Friday, August 8, 2014

How to Handle Disappointment Gracefully

Friends-you guys sure knew exactly how to encourage a girl who was feeling a little beaten down earlier this week. Seriously, your sweet comments, emails, and text messages encouraging me and letting me know you were praying for me meant the world. If you missed it, I mentioned I was a little disappointed this week. We got some not so great news. It wasn't terrible, and I am not having a pity party for us, but we were a little bummed. And thats okay. We've picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves on, and put a smile on because we know who writes our story. We know who holds everything (including us) together, and we know who's plans are always infinitely better than ours.

Maybe you've heard some bad news lately, or gotten your hopes up for something that didn't quite go your way. And as a Christian, I have felt like I shouldn't be too upset or sad when circumstances are less than ideal, reminding myself that God's plan is better and He knows best and all in his timing and yadayadayada. Now-all of this is TRUE. God's plans have always, 100% of the time, been better than anything I could've dreamed up for myself. We could talk all day about all the ways God hasn't given me what I was asking for because really, he had something better for me.

But I think its okay to let ourselves be disappointed. Its okay to be upset, to cry, to mourn whatever it is that we lost. God isn't offended when we are frustrated with him or questioning Him. In fact, I think He wants us to go to Him with our masks off and not try to cover our pain with "Christanese" responses. Lets be real here-we aren't shocking God when we drop the spiritual religious correct responses. He already knows our hearts, he knows the sinfulness and the messiness that lie inside and He still loves us relentlessly. His desire is to have an intimate relationship with us and there's no intimacy in masking how we feel in order to try and please Him.

Disappointment, pain, brokenness, and hurt is a part of life. Its unmistakeable. Jesus told us that we WILL have trouble in this world.  We have to realize that disappointment doesn't equal the end of the world. And usually, at least in my life, God has uses every time that I felt disappointed or let down to help me grow. He's used it to teach me more of his character, to show me that I am not the one in control here, and to almost force me to depend on Him and Him alone.

If you're facing some kind of disappointment or pain in an area of your life please hear me: the enemy wants you to believe that God isn't listening to your prayers or that you aren't important to God. I've fallen trap to this mentality before, and it is a lie. God hears you. God cares about you, and He cares about the deep desires of your heart, and he cares about the little things that you care about.

When I face disappointment, I let myself feel what I am feeling. I cry, I pray, I yell, I journal and tell God how frustrated or let down I am. And then, after I get it all out, I release it. I tell myself, and God that I am not the one in control here, and I recognize that. I speak it out loud that I trust God's plans for me. And I usually pray and ask God to reveal to me what He is trying to teach me through it. It isn't a cure all, and I still get down sometimes, but I choose to believe that God is actively working in my life, even when I can't see it. This line in a song, "I Will Look Up" by Elevation Worship is my mantra in seasons of uncertainty, doubt, and disappointment.

I will look back, and see that You are faithful
I will look ahead, and see that You are able.

If you're struggling with disappointment right now, know I am praying for you as I write. I am praying that you can see how deeply you are loved, and know that God is for you. He is fighting for you, and even though you  maybe can't see the work he's doing, He is trustworthy. If you need prayer, feel free to leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.

Because its Friday, and I have another awesome blogger to introduce you all too-meet my friend  Morgan from True Life KMK! Morgan is a trendy fashionista who has JUST graduated college and is working two jobs like a boss! Lets all give her a round of applause because that is no easy task! Morgan is wise beyond her years, and her post about her honest take on not quite being ready for marriage blew me away. She also shined a new, positive light on long distance relationships and reminds me of how mature she is for her age. I absolutely love reading her blog and hearing her wisdom she shares! If I could, I would invite her offer immediately for a coffee date because I just know we'd have a blast. Go say hello  to my girl Morgan and don't forget to say CONGRATULATIONS to this new college grad.

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