I will admit to you right off that bat that this post has been really hard for me to write. Not because I have not come up with anything to say or because I am afraid no one will connect with it, but simply because what I am writing about is a daily battle for my heart and mind. This is not something I have even come close to overcoming, but with God’s sweet grace and comfort I know that I am not alone. (Praise Him for the Body!)
Disappointment. It is a sharp tool that the enemy loves to use to try and get me to stop trusting God. And wow, let me tell you, it works. More often than not in this last year, I have found myself feeling disappointed in my life’s circumstances because I had thought things were supposed to go one way and then life did a 180. I had felt qualified and even deserving of certain opportunities, but slowly watched with a hurt heart as doors closed with no chance of even fitting a sheet of paper in the doorway.
Time after time I felt like the world was out to get me and that no one had ever understood the pain of rejection in the way I was feeling. It was hard for me to celebrate the open doors that my friends and family had, and I certainly wasn’t even looking in the direction of my open doors. All I could do was look at the ones that were closed and feel as if the Lord had lost interest in me, like my plans were on halt so that I could be everyone else’s cheerleader. I knew He had plans for me, but what happened to them? Why did it seem like suddenly they were gone?
It was not until I had had enough of my “pity party for one” that my mind was still enough to hear the Lord speak. He told me in His word to “ Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” (Psalm 37:1-4).
All this time I had spent wondering where my plans were, and why they had not seemed clear, I was not delighting myself in the Lord. I was so bent on my own plans and ways that I lost sight of the One who holds me and cherishes me. One part of this scripture that I kept getting stuck on was the “wait patiently” part. Oh, how I did not want to do that! I felt like I had been waiting for so long for something, anything, good. He told to hold on just a little longer, and with The Lords strength I did – and God showed up big time. He provided me with an incredible opportunity to serve Him on my college campus and He restored my stubborn heart. None of this happened, however, until I surrendered my own plans to Him and submitted to His will.
So what the Lord is still teaching me in this season is that disappointment is not something that “happens to me”, rather it is a posture and attitude that I have allowed into my soul that pulls me further from the heart and will of God. Disappointment is a product of a controlling spirit and a mind bent on one’s own purposes. The saddest part is that it always leaves me feeling empty and more withdrawn from those around me who just want to help. This thing only ever has one outcome, in which there is no freedom. It leads you to resent others and grow seeds of bitterness towards them, while also blinding you from seeing the blessings that God has already given you.
So what should we do when we find ourselves feeling disappointed? Here are a few things:
- PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. – In any situation prayer must always be our first response. Pray that the Lord would show you the parts of your heart that may not be in sync with His will or truth. Make amends with those you may have hard feelings towards, and then pray for restoration and comfort. God is the author of gentleness and comfort and He is always waiting to provide these things to us.
- Make lists of things that the Lord has blessed you with be it a job, your loved ones, etc. Thank Him for the breath in your lungs and the health in your bones. All of these are beautiful gifts worth celebrating!
- Realize that trusting God does not require Him to give you the play-by-play. It is not called trust for no reason. Allow healing to happen by letting go of the plans that you think you may have. I promise you that Gods plans are way better. Trust Him without any strings attached and watch the beauty of His love for you unfold!
- Connect with others in the Body who will help point you back to the truth. Your brothers and sisters in Christ may be able to help you see your situation from a different angle.
Disappointment is absolutely a real struggle and can cause a lot of pain, and I am still struggling with it even as I write this to you. But if there is one thing that I have truly learned in this season it is this:
Jesus did not die and rise from the grave so that I would be crippled by rejection or disappointment. He died so that I would be free to live in the promises of His goodness; free to love others for their giftings and opportunities while accepting my own with thanksgiving and humility; free to fully enjoy my grace-soaked life with my Jesus.
Many blessings and kind love,