When You’ve Disappointed Someone – Again
- Cindi McMenamin Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2012 27 Mar
It’s one thing to be disappointed in someone.
It’s entirely another thing when someone is disappointed in you.
I experienced that recently when I sat across the table from my friend at lunch as she tearfully recounted the many ways I had disappointed her. I hadn’t called in quite awhile, I failed to notice when she was going through a difficult time, and we didn’t get together as often as we used to.
I had hurt her. And in hearing about it, it hurt me.
I hate disappointing people. And yet, it seems to happen more and more, as my responsibilities increase and my opportunities for social time diminish.
I was frustrated at the fact that, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have known what to do differently in order to not hurt this friend.
“I give up,” I told God aloud as I drove home from lunch that day. “I don’t want one more conversation with a friend who is going to tell me how I’ve disappointed her. I don’t know what to do anymore to keep people happy.”
It was one of those days when one complaint felt like a million – when one woman’s unhappiness with me represented the whole world’s disappointment with me.
If she could just see my heart, I thought to myself. Then she would know I had never intended to make her feel that way.
It encouraged me to know that there is One who really can see my heart …and yours. And our motives are never misunderstood by Him.
In the Bible, we are given a song of comfort that reminds us of the One who knows us unlike any other.
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”
Somehow it was comforting to know that God could see my heart. He knows my intentions. And He knows every time I mean well but don’t express it, every time I mess up but didn’t intend to, every time I’m misunderstood and miserable. He knows. And He extends grace anyway.
In addition to knowing my heart, God is also able to show me, through my situation, how I can be more loving and sensitive to the needs of others, and at the same time not be someone who weighs down others with a list of unmet expectations.
I wrote out a card to my hurting friend and mailed it that day. I reiterated the hurt in my heart that I had caused her pain. I reminded her that I truly loved her. I prayed for a heart to be more concerned with others and what they’re going through than my own to-do list. And I made a conscious decision that day to extend a bit further, and call more frequently when it came to that particular friend.
Are there people in your life you continue to disappoint? Do you get frustrated at the thought that there are too many people to please and too little of you? Are you sometimes ready to quit because you can’t seem to get it right when it comes to relationships?
Take heart, my friend. There is One who knows your heart and your hurts, your intentions and your oversights, your disappointments and frustrations.
And with all He knows, He continues to give you another chance, continues to mold you into the person He wants you to be, and continues to show you how to imitate His love, whether it is well-received or not.
If you’re feeling alone today because you’ve been misunderstood, or because you feel you haven’t been the best friend you could be, take hope in this: There is One who knows all about you and loves you just the same.
Hope in Him. Pour out your heart to Him. And let Him be the One to clear your name.
Prayer of Reflection
Lord, thank You that You know me more than any other. As the Psalmist sang: “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. I can’t understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me (Psalms 139:1-6, CEV).”
May You be the One I run to when I am frustrated from disappointing yet another person. Thank You that as many times as I’ve disappointed You, You still call me “friend.”
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books including When Women Walk Alone: A 31-Day Devotional Companion, of which this article is an excerpt. A pastor’s wife and Director of Women’s Ministries, Cindi helps women find strength for the soul through personal discipleship and speaking at conferences and retreats nationwide. To learn more about her ministry or to download free resources to strengthen and encourage your walk with God, see her website, www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.