Dealing with Disappointment

Every life is touched by disappointment of some sort and to some degree. Whether it’s the loss of an opportunity or item or a situation not turning out as planned, the crushing feeling of grief and sadness blend into emotions that are hard to shake. Rising out of disappointment and looking for a better tomorrow is important. Disappointment is a mire like quicksand that will suck us under and overwhelm us if we stay there too long.

As a mother, it hurts me to see my children disappointed. I want everything to turn out well for them so when they hurt, I do too. My daughter once missed out on an opportunity to go to Space Camp in Alabama. She was devastated, and so was I, for her. We were out of town when she was notified so we missed the message. That loss was hard for her to bear, but she got over it and life went on. She’s had a good life despite that bitter disappointment.

At our daughter’s wedding, I sent my son on an errand, not knowing that our daughter and new son-in-law were about to leave for their honeymoon. He had a special thing he wanted to give his sister and say to her, but he didn’t get to see them before they left because I’d sent him on a crazy errand that could have waited. He lost that opportunity and was very disappointed. It was a bitter pill for me to swallow because I was the cause of it. He wasn’t mad at me for it which shows the gentle spirit he has inside him. He too got over that disappointment although I still live with the guilt.

Unanswered prayers often bring disappointment. Focusing more on the verse that says “ask and ye shall be given” and not enough on “Thy will be done” may set us up for failure.

I remember when Hubby applied for a job that he really really wanted. It was an amazing opportunity in a field he’d always wanted to work in. I prayed very hard for him to get it and believed that he would. When word came that someone else got the job, we were despondent over the loss of this job. I was angry because God hadn’t answered my prayer. A few months later, the man who got the job instead of Hubby was killed in a chartered plane crash while at work. If my prayer had been answered, Hubby would have been on that flight. It was like God slapped me across the face and said, “My grace is sufficient for thee…” I thanked Him for not giving me what I prayed for and showing me an important lesson. If a prayer goes unanswered, there may be a very good reason why God said no. His will be done.

Now when I face disappointment or have unanswered prayers, I thank God for taking care of me. I may never know why He told me no, but I have faith in Him and know there’s a good reason. I still feel disappointed and have to deal with that emotional load, but the load is is lighter.

That’s the key to getting over disappointment: looking for a better day, learning life’s lessons from the experience, and using them in our tomorrows. The emotion is still there, but we crawl out of the quicksand before it takes us down.

2 Comments
  1. So much truth in this post. It takes maturity in our faith to know that God is faithful and just and good–no matter what we think should happen.

  2. Such a great reminder that we serve a God of Providence and that He fills others with grace when we feel we have messed up.

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