When illness gets you down…

sick guy cartoonAt some point in our lives, all of us will deal with significant or ongoing illness for ourselves and/or in the lives of those we love.  Many individuals have the blessing of general good health for most of their lives.  Sometimes we take that for granted.  For others, dealing with injury or with a medical condition of some kind is a life-long challenge.  There is a refining of the soul that seems to happen sometimes when one faces constant physical illness or challenges.  I have known many such individuals who had at some point made the choice to live lives of extraordinary grace and strength, with God’s help.  Choosing to see the blessings of life and even the blessings of illness or of injury or other medical and physical issues is not easy.  Our natural instinct seems to be a very keen awareness of our own suffering and a desire for that suffering to be removed.  After all, who doesn’t love to feel wonderful?  And yet, we must remember that we have only one life, and the “sick days” or even the on-going health issues are a part of it.

Sorry u r under the weather woodstockHow, then, can we deal with illness?  How can we cope with our own suffering or the suffering of someone that we love?  How can we make the most of life when illness or injury or a medical condition seems to limit our time, our energy, and our enjoyment of life?  In a way, I feel unqualified to answer this question.  After all, I have enjoyed general good health for much of my life.  And yet, I have had experience with both illness and injury, and I’ve definitely known the heartache of experiencing sorrow and pain with loved ones who were suffering.  There are many wonderful books about the theology of suffering or the spiritual, emotional, and practical considerations of dealing with physical challenges.  There are stories of amazing people who have refused to let physical challenges or illness define them.  I’ve read several books that are powerful testimonies about overcoming obstacles, including illness and injury.  The theological studies and biographical testimonies that I have read cover these issues much more comprehensively than I will attempt to do here.  All that I can offer is a simple observation, born out of my own recent experience.

Snoopys mind wanderingI have been dealing with a health situation for some time that has greatly affected my ability to function as a wife and mother and to plan ahead.  I never know when I am going to have a bad day.  I have recently been very frustrated by the frequency and duration of my health problems and how they affect my family.  Last week, I was up very late one night.  I didn’t want to try to sleep because I felt so nauseous.   This was on a Wednesday night (actually early Thursday morning).  Because I was feeling so sick and could not sleep, I had a lot of time to think about how my illness was impacting those I loved.  I had missed church due to my illness the previous Sunday, and then I’d been forced to miss church again on that Wednesday night. I had felt okay for most of the morning but started having symptoms just before lunchtime.  Often, when that happens, symptoms progress so quickly that I am not able to meet the bus carrying our little boy who has special needs when it comes at 3:00 p.m.; so I have sometimes been forced to call my husband and have him come home from work to meet Logan’s bus.  (His bus must be met by an adult).  On that Wednesday, symptoms were progressing a little more slowly, so I was able to meet Logan’s bus myself and be downstairs when 3 of Logan’s brothers arrived 30 minutes later.

On that day, I thought that if my symptoms would hold off for a couple of hours, I could get our 5 school-age boys to church for the Wednesday night meal so that they would not miss Children’s Choir or Missions, but I knew that I was in no shape to stay. In addition to feeling awful and knowing it was going to get worse, I didn’t want to be around food since I hadn’t had anything since breakfast and the thought of eating made me sick. So, I made sure the boys got their homework done and then took them to church at around 5 p.m., with my husband, Travis, planning to meet us in the parking lot.  I pulled our Suburban around to the back of the building, near the fellowship hall where the meal is served, and then I pulled to the right beside a row of cars in the parking lot to let my boys get out and meet their Dad.

