Personal Disappointment

I haven’t been writing much lately because life is crazy right now, but I did manage to find a few minutes throughout the week so here goes…

I wanted to take just a minute or so to talk about personal disappointment and what to do about it. By personal disappointment, I mean something that affects you on a personal level (think day to day). For example not getting a job that is a personal disappointment, your favorite sports team losing again is a corporate disappointment. It affects me but not in a day to day emotionally affected way. Going to jail is a personal disappointment, the wrong person being elected president is again a corporate disappointment. Yes, the wrong president affects you day to day but generally not emotionally and there is nothing you can do about it anyway. I think we get it. We are talking about things that hit you at home (so speak).


So what do we do with personal disappointment? Well, I think the first thing and a very healthy thing is to admit it. Christians (myself included) usually like to skip over this piece of advice because generally speaking Christians are horrible at giving advice. We try to fix and spiritualize everything. Did You lose your job? Oh God is moving you into a promotion. Did You lose your house? Oh God is giving you a fresh start. Now maybe those things are true but the timing for those things is not right which makes them wrong. The first thing you should do is pray. Go straight to God and admit that the thing that just happened or disappointed you stinks. You can even say it sucks (I know I am walking a fine line here)! It is OK, no it is good and healthy to admit it. Don’t go right to seeing how it will all be OK, because again, generally speaking that personal disappointment feeling will not go away just because you “saw the silver lining.” Notice in Job chapter 2 verse 10 Job admits that this situation is bad. He did not sin but he admitted it was a bad situation. Admit the situation is not what you want and you don’t understand and then let it sink it. I assure you God is not going to smite you because you asked Him why something happened. He is a good good Father.


The next thing to do after admitting it and letting it sink in is to look at the situation and see if it can be fixed. Some situations can some cannot. Each situation is different so I cannot say every situation can be fixed. Sometimes it can’t. Maybe you did not get a job and they hired someone else. Maybe you were a drunk driver and someone died. Maybe someone died from a drunk driver. Maybe… I don’t know there is a multitude of things that can cause personal disappointment and in one way it does not really matter (to us at this moment) because the question is “can this be fixed?” If it can then great! If not skip the next paragraph and jump down. But if you do not first address whether this can be fixed then you miss an opportunity. A word of caution here. Don’t skip prayer. If you see how it can be fixed and do not take the time to pray and let the Holy Spirit guide you then you can  end up making a mistake. Always, always pray!


OK, so you have decided it can either be fixed or you can do something to avoid it in the future. Let’s use a job as an example because it is a little easier. You didn’t get a job because you do not have the right education. So to fix it you will work towards either getting an education or the experience to compensate for the education. It doesn’t change the one you didn’t get but you are going to make sure you get the next one. A word of caution here. Be careful that you do not jump again too soon. You are still healing from the last personal disappointment and how long you need to heal depends on how deep the wound is. So I am not saying don’t jump again. Maybe you are ready to jump again but just make sure. If you rush into it and you were not ready you can add to your personal disappointment or worse become bitter. I’ve done both and it is bad because now you’re healing from both personal disappointment and undoing roots of bitterness. If you are wise here you end up being more like David who learned he needed to gather support and respect the king, if you are stupid you are like Saul and pretend to be something you are not forfeiting your right.


OK now will jump back to when it can’t be fixed. This one is hard because it takes time, and you need to give it time. Some of the best advice I ever received was from Pastor Ryan at Curtis Lake Church up in Maine. He said that I could not serve in the church right now because I was healing from personal disappointment and I need to take the time to heal. So I just needed to chill. That was hard for me. I am not a chill guy. I don’t chill! But he was right. I needed to just take some time to sort it all out. There was nothing I could do about the situation that happened. I could not fix it, it was just sucky (there I go again). But from that time of just chilling and letting it all soak in I was able to learn what I needed to do and what I wanted. It took a few years to get back into the swing of things but I am there (I think). The healing process could not be rushed, and I certainly could not see “a silver lining.” I made a few mistakes from that and it has caused me to second-guess a lot of things but God’s faithfulness has never been one of them. So just take some time and heal. You will find a depth of relationship with God you never knew possible in this healing time.

Alrighty then! So we have a few things to think about. I do have one last thought. If you are at fault for your personal disappointment even a little bit. Do yourself a favor and admit it. Trust me it is much better for you than denying your own culpability. You cannot truly heal until you admit it. Again this is only if you have some blame to share.

Just a thought,