This week I did a lot of waiting. I did a lot of hoping. In the end, I’m left dealing with disappointment.
You see, I have had a dream ever since I was 13. Over the course of the last month, I thought that dream might actually become a reality. It was a pipe dream. I knew that. I was fully aware of the magnitude of miracles that would need to happen in order for this dream to actually be realized, but I got really close to seeing the dream come true. I was so close I could taste it.
But in one conversation, I realized that the dream was likely not going to happen. Just like that, I went from gobs of hope and excitement to a shattered mess wondering how in the world to move forward.
It was not just the disappointment I needed to conquer. You see, as I pursued my dream, I discovered pieces of information that also affected my here and now. I discovered that my here and now is actually worse off than I realized. I wish I could go back to a place of ignorance, but I can’t. All that is left, is to figure out how to move forward.
So how do YOU move forward after extreme disappointment? Seriously, I would like to know.
I know we all face disappointments, big and small. The saying goes, “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Could it also be said that it is better to have hoped and been disappointed than to have never hoped at all?
A life lived without hope, is a bleak one. We all need something to hope for. Years ago, when I was trying to find a domain name that would accurately describe what I wanted this website to be about, I stumbled across “Unwavering Hope.”
Unwavering – “steady, resolute, constant, unrelenting”…just a few of the words used to describe “unwavering.”
Hope – “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Also: “a feeling of trust.”
I believe the key to successfully navigating this crazy life with all its dips and turns is to have a steady, unrelenting trust in something higher than ourselves. The only way to not be completely knocked down by life is to cling to a HOPE that can not disappoint or let us down. That HOPE has a name. His name is Jesus.
If our hope takes any other name (in my case this week, the name was Dream), we run the risk of being disappointed. I had a feeling of expectation or desire for a specific thing to happen. When that thing did not happen, I faced disappointment.
If, in my disappointment, I choose to re-anchor my hope in a source that is unshakable, I have what I need to move forward, even with a future that is uncertain.
This all sounds nice. It is easier said than done. This is the battle I am currently fighting. I am fighting the disappointment by reminding myself of a deeper HOPE that does not disappoint. I am reminding myself of a loving God, who wants to satisfy my every needs and wants. If I want something outside of his desires for me, he still promises satisfaction. It just may come in a different form than I expect.
I am reminding myself that deep down I really do trust God. I trust that he is GOOD. His plans for me are good. If I can step outside the sadness and disappointment, I really do believe in his goodness. It is also okay to say that for now, I am sad. I do not plan to stay in the sadness, but for now, that is the most fitting description.
If you find yourself dealing with disappointment or sadness, I am sorry. I am genuinely sorry. I hope you are not left trying to figure out how to move forward on your own. I hope you know the One who does not disappoint – the One you can trust to put your hope. If you do not know the One (Jesus) who knows suffering, it is worth getting to know him. He does not promise a life lived without pain, but he promises to never leave us in our pain. Pain and disappointment are inevitable in this life, whether you know him or not (John 16:33). It is better to have a Counselor helping us through our pain.
If you know Him, press in, don’t pull away. He is always good – even when our circumstances try to convince us otherwise. I hope that you also have someone to walk along side you as you navigate the sadness back to a place of trust and peace, with a renewed, unwavering hope. At the very least, know that you are not alone. I am right there with you.