Be careful signI didn’t expect any difficulty with safely dropping off the boys since I’d called my husband as soon as we arrived.  He was on his way out of the building to meet us.  In addition, due to homework and needing to wait for our Middle School age son, who arrives home from school much later than his younger brothers, we were almost 30 minutes later arriving for the meal than most people who eat at church on Wednesday night.  I thought everyone else would already be in the building.  However, as it turned out, I almost got one or more of my boys run over that day, just because of being sick. I had gotten out of the Suburban myself and was supervising the boys as they were getting out of the car on both sides when a sweet lady who had come up behind our car decided she would drive around us. I had five boys ages 7 & 7 (twins), 8 (special needs), 10, & 12 around the car on both sides, was pulled over to the right obviously unloading, and was out of the car trying to get all of the boys safely across the parking lot to the sidewalk, and yet I could not see where all of my boys were right at that moment.  If she had waited for one more minute, I would have had all of the boys safely on the sidewalk and  Travis would have been there to get them inside, but she must have felt she couldn’t wait.  I had pulled really far to the right, but she came around us on the right, with hardly any room between vehicles.  Even though I was out of the car trying to make sure all of the boys got safely to Travis and trying to watch the boys on both sides, I was unable to keep my boys safe.  If one or more of the boys had come running around the front of our vehicle right into her path, they would have been toast.  From the moment that the woman began to pull around my car until the moment when she could have hit one or more of my boys if they had happened to run around the Suburban was just a couple of seconds.  It had happened so quickly that I could not get in front of her and was powerless to stop this upsetting and potentially lethal incident, and it was all because of me being sick.  The thought of what could have happened completely undid me.

Charlie Brown sighLater that same night, after Travis got home with the boys and they had all gone to bed, at one point my hubby wanted to talk about Spring Break and what our plans would be.  He wanted to do a short trip, and I had to tell him that I am not in any shape to do it.  After all of these incidents had taken place in just a few days, I was feeling very frustrated.  My illness has not just affected me.  It affects my family in many ways.  It’s even more frustrating since I have already had lots of tests and scans but still don’t have a firm diagnosis.  In fact, my Doctor referred to me at last week’s appointment as “a mystery”.  So, I had gotten pretty down and had no problem at all thinking about all of the things I dislike about being sick.  I had quite a mental list going.  I might not have been outwardly griping around my family, but I certainly was feeling frustrated and upset inside. 😦

cartoon checklist photoIn this state of mind, a thought occured to me.  I should make a list of all of the good things about being sick.  I honestly did not expect to get very far.  I thought that I would be doing well to come up with 3 or 4 things and that even those reasons might be a bit of a stretch of the imagination.  I decided to call this exercise my “Top Ten List of Good Things About Being Sick,” and I began to think things through.  My original thinking was that after I’d named 3 or 4 lame reasons that being sick can be good, then I would put down the same phrase for all of the other slots to round out my top ten list, “Sorry.  That’s all I’ve got.”  At least I was thinking about the subject with a little bit of humor, but I certainly can’t say that I was optimistic.  Perhaps what I was really looking for was an excuse to stay in my frustrated mindset and proof that there really was nothing good about being sick.  However, a strange thing happened.  When I began to think about things that I could be thankful for about being sick (even though my effort was half-hearted at best), suddenly all sorts of reasons began to occur to me.  Before I knew it, I had a list of 8 things that can be good about being sick.  (Although, honestly, I’ll take wellness any day).  I thought for a little while more and could not come up with any additional good things, so I did end my list the way I had planned, with “Sorry.  That’s all I’ve got.”  I put my list on my facebook status, with my little attempt at humor as my closing statement.  Just a few minutes after I posted my list of 8 good things, two more reasons really did come to me.  I added them to my status as a comment, surprised that I actually had come up with a list of 10 good things about being sick.

For me, the whole exercise was a lesson.  Here’s what I learned:

I chose to light a candle...

I chose to light a candle…

1.)  It’s okay to acknowledge feelings of frustration, anger, depression, grumpiness, and dwindling hope.  If we are going to be honest in prayer, we have to just pour all of that out.  God knows how we are feeling.  He is just waiting for us to say, “This is how I feel…., and yet, I know that You are God.  I have done all that I can do, Lord.  I am depending on You and waiting on You and trusting You.”  Then, he can begin to minister grace and comfort and wisdom and, yes, healing (whether that healing is emotional, spiritual, physical, or all 3).

