I don’t feel like writing much today. I came to one of my favorite coffee houses thinking I would come up with something profound or an encouraging word about the beauty of mankind. But instead I read my emails and got some disappointing news. I feel discouraged and frustrated. I am experiencing questioning and doubt.
Disappointment is not a comfortable feeling. But it is a feeling all of us experience at one time or another. And I guess how we respond to the disappointment tells a lot about us.
The word “disappoint” is defined as “to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of”. I put expectations (and hopes) in many things – from the expectation that my car will start in the morning to the expectation that my husband will not die at the age of 29 (and everything else in between).
When those expectations “fail to be fulfilled” how do I respond? My responses have changed over the years. In the wake of disappointment I have experienced sadness, worry, fear, anger, confusion, terror. Those emotions have been excruciatingly intense and have stayed for a long time depending on the disappointment.
But I think I’m starting to gain a resiliency to disappointment. It doesn’t “take me out of action” as often or for as long. I am learning to believe and trust in the love and grace and goodness of God. Knowing that God accepts me and loves me and requires nothing of me to fulfill those two conditions gives me hope and encouragement and strength. He does not abandon me when disappointment comes, when my hopes go unfulfilled. Through my own life experience I know that even the darkest circumstances can be transformed into light. And that means I can have confidence that even though I am currently in the midst of disappointment, things will eventually work out. So I don’t have to worry or fear. I still feel sad but I know it’s not the end.
In the words of Matthew West…”But it’s not the end, The end of the world, It’s just another day, Depending on grace” (“The End” – song by Matthew West).