How I'm dealing with disappointment.
Anyone else ready to wave the white flag and give up on trying to DO anything during a global pandemic? I am. My family and I just got word that the third vacation we had planned has been canceled. It was set for October so we thought we were in the clear. Nope. Vacation has been denied...again. Dealing with this disappointment led to some extensive, albeit, pointless internet research on how long we would need to wait to actually go on a trip. Scientific estimates point to 2022, without a viable vaccine. Waiting two years for a vacation gives me that sensation that you pregnant, have to pee, at a women’s conference, and you are like 15 ladies deep. I’m gonna storm the next stall for real!
Disappointment is a part of life, that’s not news. However, the amount of disappointment we are dealing with these days feels a bit overwhelming. I needed some help in how to deal with yet another complication in our life thanks to COVID. I turned my thoughts to the one thing that always gives me hope. The word of God. Here are a few ideas I’ve found to help to deal with disappointment.
Trust God has a plan.
When I have missed important events in the past I reminded myself that God is in control of my life and I trust that his way is better than my own. For example, when I turned 30 I registered for a triathlon with my sister. We were rushing to get out of the house with all of our gear etc. We finally got in the car and headed out but got stuck in a traffic jam for hours. We missed our race time. We found out later a man had streaked the interstate and an 18 wheeler overturned killing the man and injuring the driver. I chose to trust that God had saved my sister and me from an injury that morning. Divine delays create disappointment but placing my faith in God’s plan helps me more easily see the silver linings through the circumstance. I may not understand at the time why something is happening but I can still trust in an almighty God that doesn’t work the way I do.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
Grieve but don't stay stuck.
When you lose something you have permission to grieve and process that loss. I love what Women’s Health says, “Acknowledge your gloomy emotions and then forgive yourself.” When you lose a job it’s hard. When you lose a loved one it’s devastating. When you must cancel a trip, concert, birthday, graduation or wedding it’s sad. It is appropriate and normal to take a moment to grieve. The key is not to stay stuck there. Don’t allow a losing moment to turn you into a loser for life. I know too many people who are blaming their ex-wives or husbands for their inability to move forward years later. If you are struggling moving forward, seek out a certified counselor or therapist that can help. Don’t tell yourself just to “get over it.” Sometimes we need to talk through our grief with a friend or professional to move on in a healthy way.
“The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” (Psalms 30:5 MSG)
Praise through the pouting.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5-6 NIV)
When we feel disappointed it is often due to circumstances that are out of our control. It is especially difficult when we saw it coming and tried to stop it but alas we were still disappointed. I have close friends who were furloughed then laid-off during this season. They knew it was likely but still felt the sting of ultimately being let go. I am so encouraged that we can go through hard times and come out on the other side victorious because the example Jesus gave us as he went to the cross. The ultimate disappointment. He didn’t use his might or power to stop what he already knew he would endure. He said, “My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” He surrendered control of his destiny into the hands of God. Jesus is our ultimate example of what to do when we are disappointed. Give it to God.
Even though I am still in the grief phase of missing my vacation, I know that I’m only one good worship session away from reestablishing my trust and hope in God’s plan and his ways. I am sure other disappointments will come up as we navigate this global pandemic for the foreseeable future. I’m not waiving the white flag yet! However, I know who to look to when I need help surrendering control. #jesustakethewheel Are there other ways you are dealing with disappointment? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please leave them in the comments below.