2.)  It can be healthy to spend a little time analyzing yourself and figuring out what is most upsetting to you and why.  (For me, the root of the greatest frustration was definitely not feeling that progress was being made toward getting better and, primarily, the negative impact on my family.  I also miss my old, more productive and dependable life from “before”.)  Sometimes, we need a little time to grieve all of the changes and the impact of illness or injury and to mentally process both the knowns and the unknowns.

3.)  After taking some time to think about what you are feeling, there is one thing that seems to begin to turn things around and change an attitude of frustration, fear, or doubt (that there could be anything good in the situation).  The simple cure is very effective.  It is thankfulness.  Even though I didn’t feel thankful yet when I began making my list of good things, I soon began to see my own illness and even sickness in general through a new lens.

4.)  When I began to make even the slightest effort to see things differently, it was as though God met me right where I was and opened a window so that I could briefly see the (sometimes) hidden value of things that are hard to experience in the here and now.

5.)  I surprised myself, but it really was God surprising me all along.  He promises to work everything for good in the lives of those who love Him.  (Romans 8:28)  Could that possibly mean even nasty germs or cancer cells?  Could it include tragic injuries or even lifelong medical conditions?

Yes.

The answer is … yes.

It’s not that those things are good in themselves.  After all, when we reach Heaven, it will be filled with only what is good and righteous and pure.  Illness, injury, pain, and physical limitations will not be there.  The truth that we hold on to in this life is that God will take even these things and cause them to work together for good (for now, for forever, for His kingdom!).  What a promise that is!

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  – Romans 8:28 (NASB)

Snoopy doctors woodstockAm I a completely reformed grouch?  Well, perhaps I am semi-reformed.  I can’t say that I will never wish something hard or painful or yucky would just go away.  I know that many times in my life, the removal of a trial will be my fervent prayer.  But what I do hope to remember is that if I look for reasons to be thankful, I will find them.  If I look for the good, it will be revealed.  I still won’t understand everything, because God’s ways are higher than my ways.  Now, I know I see through a glass darkly; but someday, I will have full understanding.  Right now, one of my main questions might be, “Isn’t there some other way I could learn this?’  Then, in Heaven, when I suddenly know even as I am known, I believe that all of my questions will be answered before I can even ask them.

So, here is my list of the top ten good things about being sick.  (What was written on that sleepless night is in italics below.)  This really is so much more than just a list.  For me, it was really an exercise… in thankfulness and trust.

Cindy’s List of the Top Ten Good Things About Being Sick
🙂
Snoopy thank you dance1. Being sick makes you really thankful for the times when you are feeling good so that you don’t take health for granted.
🙂 
2. It is really something to be thankful for that most illnesses don’t last very long.  (With all of the germs around us, how miraculous it is that we are so often well!)
🙂
3. Being sick helps one to appreciate the amazing complexity of the human body and the capacity for healing.
🙂 
4. Beling sick can slow one down long enough to re-focus priorities.
🙂
 
