I will be the first to admit that I don’t like to be told no. By anyone. Or, hearing ‘Not now, you will just have to wait.’ Ugh!!! I don’t know what it is about being told no that just seems to push my buttons and can at times just piss me off…(depending upon the circumstances.)
I know that life is tough and I will not always get what I want out of life, but it’s still tough for me sometimes learning to deal with disappointment in a Christ like manner.
Disappointment is a fact of life. We all face disappointment in our lives, sometimes on a daily basis. It isn’t always easy to be the best version of our selves when we are overcome with disappointment; especially when we have had a lot of disappointment in our lives.
For me, I know I am usually disheartened about disappointment for about a full day… maybe more depending upon the circumstances. I try extremely hard though to not let the negativity within my mind to go too far into my disappointment. I know myself pretty well, and I know that I’m gonna ‘stew’ for about 24 hours on said disappointment, and then I’m gonna try to let it go.It’s just not worth holding onto it longer than that.
But being able to to do this has not been an easy journey. I use to ‘stew’ over disappointment for days, weeks and sometimes I would hold onto the disappointment and it would turn into anger. Do you know what happens to anger when you hold onto it? It turns into an ugly, nasty word… bitterness, and then bitterness can give way to resentment.
I don’t like to admit this to people, but I had a long history of anger issues, so disappointment, bitterness, resentment and I know each other well. Long story short; my parents divorced when I was in the third grade and my Air Force father was not part of my life, even though he lived 20 minutes from me growing up. I grew up with a lot of disappointment, which turned into anger, bitterness and resentment.
I didn’t grow up going to church. I didn’t grow up a trusting person. I wasn’t one of those girls that had other girls as their BFF’s in school. No, not me. I have never been a very trusting person. Even though I may share a lot of my personal stuff sometimes, it doesn’t make me trusting…it just shows how vulnerable I can be.
Growing up always being told, ‘don’t expect anything good to happen, because then you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen,’ is not a very positive outlook. This was the way it was in my house when I was growing up. So, as I continued to be disappointed as an adult, and even as I became a baby Christian (many, many years ago) I continued to struggle with how to deal with disappointment.
It wasn’t until around 2001-2002 when I got back in touch with my father by writing him a letter forgiving him for not being part of my life, did things change within me and my relationship with Christ.
Now, 16 years later and my father is deceased. Although I am glad that he and I repaired our broken relationship, it wasn’t the type of relationship that I would have wanted with a father. It is still very hard for me to think about, but I am just glad that things were repaired and I know that I will see him again one day.
Dealing with disappointment for me today, is much easier than it use to be. Because I know now that things aren’t always as they may seem; things aren’t always going to be this way; things may be difficult today, but in five minutes it could be better; this thing that is difficult right now may not be as difficult next week; but most importantly I know that God has a reason for these difficult issues, and I know that this because:
Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a]for those who are called according to his purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Moving forward daily with disappointments is much easier knowing that God has my back, even when I am totally pissed off at whatever. I know God knows what I am dealing with, and it is so good to know that I can trust God to always be there for me.