Avoiding Worrisome Walls

Avoiding Worrisome Walls

“And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.” Isaiah 25:12

The imagery of doors I introduced last week developed further, and I realized that if I failed or even delayed to face these difficult decisions—these doorways—they would become something more imposing.

They would become walls.

Walls become more enduring barriers and must be removed; they cannot simply be opened like doors. If doorways were left unaddressed, they could become solid walls. Strongholds. Dangerous barriers. Infections in my soul.

As I walked through door after door, I have found myself on several occasions facing the door from the inside of my marriage looking out. There were doors to force open to walk into pain, but there were other doors from which to walk out, as well. The daunting realization rising within me is I had to walk out of the door of my marriage. A painful door, indeed. Avoid these doors and walls appear.

One such occasion was after revisiting Bar Harbor, Maine. I stayed in the very cottage where Kim and I stayed thirty-six years before. As I completed my visit to Maine and prepared to head to the airport, I realized I was walking out the door of my cottage. It was so much more than just a simple door of a cottage. I was taking another step—walking out a door—in the journey to say goodbye. I was walking out another door representing a wonderful marriage. I had packed and was standing at the cottage door. I hesitated. I turned back to the room, and I quietly said, “Goodbye, Kim.” Familiar tears came for another visit to my eyes. These doors are painful but necessary. They must be met with courage. Or walls will rise up.

Call it a fear of fear, but I dug deep for the courage to face difficult doorways ahead of me. Mostly. I realized I needed to prevent the formation of walls. Worrisome walls.

As I’ve thought through this imagery of doors, I have been reminded that Jesus used the same imagery. Different message, but it was a door all the same.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Admittedly, my scenario is very different than opening a door to Jesus’ offer of salvation; however, Jesus uses the imagery of a door that we must open to him. It’s similar when facing grief and loss. Opening the doors is our responsibility. There are painful doors that must be opened. For every courageous step I took to open a door, it was as if Jesus joined me and comforted me. The door that I opened to him years ago, helped me face these daunting doorways.

“Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease…” Charles Wesley, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

Grace met grief. Beauty met pain. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Doors must be opened, and worrisome walls must be avoided. He will walk with us through every door of pain.

I am so grateful he invited me to open that first door, the door of salvation. He now gives me courage to walk through every painful door so that I avoid worrisome walls.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6


  1. Annette

    Good morning. God pushes us beyond what we think we are capable of, thankful He is there to guide and to hold me (us) up! I pray as we navigate the grief journey we each will be more resilient and open to accepting His plan for our lives. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in a the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 Be blessed my dear brother.

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Annette. He is doing a new thing in the form of new work in my life.

  2. Anonymous

    Thank you for following the mission that the Lord is leading you through these days.

  3. Anonymous

    There were doors I would have rather left firmly closed, even bolted, if I could have…lost opportunity…

    There was one door in particular. I have two very close friends who lost their husbands through cancer; one a year before my husband’s death, and one, a year after my husband’s death. We’ve often talked about the nature of our scenarios. They had literal months to talk with their spouses, to say things that needed to be said…. with a sudden, unexpected death, there was no such chance…. there were things I “longed” had been said! A quite difficult door to acknowledge, open, walk through, and come to terms with on the other side… Nonetheless, Jesus was there to compassionately walk me through the pain and regret, towards healing… keeping the solid walls from forming into a tomb….the insight from this experience has been manifold. Praise His GRACE!

    • D. Ray

      What a journey you’ve been on. Press on.

  4. Anonymous

    Thanks D Ray! You as well! I just wondered… every journey has a beginning and an end… when do we know we’ve completed the journey? In the meantime, We do press on…

    Thank you!


    • D. Ray

      My guess is that the journey continues, but the scenery begins to change. It’s like driving through a valley and all the sudden you begin to notice mountains. Journeys continue, scenery changes. We move forward but not away. Instead, we are marked by our journey and continue to walk by faith.

  5. Anonymous

    D. Ray, as one who is almost 19 years post loss, I agree with your assessment. I remember quite well the moment some time after my first husband’s death that, as I read Psalm 23, I realized that the Scripture says “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death….”. It was as though the Lord pointed out the “walk”. I had been camping in that valley and it was time to walk through it. A bit of healing took place that day. Yes, there is still sorrow from time to time, especially at special family events, but I am walking, by God’s Grace. Blessings to you on this journey.

    • D. Ray

      Thank you for bringing that Psalm 23 lesson to this discussion. Walking through the valley is very different than stopping and camping. Thank you!

  6. Anonymous

    I understand, and press on through each door, always tearfully, but pressing forward. First anniversary of her graduation coming up in 3 weeks. Courage.

    Mike Murphy

    • D. Ray

      Yes, Mike, that first year mark is a huge door. Praying for you as I reply to your message.

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