5. I’ve heard people say that they would not choose to have missed what they have learned and experienced through an illness or injury. (not sure I’m there at this point, but I’m thinking about it)
🙂 
6. When you are sick, the people who love you are always there with a prayer or some other kind of caring. You love and appreciate them already, but the experience of ministering to one another bonds hearts like nothing else.
🙂
7. When you are sick, you realize again how amazing it is to never be alone and to have God’s presence with you through everything. It is a comfort to know the hope of healing, the hope of Heaven, and the hope of tomorrow (and to have peace when nothing makes sense because you know that your life is held in loving Hands).
🙂
8. When you are sick and you look in the mirror, you realize that your normal look is not so bad after all (compared to the bleary-eyed stranger staring back at you).
🙂
9. ?….? I’ve got nothing.  
(Note:  this is the way I originally wrote the list.  I had nothing here, but God was not finished teaching me yet.)
🙂
10. Hey, I was doing well to come up with 8 good things, don’t ya think?
Just a little humor. Gotta keep smiling, right?  🙂
🙂  *  🙂  *  🙂  *  🙂  *  🙂  *  🙂  *  🙂
At this point, I thought that my list was finished.  I certainly did not think that I could come up with anything else to add.  I was ready to give myself an “E” for Effort.  However, it wasn’t even five minutes before I had added the following:
🙂
Okay, I thought of 2 more, so here are my amendments to the list:
🙂
9. Going through any kind of struggle (including being sick) can make one more compassionate.
🙂
10. Going through trials helps me grow as a Christian. “…the trying of your faith worketh patience…”
The bad part is that now everyone knows for sure that my patience needs work (as if anyone was fooled in the 1st place).
🙂
The funny thing is that when I started typing the list I had only thought of 3 or 4 good things, so it was going to be more of a joke to only go that far and then say, “I’ve got nothing” for the rest.  But, when I started out with thankfulness, the other good things just kept coming to me.  This thankfulness thing really works!  🙂
🙂
Pollyanna glad game quoteIt may seem simple, and some people may label me a Pollyanna; but I have discovered again and again that being thankful is the way to go.  What’s the alternative?  Being miserable.  Sometimes I may spend a little time in misery land, but I don’t want to stay there.  If I’m going to be dealing with something difficult, at least I can recognize that there is still beauty in life, there is still good in life, and that I am never alone through any of it.  Choosing to see the good and to be thankful is not rocket science.  We all know that keeping a good attitude and staying optimistic is important.  Sometimes, illness just squeezes the life out of our optimism, and we need a reminder to take back our mental, emotional, and spiritual power over frustration and despair by choosing to look for the good and be grateful.  So, when illness gets you down, take a step of faith by choosing thankfulness (even if you don’t feel like it), and then wait on the Lord.  He will lift you up!  🙂
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
there is always something to be thankful for“Blessed be the Lord! for He has heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.”
– Psalm 28:6 & 7
🙂
“Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God.” Phil. 4:6
🙂
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
🙂
This post was written by Cynthia  Boyd
🙂

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Advertisements

Psalm 23…He Restores My Soul

The Lord is my Shepherd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I shall not be in want.

 

He makes me lie down in green pastures….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He leads me beside still waters….

 

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil.

 

For You are with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your rod and your staff comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me in the midst of my enemies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You anoint my head with oil, and my cup overflows.

 

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me

all the days of my life,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

<< Psalm 23 >> New Living Translation

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;

I have all that I need.

2 He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

3 He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to his name.

4 Even when I walk

through the darkest valley,a

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

5 You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord

forever.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
PSALM 23 for Today

By Toki Miyashiro

The Lord is my Pace-setter, I shall not rush;
He makes me to stop and rest for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness, which restores my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency, through calmness of mind.

And His guidance is my peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all-importance will keep me in balance.

He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquillity.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours,
For I shall walk in the pace of the Lord and dwell in His house forever.

“Japanese version of Psalm 23″ as published in Guidepost Magazine

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

This post was compiled by C. Boyd

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.boydbrainmusic.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Disappointment…and Grace

All of us experience disappointments in life. These can be relatively minor circumstances, disappointments that turn out to be merely a misunderstanding, devastating choices that lead to major life upheavals, or even heart-breaking betrayals of trust. I believe that every disappointment has the potential to change us in some way. If we can learn to respond with grace to the disappointments that come our way, they can lead to growth and perhaps to eventual reconciliation where there is a need for that. Many times, situations have consequences that reach far into the future, but that just makes it even more important to respond in a way that prevents bitterness from taking root and leaves an open door for God’s grace to bring good out of the pain of disappointment.

There are several types of disappointment that we need to consider. First, there is what I’ll call a Circumstantial Disappointment. Secondly, there are Relational Disappointments. Third, we will deal with Regretful Disappointments. Finally, we can sometimes feel disappointment with God when the answers to prayer are long in coming or seem not to be coming at all. We’ll call that Spiritual Disappointment. There are some general truths for dealing with all kinds of disappointment and some specific considerations for different types of disappointment.

