Disappointment. We’ve all experienced this. Whether it was the dream job that turned out to be a nightmare or the “right” guy that turned out to be the wrong man – there’s no one that has not encountered a situation that expectations were left unmet.
As humans… we think life should be perfect. I’ll admit I have gone through my life with a certain set of expectations. Most of the time I am fulfilled and happy, but every once in a while I don’t get my way or a circumstance occurred that caused my life to spin out of control.
A perfect example would be my journey to having a family. The first several months it was blue skies and full steam ahead. Then we had our first miscarriage. We continued charting our course even though it was now partly cloudy and the water was rough and whitecapped. Months go by with expectations not being met. Prayers not being answered. Finally, we are pregnant again. Before we can start to celebrate… this voyage veers off coarse into icy waters. Ultimately I lost twins. I felt like I was a passenger on the Titanic, and I was sinking along with the ship!
It’s not always smooth sailing and there have been times in my life where it felt like my boat capsized, and I am doing my best not to drown. Treading water is not fun especially when it is windy and raining. And to top it off, it’s cold out, and I am shivering. To me this is what disappointment feels like. Each time I suffered through another unborn loss I was left hollow. Waves of negative emotions started to fill every nook and cranny that happiness and hope used to be. Each miscarriage was a slap in my face and another bruise to my ego. Worse… each time left another hole in my heart.
Many times my disappointment started as disbelief. I’d swear I’d wake up from a bad dream and still be pregnant. And as the stark reality set in that I wasn’t asleep… I then found myself feeling betrayed. I began to resent my body for not working the way it should. I also began to blame God. I can remember times pretending that I didn’t care what was happening to me. I’d try to convince myself I was “okay” not having a child… which was a total lie!
Disappointment is ugly. When our desires are left unfulfilled and life does not work out the way we hoped… we are left shattered and feeling really empty. And that emptiness can lead to an unhealthy dose of self pity and overwhelming bitterness. The more I felt my hopes of being a mother were dashed, the more I grew angry and upset. I felt like I had all the faith in the world, but I was battling against the cruel reality that I was infertile and prone to miscarriage. The bottom line was my disappointment made me afraid.
My life was shipwrecked. And I felt stranded on an island braving one heavy thunderstorm after the next. It felt like I was taking a direct hit every month. And I began searching for a life preserver and some shelter. I turned to God and starting asking Him to be my captain.
The Bible shares stories of Jesus calming the seas with just one word! The Great One rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Just as it was then with the scared men in the water-filled boat… it was the same for me. God made certain the weather would calm down, the sun would come up and the heavy burden of disappointment would seem small in the light of a new day. Peace be still. I heard God’s voice speaking. Peace be still. I began to rest. Peace be still. I grew to trust. Peace be still. I believed He would not disappointment me.
Today I rely on my captain. I listen for Him to guide me, and I wait for Him to steer my ship. I lean on Him during those times the waves are overtaking me. I let Him handle my disappointments when they arise knowing that while I can’t escape life’s disasters… I have a choice to not let it keep me treading rough waters.