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Disappointments

December 17th, 2008

“Disappointments come in all sizes and from a variety of sources.”

Every expectation, friendship, plan, or circumstance does not turn out exactly the way you wish. Inevitably at such times, you will need to deal with disappointment, because that is one of the life experiences that everyone has eventually. Disappointments come in all sizes and from a variety of sources.

Disappointment is not a pleasant emotion; you’ll feel let down – deflated, like the air let out of a balloon. Sometimes that will happen little by little in a sequence of things, and at other times, more painfully and all of a sudden through an unexpected and unwanted surprise.

The word simply means, “not as appointed.” There are a lot of things that could be described that way, that just don’t turn out the way you planned, or according to your liking. The small things cause momentary discomfort, just an emotional speed bump that slows but not stops you. You adjust and recalculate, and then resume your journey no worse for wear.

Sometimes, situations disappoint you, and sometimes it’s people. People – not all, but some – will disappoint you, just as you have and will disappoint others. That doesn’t mean they meant to; it just happens sometimes. And the same person (or persons) will not always be the one who disappoints; it just feels that way occasionally. For most of us, I think disappointment with another person is harder to move past – that feels more personal – than when things or plans don’t turn out as you hope. See Matthew 10:12-14 NKJV.

The way to deal with people who disappoint you is to forgive and forget, considering your own lack at times and the grace that has been shown to you, by God and others. See Galatians 6:1 NKJV/Ephesians 4:32 NLT. Don’t harbor wrongs done to you; deal with them promptly and thoroughly. Some are real; some were imagined. And probably none were as bad as they may have felt at the time.

Now, let’s talk about the times when you will disappoint you – and others! That can often be the hardest to recover from, when you fail in a big way and know it – when you let your family down, are not the friend you meant to be, did not do what you knew was right, or do not live up to your own convictions and standards. The best way to deal with that is to “face up, ‘fess up, and forge ahead.” When did you first have the illusion that you were perfect anyway, or could do anything without God’s help? “We have this spiritual treasure like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us.” See 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 TEV. See John 15:5. Remember yours and others’ humanity.

Occasionally, something may happen that leaves you feeling more greatly disappointed. How you respond at such times will reflect your maturity and sense of reality. Some people try to harden themselves as though it doesn’t matter to them, but it does. That’s denial, and doesn’t work. Some attempt to prevent it, but they can’t. That’s defensiveness, and ineffective. Others absorb the bruises until pessimism sets into their soul, eventually expecting to be disappointed – maybe they are disappointed, or surprised when they’re not! That’s disillusion, and painful.

The healthiest and strongest of people emotionally still experience disappointment. It’s not the end of the world; get over it. Your Godly response is what evidences your health and well being.

My prayer for you is to know that hurts heal when you invite the Healer to touch you.

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