{Discerning God’s Will} When Doors Shut.

Posted on: October 12th, 2012 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments

I was reluctant to correspond with Anthony prior to my planned visit, but I found it was necessary in order to work out the details of the visit. We exchanged several letters as we awaited approval from the prison, each letter unearthing feelings I  unknowingly buried years before.

One day, I received a letter from the warden of the prison. As I opened it, I was sure it would be the approval I had been waiting for. Much to my surprise, however, I read the following:

Dear Ms. Coombs:

Your visiting application was forwarded to this office for consideration. Due to safety and security conserns for the institution because you are the victim’s daughter, we are not approving visiting privileges for you.


{Name Omitted}, Warden

I was confused. My application for visitation was denied. Did I hear God wrong? God called me to bring Anthony a bible. I was certain of this. But how would I be able to give him a bible without seeing him?

The following morning, I contacted the warden’s office and explained my motive behind the visit. “I assure you,” I said, “I have no desire to go there in a spirit of vengeance or anger. I simply want to bring him a bible and tell him that I forgive him.”

I was met with a stark, “No.” It was apparent that the warden had no desire to even  entertain the idea of approving my visit. Still, I knew what I knew. I knew it was God’s will for me to have contact, so I continued to seek avenues that could potentially overturn the warden’s decision.

Through all of this, Anthony and I were writing and were discussing possible avenues to explore. I spoke with patience and kindness to many within the prison system, explaining the situation, telling them that my only desire was to find closure and peace through forgiveness. I spoke with the warden’s supervisor, and then his supervisor’s supervisor. Still, nothing. Every alley I went down was a dead end. Every door that potentially provided hope was immediately shut. I took it to the top, as far as I could, but the decision remained. I would not be allowed in the prison.

At first, I couldn’t understand it, but as I grappled with what this meant, I finally came to understand that this thing was not going to go the way I thought it would. It wouldn’t be my plans that succeeded. It would be God’s. For whatever reason, I was assured of God’s will. I knew I was on the right path––despite the seemingly insurmountable roadblock––so I pressed on, knowing that God’s will would become clear along the way.

Jesus will call us to do many things in this life, none of which will be easy. Looking back, I now see and understand why God shut that door, for if I would have visited Anthony at that point in the journey. I would have never seen the healing and redemption that took place. It all would have been over before it even began. Jesus didn’t want me to have one, short conversation. He wanted me to have many, and this was only possible through the written correspondence that has taken place over the last two and a half years.

As you travel down your own path along side our King, know this: roadblocks do not always indicate that we are on the wrong path. Perhaps, Jesus wants more for you than you can even imagine.

{Roadblocks do not necessarily mean we’re on the wrong path.}

What roadblocks have you encountered along your journey?

Leave a comment!

If you’re interested in reading some of my earlier posts related to my journey toward forgiving and loving my enemy, click on the links below.

Bounty Through Obedience

{Forgiveness} But I’ve Already Done That

{Forgiveness} Why We Forgive – Part 1

{Forgiveness} Why We Forgive – Part 2

{Love Your Enemy} The Letter

{Love Your Enemy} Pray Like the Dickens!

{Love Your Enemy} When the Path is Unclear