Sometimes life is disappointing. We can do everything we know to do and hold on to
everything we believe to be true, but sometimes people will let us down, or our plans won’t work out, or the thing that seemed so perfect suddenly becomes abundantly imperfect. It’s part of the
human experience… dealing with the unplanned, uninvited moments when we’re left wondering why we dared to hope.
Here are a few things I’ve gleaned from disappointment that I hope will help you survive disappointment with your soul intact.
1.Disappointment is an effective teacher. Don’t waste the experience. Glean from it perspective or truth that inevitably hides inside every maddening moment of disappointment.
2. Disappointment does not make you a fool. It just doesn’t. You wanted to believe the best and that’s a good thing. Don’t lose that adventurous spirit. You’ll need it to carry on.
3. Disappointment does not make everyone else a fool. People are flawed and so are you. Don’t let a chip on your shoulder rob you from the experience of being able to extend grace.
4. Most disappointments aren’t even about us… they’re about our expectations. We can’t control life, but we can examine whether or not our expectations are realistic.
5. We are not defined by our disappointments. That said, experiences that dash our hopes can be defining moments. We can either shrink away from
really living because of some person or circumstance we couldn’t have changed anyway, or we can let the experience build our determination to be a person who can be counted on.
6. Disappointment makes heaven sweeter. When you live on a fallen planet with human beings, things are going to get messed up, even among good people. When that reality comes crashing down, imagine the day when you will fall into the arms of God with the relief that comes from knowing you finished the race well. In heaven, there will be no disappointment. Count on that.
7. Expressing the pain of your disappointment through art, music, writing or other creative works can be therapeutic and, ironically, can produce the most inspired, passionate work you will ever do. Instead of fighting the pain, capture it creatively and it might actually help others! At the risk of sounding opportunistic, I have friends who did this and wrote award-winning books and/or songs. Go figure!
8. Don’t be sucked in by the blame game. We can point fingers all day long when we’ve lost our faith in someone or something, but placing blame is not conducive to healing. Spewing venom about who is “most” to blame is unfruitful, fuels frustration and hinders us from moving on.
9. Dealing with disappointment is disheartening; but it’s especially devastating if your sense of well-being rests in the hands of other
people or circumstances. I urge you to not to give people or circumstances that kind of power over you. They can’t handle it and neither can your heart.
10. All the disappointment in the world cannot change God’s nature. He knows how much we can handle and He uses difficult circumstances to shape us in ways that nothing else could have. His love drives everything and can heal anything. Anything!
As much as I hope you will never need this little disappointment management guide, life will most likely deal you a harsh blow before it’s over (unless you’re reading this from Heaven.. and if you are, please comment below because I’ve got some questions!)
Disappointment never feels good, but faith is not about how we feel… it’s about Who we trust. Trials tend to blaze a path through which we become more purified and more prepared to face whatever lies ahead.
Who knows? Some disappointments might happen just so we can “trade up” to a better plan… perhaps the one that was meant for us all