What does disappointment mean to you?
To me it is when the things you have planned for, longed for, expected to happen, don’t happen the way that you planned.
There is a sense of control that we as humans expect to maintain. We all know innately that some things are out of our control. For example, you can’t control the slow driver in front of you in the left lane even though your road rage makes you wish that you could.
There is a sense of control that we feel entitled to. It makes us feel normal.
What about the things that happen that were never supposed to happen? The things that you knew were possible for other people, but they would never happen to you.
How do you respond to those things?
Maybe you haven’t had any of those things happen yet, those things that are not supposed to happen to you. Well, I would love to know your secret but either way, these disappointing moments are inevitable and they will come.
THE MOMENT OF SURRENDER
If you’ve given your life to Christ, you probably had a deep moment of surrender, a realization that you wanted to take up the cross, deny yourself, and follow Him.
Then the moments happen. Those disappointing moments. You lost your job, you lost a child, your marriage is on the rocks, you received a diagnosis that does not seem comprehendible.
It is in those circumstances that you realized your previous moment of surrender was not a one time deal. These devastating circumstances bring you to the fork in the road once again. Are you going to surrender control? Or are you going to try to fix things on your own?
This isn’t to say that you should sit on your rear and let life pass you by. I am speaking to the circumstances that you can’t necessarily do anything about. You can’t see the future and you can’t control the behavior of the other person.
Mike and I went through an overwhelming season a few years back of trying to figure out life and our next steps. I remember going through several different stages of emotions. My brain hurt trying to figure out why this was happening, begging God PLEASE give me clarity. I just CAN’T figure this out. The striving became tiring. It was like a mental marathon that I had not trained for. We couldn’t fully control our circumstances. I remember one moment when a realization slowly seeped into my mind.
JOYFUL EVEN IN SUFFERING
I had been so earnestly striving, trying and straining to figure out the next step, looking for answers in my own human power. The epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks… Breanna stop trying to seek what you want God to DO for you. Seek HIM. He wants relationship with you. Just seek Him. “Seek the giver, not the gifts”, the saying goes.
I opened my hands.
Gave up control.
I was not able to figure it out, and I didn’t need to. The pieces did not fall instantly into place, but it did settle some of the anxious thoughts in my mind.
I have often received compliments from others that I always seem so joyful even through suffering. I have always found strength in that. God has often given me joy as an anchor through my most painful trials. He has blessed me with an eternal perspective and with strength in the midst of my heart break. I lost a brother, almost lost my second brother, almost lost my mom, and lost a close friend, all to cancer.
But when I experienced two miscarriages over the past few months, that joy did not join me. When I lost the first baby, I tried to grieve but there was also a nagging thought in my mind trying to convince me that it wasn’t a huge deal. When I lost my second, that nagging dissipated. I was sad. I was ok with not being ok. The pain of losing a life that was being formed inside of me did not lend itself to the joy through suffering. It had happened again and there was nothing I could do.
JESUS, A COMPANION IN SUFFERING
Somehow Christ sits close to me in my suffering. He grieves with me and with my husband. I don’t try to figure it out. I just let myself be sad.
I know the joy will return. But sometimes sitting in sadness is a necessary process. I am not trying to throw a pity party over here. I have an awesome life and am surrounded by so many who love on my family and who have supported us through this time. But in our social media consumed world, I don’t think that grieving is something that receives many advocates. We find it so difficult to weep and rejoice with one another.
I write all this to come back to the point of control. I don’t have full control of a life growing inside of me. I don’t have any control over the actions or opinions of others. I don’t have a map telling me all of the plans for my future. We are disillusioned to think that we have full control over our circumstances. Yet, when we surrender our lives to Christ we don’t need control in the first place.
This can seem debilitating, it can seem foolish, or it can seem like the sweet sweet taste of freedom.
So, here is to giving up control, to putting a stop to the striving.
Here is to grieving, to mourning, to dancing, to singing, to serving. To pressing on and looking up.
“We tend to stay away from mourning and dancing. Too afraid to cry, too shy to dance…we become narrow-minded complainers, avoiding pain and also true human joy…While we live in a world subject to the evil one, we belong to God. Let us mourn, and let us dance.” -Henri Nouwen
1 Peter 5:10
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
** Side Note: As far as my miscarriages go, I wanted to mention that I did see a Naturopathic Doctor this week to get some lab results back- just to try and be as healthy as I can be and check on what is going on in my body, hormones, etc.! Turns out, in short, even though I eat healthy my body has not been absorbing all that it needs to take care of myself, let alone another human life. There are some issues with my thyroid too. She has given me some solutions to get back to my full potential. All that to say… take time to take care of yourself! You can’t be there for those around you if you don’t take care of yourself first. I am really thankful that it seems I may have some answers and solutions.If my body can not produce everything that I need to have energy, it also can not produce serotonin which is the thing that makes us feel HAPPY! For those of you who give and give, make sure you do not forget about yourself