Sometimes, life just  totally sucks!

The past 18 months have been a roller coaster. It’s been very challenging for my family.  Lots of tears & heartache, deaths, redundancy, illness, thwarted plans. There were times of deep anxiety about would go wrong next, other times I just felt numb emotionally. Ugh!

You’ve been there.

You know what I’m talking about.

It’s tough, isn’t it?

Unfortunately it’s inevitable that your life – and mine –  is going to have its share of disappointments, no matter how well you plan or how organised you are.

As King Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, life is seasonal.

Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven.”

Ecclesiates 3:4 [from Google Images]
Ecclesiastes 3:4 [Google images]

Disappointments come in all shapes and sizes.

Smaller ones like not getting the table you wanted in a restaurant or missing a train are fairly easily brushed aside.

Some can be laughed over afterwards – my daughter was married at the end of a hot and sunny May and yet the Big Day was very cold, wet and windy.

Then there are big disappointments such as:

  • People letting you down.  Accidentally or deliberately. Both hurt.
  • The end of a relationship, especially if you believed this was ‘the one.’
  • Not getting –  or losing – a job.
  • Failing  an appraisal or an exam
  • Slaving away on a project and not getting the results or appreciation you hoped
  • Somebody else getting  the promotion you ‘knew’ was yours.

The shock, pain and distress we feel can knock us sideways!

It’s OK to feel upset and let down. Disappointment can be so enormous that we need time to grieve.  This process involves 5 stages, that can occur in any order and that different people go through at different rates. It’s also possible to go back to a stage that seemed to be done with.

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

What is not OK is allowing disappointment to turn to resentment or discouragement.

Don’t keep rehashing your disappointment with friends – all it does is make it bigger, when you need to make it smaller.

Don’t sit around having your own private pity party – trust me, I’ve done it and it doesn’t help!

By the way, plotting revenge is not the way forward either – no matter how pleasant it feels 🙂

Here’s what you can do!

Pray for the people, the situation and yourself and ask for wisdom, strength and help with forgiveness for others and for yourself.

Forgiveness is an act not a feeling and sometimes you have to work at it – it took me a long time to fully forgive my ex-husband and I had to persevere with the process of forgiving. Consequently, earlier this year, I was privileged to spend the last 6 days of his life at his bedside, praying and just ‘being there’ with other family members.

Work out  the next step. And take it. Get moving again. Get your focus back to doing what will most benefit you and your goals. Remember that what you give your attention to will grow.

Galatians 6:2 [Google images]Talk it over with one or two trusted friends. It’s easy to want to bottle things up when we’re upset but sharing them brings comfort, perspective and renewed hope.

Let go of people or situations if necessary.

Believe in the future.  God has a plan and a purpose for your life. He’s working behind the scenes.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan”, Romans 8:28 [GW]

Remember what Jesus told us

                  “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”                        John 16:33  [The Message]

You can survive even the toughest disappointment and emerge stronger! God will never desert you or disappoint you. Lean on Him. In the midst of the problems I’ve faced, there have been the most incredible answers to prayer and new insights for the future.

PS Here is a post by Allison Finley that I found very helpful: I Never Expected For This To Happen

 

 

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