Amy Rees Anderson

When One Door Closes It Just Means There is Something More Beautiful Ahead

Tonight was an incredibly rough night at our house.  My daughter Ashley, who plays on her high school varsity basketball team, found out that she has a torn ACL and she is going to have to now undergo surgery to repair it, followed by six to nine months of rehabilitation to bring her knee back to working condition.  Basketball is a HUGE part of Ashley’s life and she has worked her guts out to be a good player.  She practices every day and works out religiously to hone her skills.  She loves the sport more than anything and she loves her teammates even more.  When we got the news tonight from the doctor that her ACL was, in fact, torn, we were so sad.  Ashley is just devastated.  She is not a crier in life, but tonight there were a lot of tears shed at our house as the realization and seriousness of her situation set in.  It caused all of us in our family to think about what was being lost and how the future would be different now. 

The surgery will put her out of commission totally for about ten days and then she will be on crutches for a very long period of time after that, with rehab for another six months or more to help strengthen her knee enough to function normally.  First and foremost it means that she is not going to be able to play the game of basketball that she loves with her whole soul for a long, long time.  Next it means she will have to deal with making up school work from her time out to have surgery as well as time out after surgery while she is totally laid up in bed.  It also means having to navigate the halls at school on crutches while attempting to carry her books to classes.  Next it means trying to keep up her grades in order to get into college while dealing with surgery, recovery, therapy while also trying to get past her disappointment of not being able to play ball with her team.  There is no question that Ashley is going to have a very long road ahead of her this upcoming year, both emotionally and physically and my heart just aches for her.  It tore me up to watch her crumble tonight.  As a parent I wish I could take the hurt away and go through it for her, but unfortunately life doesn’t work like that.  She will have to go through this experience on her own with us there to love and support her in any way we can.

Tonight as Ashley and I snuggled on our couch, she and I talked about the fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and sometimes when our lives turn upside down with a situation like the one Ashley is facing, there is more to it than we can even begin to realize.  I firmly believe that this hardship Ashley is facing is going to turn out to be something more positive and wonderful than either of us is capable of imaging right now.  I truly believe that when one door closes in our lives it is because God is trying to lead us down a different hallway – a much better hallway – a hallway that perhaps we would never have ventured down if we were not forced to by our life circumstances.  Ashley’s injury is going to force her down a different hallway in her life, and although none of us know why this is necessary or where the new hallway will lead, she and I both trust that God has His reasons, and that if we trust in Him and try to move forward with as positive an attitude as possible, with a hope for the best for the future, that the time will come when we look back at this situation and she will say “Now I understand!  And how grateful I am that God took me down this incredible new hallway, because had He not done that, I would never have known the beauty it would lead me to in my life.” 

I do trust that God has a plan for us and I am proud of Ashley for the faith she has in that as well.  Ashley is an amazing young woman.  She is the strongest, most courageous person that I know.  She is my hero and I admire her more than she will ever understand.  I know she will get through this struggle in her life.  I know that not only will she get through it, but she will inspire other girls to get through their tough times as well.  Ashley will take the empathy she gains through this experience and turn it to be a huge asset in helping other people.  I know that she will do that because she has done that her entire life. She takes every hard time and uses it to make her a better person and then she turns that strength outward to lift the lives of everyone around her.  We could all stand to be a heck of a lot more like Ashley in life – When I grow up I want to be just like her J.

I know that if we are willing to do our part and then put our trust in our Heavenly Father, He will help lead us exactly to the place that will bring us the most happiness and joy in life.   Of that I am certain.  So when one door closes, don’t fall apart and don’t let yourself focus on what has been lost; rather focus your thoughts on the new hallway ahead, and be confident that the direction it leads is more beautiful and amazing than you could ever imagine….because it will be….

~Amy

7 Comments

  • Chris Hamatake says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Ashley’s injury. I can’t imagine how it must be for her trying to process all of that or for you as a parent to watch you “baby” struggle with something huge like that. Like you said, though, God does have a plan and I absolutely know that He goes to a lot of trouble getting us to where we need to be in life.

    Growing up, all I ever wanted was to be a doctor. I spent almost 20 years of my life hoping and dreaming of that and working for that. And I got to a point where I realized that wasn’t going to happen for me. Having to let go of the only thing I’d ever dreamed of doing with my life was one of the hardest things I had struggled with up to that point. I had to totally re-evaluate everything, make new plans, new backup plans, etc. But I was able to look back on that fateful day (and I still can) and realize, man, I am so glad God knew what He was doing because the life I have now is so much better and I can do more good for my family than I would have been able to do if I were starting my residency right now. And all of that struggling between the world changing and the looking back phase all makes you stronger (I know it’s cliche but it’s true!!)

  • Heidi Harrison says:

    Ashley,
    I am so sorry to hear that you have gotten hurt. My son last year was hit by a car and had to have surgery on his ankle. He found the upside that a lot of cute girls helped him carry his books to class. With as darling as you are, I am sure that the boys will be lining up to carry your books.

  • kim says:

    Ashley, Sorry about the knee…. I know how difficult it is when your hurt/surgery is involved that you can’t play your favorite sport. During this summer I played softball for the company. I was about to leave to go camping when I cut finger bad to have stitches. I had to miss 1 game… It made me sad and I figured out how to bat and throw but was told not to play. On the upside I knew what the plan was for me to cheer on the team with out being in the game. Keep your chin up as you have great support at home. It will also make you a better person.
    Amy, you reminded me of my mother like she did when I was having a tough moment just being there is what a great parent should be. I strive to be with my son.

  • Jessika says:

    Ashley,
    When I read that your ACL is torn my heart broke a little for you 🙁 But what your mom is saying is exactly right! There have been so many times in my life when I’ve wondered why in the world bad things happen. But as life goes on (and it always does) I look back and realize that without those trials I could never be the person I am today! I am positive that this will turn out to be one of the biggest blessings in your life, even if you don’t find out why while still in this life. Who knows, maybe it might save your life! Thank you for your wonderful example to everyone you meet, you are a beautiful young woman!

  • Steph Featherstone says:

    Ashley,

    Injuries are never fun (I’ve had a few of them myself). My first semester of college I went to a dance and sprained my ankle. As a result I wasn’t able to be there when my nephew was born, something I was really looking forward to. Funny enough, the guy I liked actually carried my bag home for me, as I was on crutches and it’s a little difficult to carrry a shoulder bag with crutches. 😛

    Amy,

    I am impressed by the amount of faith you have in Ashley, and the incredible parent you are. I hope that when the time comes for me to have my own family, I can be just as awesome. 🙂

    I have every faith that whatever the reason it will all be worth it and you will be grateful for this trial.

    Keep smiling!

  • Anonymous says:

    Love you Ashley!

  • Parker Davis says:

    Hi, my name is Parker and I work at Mediconnect with Marie Miner who showed me this page! I have had some rough times in my life lately seeing as though I am trying to get on a mission soon… Which we all know what that means, Satan is comin after you.. I am amazed that Ashley already has such an incredible outlook on life. She chooses to see Heavenly Fathers hand in all things, rather than thinking that Satan is out to get her. I couldn’t really see that until I realized that if a young woman who goes through something as devistating as loosing the one thing she truely loves in life and still see God’s hand, then why can’t I? This world really needs more people like her. She is going to always be a rock for her family and friends, and even people like me that do not know her. Thank you for having such an impact just through your words.
    -Parker Davis

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