Some people feel that the best way to avoid disappointment is by choosing not to expect too much. I remember not long ago hearing some dialogue in which an individual took issue with the phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up.” I don’t recall the source of the dialogue in question, but it may have been in a movie. The response to being told, “Don’t get your hopes up!” went something like this: “Why not? Why wouldn’t I want my hopes to be up? That’s a very good place for hopes to be. Why would I want to hope for less?” There’s a lot of truth in that. While our expectations in life should be a lot broader than hopes for more of everything good in our own lives (and should include hopefulness for our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, our community, our state, our country, and even the world as a whole, hoping for much more than just material blessings and ‘happiness’), it’s certainly much better to be hopeful than hopeless. Yes, we will sometimes be disappointed; but it’s still worthwhile to live hopefully. Hopes can bond the hearts of people, give individuals something to look forward to, give us a reason to keep working and trying and overcoming, and speak to the world around us with a message that the life of Christ within brings us “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.” (lyrics from the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”)

The first key to dealing with disappointment is to hold on to hope. Our hopefulness is an indication of trust in God. When we know in the very depths of our souls that God is good and has our best interests on His heart, we can trust that whatever circumstance comes our way, God will use it to bring about good in our lives and in His Kingdom. So, the first and most important key to dealing with disappointment is a choice. We must choose to live hopefully. We must choose to reject the negative thoughts that enter our mind when we have been disappointed. Thoughts like “No one really cares about me” and “nothing ever works out in my life” are counter productive and depressing. To counter these kinds of thoughts, you may have to sit down and make some lists. Make a list of everyone who has been kind to you and demonstrated caring. Make a list of the blessings in your life. Make a list of the times when things have worked out well for you, and include times when something that seemed negative at first eventually turned into a positive. Seeing these truths written in black and white can do a lot to help you choose hope.

Precious promises for you!

Secondly, it is essential for us as Christians to look to scripture for help when we are dealing with disappointment. Study the ways that Biblical characters such as Joseph dealt with disappointment and even betrayal. Read the Psalms. Here, you will find a desperate longing for God, and sometimes the broken-hearted pleas for God’s deliverance from trials. No matter what the circumstance, the writers of the Psalms turned to God as their source of help and hope. Another helpful thing to do is to fill your mind with the promises of God. If you don’t have a little book of God’s promises from scripture, buy one and keep it on your nightstand.

Or, go to websites such as these:

God’s promises arranged by topic: http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/promises.html
Daily scripture promise blog: http://www.365promises.com/
God’s promises in every book of the Bible: http://bible.org/article/selected-promises-god-each-book-bible
John Piper’s sermon on the promises of God: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/all-the-promises-of-god-are-yes-in-christ

New International Version (©1984) “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
II Corinthians 1:20

Romans, Chapter 5, NIV
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And web rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but wec also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

(Scripture references above are copied from the Online Parallel Bible) http://bible.cc/

SPECIFIC TYPES OF DISAPPOINTMENT

Circumstantial disappointment

All of us face times in life when circumstances change in a way that we did not expect or that seems less desirable than what we had hoped. These kind of circumstantial disappointments may involve something that didn’t happen as you had hoped. Or, they may involve something that happened which seems contrary to everything you had hoped. Sometimes these disappointments lead to eventually letting go of one dream for your life and grabbing hold of God’s promises and His new dream for you. Circumstances will happen to disappoint us all, and each time we must choose to look at the positives in the situation. The reactions we have to the disappointment of our hopes can range from mild irritation (having to re-arrange your schedule because a flight was cancelled, for example) to feeling absolutely devastated (the sale of your home fell through, or you were laid off, or you didn’t get admitted to the University of your choice). No matter how strong our reaction may be, each disappointment results in the following choices:

1. Choosing to continue to dwell on what has been lost even though nothing can be done about it OR eventually choosing to let it go and move on.

2. Choosing to give up on a hope or dream OR seeking God’s direction about whether to allow Him to give you a new dream or to persevere in seeking this hope but perhaps through another avenue.

3. Choosing to become bitter about what has been denied OR allowing God to use disappointment to refine our character.

4. Choosing to become stuck in the past and our unfulfilled hope OR moving forward with trust and faith in God, knowing that He will work all things (even this disappointment) for our good.

5. Feeling hopeless OR allowing God to restore our hope as time passes and the mental and spiritual adjustment is made not only to the reality that the disappointment has occurred, but to the possiblities of the future!

