finally, a glimmer of hope. An organization that trained people in Business English Communication was looking for trainers. A work-from-home position. Well, the universe was dropping this position, tailor-made for me, right into my lap.
This is exactly what I'd been doing in India. I was a Cambridge-certified Business English trainer for the British Council. My job was to go into IT companies and train their employees in 4 areas of business communication: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
The company I was applying to didn't care for my fancy certification. They required me to take a sample grading test to prove my skill level. I had three tries. If I passed, I'd be hired.
I ALMOST LAUGHED. THREE TRIES??!! I DIDN'T NEED MORE THAN ONE.
I reviewed the course materials they sent me and took the test.
I must've made some silly errors, I rationalized.
I took the test a second time and...failed again. You guessed it. The final try was no different. Fail, fail, fail.
I stared at the email I received from the company, my tears blurring the words: You have not been chosen...
When my husband returned home from work that evening, I was still in shock. How could this be happening??!! I'd been the British Council's best trainer, always in demand, and often had to turn down training opportunities so I didn't overextend myself.
As I lay my head on my husband's shoulder, tears spilling from my eyes, I don't know why I said these words. "I don't understand why this is happening, but when God closes a door, He opens a window somewhere."
Looking back on that time, I see it clearly. That door had to shut in order for other doors to open. Or, I'd have continued doing the thing I was good at, knew how to do, and was confident about.
I know this now. When the universe shuts a door, it's not personal. Something is meant to come to an end. Something new is ready to begin.
Next week, I'll share more about the door that opened for me. It was the perfect door.
What are the closed doors you're struggling with? How can you lean into a new perspective about the closed door?
If you enjoyed this story, my book Losing Amma, Finding Home is chock full of stories about how I received my purpose through the worst pain I endured. Click the orange button below.
Sending you big hugs!