Dealing with Disappointment

It’s happened to all of us.  We’ve looked forward to this or that.  We’ve built up anticipation, we’ve dreamed and conjured all sorts of images in our minds and imagined what it would feel like, look like if only what we wished for came true.  
I know that I have a VERY active and techni-colour imagination – I can paint a picture in my mind that is so real that it appears as if I could reach out and touch it, only to have it vaporize before I can actually feel it beneath my fingers.
So often what comes alongside wishing and dreaming is disappointment.  We get the phone call, the email, the letter or worse yet, the dead silence, to let us know that every moment we’ve played out in our heads, the elation that we imagined we’d feel is not going to happen.
Disappointment is part of life.  Your day doesn’t turn out the way you want it to.  The dinner you painstakingly cooked is a flop worthy only for the trash and you end up ordering pizza. The friend whom you want to meet up with suddenly has different plans.  The place you most wanted to see your words says – “not right now.”
Despite the ordinary occurrence of disappointment it strikes me as odd, how quickly we can let it mess with our heads.  We let the lies hiss about our value and worth.  We begin to tell stories about how other people must be perceiving us. Then we feel so guilty that we’re even thinking those thoughts or mourning the loss of what we want that we attempt to hide our hearts.  And through all of this we forget that there is a master plan.
I’m learning that there’s no reason to hide what happens when I am disappointed.  There is no shame in sadness or frustration, that reaching out to share them with a friend is a perfectly acceptable way of moving through them.  I’m learning that I am in community for the highlights and the valleys and that being open and honest and vulnerable with my community is part of the beauty of doing life together.
I’m also learning that even though disappointment can feel lonely I haven’t for one minute been left alone.  God has been with me from the moment the dream became a spark and was never surprised by the outcome.  I’m learning that He has a perfect plan for my life and that all time is His time and His timing is ALWAYS perfect.
Here’s the thing.  God’s work doesn’t stop just because I’m disappointed.  A NO doesn’t mean NEVER it just means NOT NOW.  Being able to rest in that despite the disappointment, to reach out and hold on to that through the sadness, THAT’s peace that passes understanding.
His behind the scenes view of my life right now – the plans that He has waiting in the wings for me? They are far better than any techni-colour, vivid dream that my imagination can conjure.


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