Disappointment is inevitable. It's the unfortunate part of what it means to be human. Part of being a person of faith, though, is learning how to navigate those disappointments while hanging onto God's word. That isn't easy. We let our feelings dictate our actions, and we often get so wrapped up in the disappointment that we can't see anything else. I was especially guilty of this when this season started, and, though I'd like to think I've improved, I'm still guilty of doing this. We can't ignore our feelings, but we do have to work to process them through the lens of our faith. We do that by remembering God's promises.
The first chapter of It's Not Supposed To Be This Way describes how disappointment exists because we are living "between two gardens"--Eden from creation and the restored Eden of Revelation. The disappointments we feel force us to seek out God. Those disappointments will serve good because they draw you closer to the One who can provide peace.
...to strip out the cause of our disappointment would also rob us of the glorious hope of where we are headed. - Lysa Terkeurst
For some time now, but especially since reading the first chapter, I have felt like I am in between two spaces. Can you relate? Or maybe you see it from the other side. How did you feel when you were in the midst of your disappointment? Did you ever think you would see the other side? And what does that other side look like? Probably nothing like you thought it would.
Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like. - Lysa Terkeurst
I think it can be difficult to not idolize our situations. We desire a specific outcome so much, and while praying for that outcome is not a bad thing, we see only the outcome we desire. There is no other route. I know I struggle with that every day. What does "putting to death" what my life would look like even mean? It's something I'm still working on. And it's something I'm praying the Lord guides me in.
That's the point, really--that we turn to Him for direction. As I've reflected on what this means this week, I've realized that, in many things, I have put to death my notions of what life should be.
- I used to think I wanted a certain job, and that job would happen and my life--and marriage--would be complete. But when I left a job similar to that, I finally began praying for direction. And when I opened myself up to see God a bit more, things began happening.
- I used to think that being an adult meant something specific. I was supposed to have a new car, our first home, and we were supposed to live happily ever after. But God showed me, in plenty of ways, that I wasn't ready for that yet.
- I used to think I had to be different than who I am to land a job, gain respect, make friends, or be anything. But I've learned more about who I am in this season than I thought I would, and God has shown me that who I am is enough.
Putting our notions of life to death is different for each of us because we each walk through different seasons and we do that in different ways. The important note is that it means we replace our notion with God's.
So, yes, I am between two spaces. And so are you. What are you going to do with yours?
. . . . . .
Do you need to put to death your own notion of what life should look like? What does "putting it to death" look like to you?
Are you struggling through a disappointment? I would love to pray with you.
How do you manage feelings and faith?