When You’re Struggling with Disappointment of the Worst Kind - Encouragement for Today - May 12, 2017
May 12, 2017
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
My son keeps me laughing with funny videos posted online. One was from the movie Hercules.
Rumor has it the script had the word “disappointed” in parenthesis, noting that the actor was to say the line as if he were disappointed. Instead, when the actor got to that particular line he yelled out, “DISAPPOINTED!” Oops!
Now when I’m feeling really disappointed, I think about Hercules’ “DISAPPOINTED!” and it usually makes me laugh.
But disappointment is no laughing matter. And if we let it, disappointment can morph into deep-seated discouragement.
Everyone will experience discouragement at some point in life. It will look as different and unique as the fingerprints on your hand, but disappointments will come.
- Dropping your son off at a rehab center instead of college.
- Signing divorce papers instead of planning an anniversary celebration.
- Looking for a job rather than getting a raise.
- Cuddling up with a good book rather than cozying up with a good husband.
- Planning a funeral instead of planning a future.
- Counting out food stamps instead of writing a check.
- Moving up in your career rather than rocking a baby in your arms.
Yes, everyone will experience broken dreams at some point.
I had a dream of having a houseful of children. After my son was born, I felt we were well on our way to making that dream a reality.
I loved being a mom! With Bambi-length eyelashes, chubby cheeks and a shock of black hair, Steven held my heart in his tiny little hand the first time I laid eyes on him.
Eighteen months later, I was ready to plan baby number two. We conceived Steven with no trouble whatsoever, so I thought giving him a sibling would be just as easy.
We told Steven, “Mommy and Daddy are asking God to give you a little brother or sister!” At the end of our family prayer each night, Steven would add, “And God, please give mommy and daddy another Jaynes baby.”
But the next month there was no news of another Jaynes baby. Or the next … or the next. Doctor visits, infertility treatments and monthly heartbreak consumed my thinking. This was not how the story was supposed to go.
The disappointment was crushing. The discouragement was visceral.
Steven was almost 5 and still praying for a brother or sister every night, but it looked like that would not happen. I didn’t know what to tell my little boy so full of faith.
“Dear God, if this is Your will for our family,” I sighed, “You’ve got to take care of this prayer situation with Steven.”
One day in the kitchen, Steven looked up, and in his sweet little voice said, “Mommy, have you ever thought maybe God only wants you to have one Jaynes baby?”
“Yes, I have thought that,” I replied. “And if that’s what He wants, I’m so thankful He has given me all I have ever hoped — wrapped up in one package, YOU!”
Then he cocked his little head and stated a prayer plan: “Well, what I think we ought to do is keep praying until you’re too old to have one. Then we’ll know that’s His answer!”
What a great idea. The truth is I had been worried about Steven’s faith, but all the while, it was my own that was suffering.
I was so discouraged, I was having trouble believing God loved me.
Steven didn’t know how old too old was, but with childlike faith, he did know God could do anything. If His answer was no, he didn’t have a problem with that. I told him no many times and he understood no did not mean, I don’t love you. No just meant No, because I am your parent and I know what’s best for you.
And that’s what God was teaching me. If He says no, it isn’t because He doesn’t love me, but because He knows what’s best for me … even if I don’t understand.
I don’t know what you’re facing, but I do know God is our heavenly Father who loves us and knows what’s best for us. The Bible encourages us: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Even though I don’t understand the “whys” of broken dreams, I do know that shattered dreams often become the pieces for a beautiful mosaic we never even thought to imagine. Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and provide raw material for miracles.
There’s more to this story; there always is. And there’s more to yours, too. My son, my only child, taught me to trust God with my broken dreams in order to experience better dreams. Are you willing to trust God with yours, too?
Dear Lord, help me trust You with my shattered dreams. I open my hands and heart, give You the pieces and trust You to make them into a beautiful masterpiece of glorious design. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
What do you do when life doesn’t turn out like you thought it would? Do you believe that God has a great plan for you? In Sharon Jaynes’ book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold, you’ll learn how to let go of past hurts and disappointments and take hold of sure-footed confidence to embrace God’s amazing plan for you.
Click here for a free printable of 12 power verses to help you let go, move forward, live bold from Sharon’s book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Consider Jesus’ prayer before He went to the cross: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42, NIV). What was God’s response to Jesus’ request?
What was the outcome of God not taking the pain of Jesus’ impending death away? How was God’s plan so much better?
What broken dreams do you need to give to God today?
© 2017 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.