How’s everyone’s week thus far? My week has been great! Work has been pretty smooth (praise God), I had a great session with my therapist, got to hang out with my favorite little humans – my two nephews – and I worked out three days so far this week (four days last week). Going strong!
I want to thank you for taking this journey with me. The fact that you are still reading means the world to me!
This week, we are going to be discussing dealing with disappointment. We all face disappointment in this life, but the most important thing is how we handle it. Disappointment may present as different things for different people – a breakup, which is my most recent disappointment; losing a job or not getting the job you wanted; people letting you down and not meeting your expectations; not getting the answer you wanted to that thing you had been praying about; not meeting a goal you set for yourself; or someone lying to you. How are you going to recover from your disappointment in a way that is emotionally healthy?
We’re going to get really personal now. You ready?
With my recent disappointment, I have to admit I did not handle it well initially. I was angry and sad. I needed someone to blame for my hurt. I remember everyone telling me things like, “Go to God,” “Pray,” “Think of the positive,” and “It could have been worse” – you know, all those cliché phrases. We’ve all heard them.
But to be very honest with you, I didn’t want to hear any of those things, much less do any of them. I just wanted to wallow in my hurt and shut myself off from the world. I remember my mom offering to pray with me one day and I flat out told her no, and that I didn’t want to pray. My sweet mother didn’t say anything, and it is very unusual for an African mother to let you reject God, but I think she could see and feel my pain.
I was not about to pray or fast, and I sure wasn’t about to read my bible. How could I? How could God let this happen to me? I had prayed for months prior to the breakup for God to fix the situation, and I felt that if God was in the business of answering prayers, He would have surely answered mine. I mean, I am a good girl, I go to church, I read my bible and I obey the commandments (or at least I try to!), so why wouldn’t He answer my prayers? But the reality of the situation is that God really did answer my prayers, I was just disappointed that He did not answer them the way I thought He should have. But He gave me what exactly I prayer for which was for Him to fix my situation and He did exactly that!
I was very angry at God, to be honest, and at that point, I had come to the conclusion that God didn’t care about me, so what was the point of praying? This mentality lasted for maybe a week or two, but God slowly softened my heart. I began listening to worship music and eventually praying, reading my bible again and seeking to be in His presence.
I’ll be the first to admit that my way of handling the disappointment was terrible and unproductive, but at that time, I had no tools to help me. During this time of being angry at God, when I couldn’t open my mouth to pray, my tribe was praying for me. They were speaking words of life over me without me knowing. They were probably also praying to God to forgive me for my angry heart and I had no idea.
I talk about my tribe – they know who they are – and I promise to go into more detail in the future. But I tell you, it is very important to have a tribe. Thanks to their prayers and our loving God, that period of anger did not last very long and I am happy to say it taught me a few things along the way.
I want to encourage you if you are experiencing disappointment at this time and equip you to better handle it in the future.
Accept the Situation
I have come to realize that I am not in control of my life and that everything happens for a reason. I knew that a few months ago, but I have a better understanding of what it truly means now. God has a plan for my life so why worry? He knew I would experience whatever disappointment may come my way but He has also promised me prosperity, no harm, hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). So what am I worrying for? Whatever situation I experience, good or bad, it is part of His plan for my life and I am okay with that.
Accept Your Feelings
I think one of the things that hindered me from moving past my disappointment was that I felt like I had to hold it together and be strong. I didn’t want to show my emotions because I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me and ultimately, I didn’t want anyone else to feel sadness or disappointment on my behalf. However, I have come to realize that I have to go through these emotions to be able move on, but the key is to not dwell on them. I remember having a breakthrough one day, weeks after the breakup. I finally broke down and cried in front of my mom, and then later that same day, I cried to my aunt. I felt a release and it was quite liberating. That was a pivotal moment in my healing process.
Work Through Your Feelings
I really had to process the disappointment of this loss. I had to reprogram my mind so it would click that all the future plans I had made were no longer going to happen. I had to tell myself that this situation did not define me. I had to remind myself that this hurt would not last forever. I remember telling myself repeatedly that joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:4-5 says, “Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning.”)I had to let myself mourn the loss, but also had to fill myself with new dreams and hopes.
Stay Ready So You Won’t Have to Get Ready
You can look at this in two ways:
- Have realistic expectations when it comes to other people disappointing you. I think knowing who you are dealing with helps. When a person shows you who they are, believe them and don’t make excuses. This may reduce some disappointment you experience.
- Be spiritually ready. If I stay in the Word, I draw closer to God, and I pray more often and really listen to Him. When disappointment comes, it should not shake me to my core. I will be ready. I will know Who is on my side, and I will know He has a plan and I have to trust Him in this disappointment. I may be angry because I am human but ultimately, I will have faith to trust Him wholeheartedly.
Find a Tribe
Have people in your corner who will pray for you when you cannot pray, people you can open up to, be vulnerable with and even cry to (if that’s your thing…it is definitely mine!). Have people who will give you sound advice. Do not shut yourself off from people who love you because you are facing disappointment. These people want to walk with you through life and that includes the happy moments as well as the sad moments. For me, my tribe includes close friends, siblings, aunties and my parents. I have given you an example of how my aunt and mom supported me through this period of time. Let me brag on my friends really quick, too. Joy and Charrika, I will always remember you guys coming to the hotel room that Friday night just to be with me so I wasn’t alone. I love y’all and truly appreciate y’all! If you need someone in your corner, I’m ready to help in any way I can!
Remember, the Best Is Yet to Come
Disappointment is not the end of my story. It may be a bump in the road of life but it definitely is not the end and you will overcome this. It can’t be, because His word says, “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), and “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Please keep in mind, I do not claim to be perfect in any way and stumble just like anyone, but I have used these tips to bring me to where I am today.
I understand everyone experiences disappointment on different scales and a breakup may seem minuscule compared to your situation, but I hope what I have shared here can help you in some way, which is my goal at the end of the day.
How are you currently dealing with disappointment or how have you dealt with it in the past? Please share!
‘Till next time.