There is a grieving process with any disappointment, and it is necessary. After all, it takes time to re-adjust your thinking to a new reality. However, we must always be seeking God as the Source of our comfort, our transformation to the likeness of Christ, and ultimately, our hope. God wants us to be honest with Him in prayer. He knows we are devastated and disappointed, but He wants us to talk to Him about it. His Spirit can only minister peace in a situation that has been turned over to Him. A new dream can only be given when we choose to allow Him to turn our disappointment into possibilities that we’d never imagined. Give yourself the grace of seeing each day as a new beginning, full of possibilities and promise as you release the disappointments of the past and surrender each moment to the Lord. The reality of your disappointment can become a stepping stone to newness in your life and even to a reality more joyful or profound than anything you could have dreamed. Hold on to your relationship with God through the grieving and adjustment period, and hold on to hope!

Relational Disappointment

Relational disappointment can be the most devastating type of disappointment. Someone has let us down or even intentionally hurt us…often in a BIG way. Broken hearts result from relational disappointment. Here, we are not only dealing with our feelings about what has happened. We are also dealing with the ongoing relationship. When we have been badly hurt, anger is often our response. However, the expression of anger can cause even more relational difficulty. It’s good to keep in mind some considerations of the other person and the relationship you have to them. As you work through the process of dealing with the disappointment and hurt that you feel, you can choose to show grace by valuing the person and the relationship more than your right to be angry and hurt. Although the grieving and adjustment process for relational disappointment is the same as for any other type, the feelings and the potential relational consequences involved require careful consideration of a few additional factors.

First, remember that you, too, have at times disappointed someone. None of us can perfectly meet the needs of another person. We will all make mistakes, forget something important, or fail to handle a situation appropriately from time to time. We all will have times when we need to apologize for disappointing someone else (as well as times when we need to forgive someone for disappointing us).

Secondly, we need to realize that what seems a big failure or disappointment may have been out of someone’s control or may have resulted from a miscommunication of some type. Here, I will give an example of something that occurred at one of the churches where Travis had served. There was a person who was a part-time employee in Music Ministry at the church, and this individual had been serving for a number of years. Travis was new at the church and was still learning how things were done. Procedures and policies very widely from church to church, and that fact would be brought home in this situation. At the church Travis had left prior to coming to this new church, the Personnel Committee had always taken care of farewells and thank yous to those who were leaving a paid position in the church. However, when this person was no longer employed by the church, nothing was done by that committee. By the time that Travis realized that things were handled differently at the new church, the former employee was already very upset and feeling unappreciated. Though he tried to correct the mistake he’d made by assuming procedures were similar, the attempts were rejected by the former employee. Travis would have liked to have had the opportunity to show appreciation properly; but because of a misunderstanding and the resulting disappointment, that never happened as it should have.

Many times, relational disappointments do result from some sort of misunderstanding. When there seems to have been a mess up or a large oversight that affects you, try not to automatically assume the worst and get all upset without knowing the facts. There may be reasons why things happened as they did of which you are unaware. Sometimes, knowing what happened can help and can even save a relationship. Therefore, we all need to give each other the grace of refusing to jump to conclusions. If you can talk to the person or persons who were involved in whatever led to your disappointment and tell them, “I really felt… (disappointed, betrayed, unappreciated…fill in the blank) because….” (Keep it short and mention only one or two main factors, without detail. Hopefully, this can come across without condemnation or anger.) Then, ask for clarification, “I didn’t want to assume anything without giving you the opportunity to explain, so can you tell me what happened?” Give the person some time to think and consider a response. Just sit and wait without saying anything further. It could be that there are real reasons for the way things happened that you never knew about. The problem could even have resulted from something that you did or said that the other person did not know how to handle. The truth could immediately make you feel better. If so, you may have prevented permanent damage to a relationship by seeking understanding. Or, the truthful answer could hurt at first. It may be that the truth is a mirror, reflecting an area in your own life where some change needs to take place or just an outright failure or oversight by the other party. Either way, these kinds of hurtful truths can be stepping stones to growth and to better understanding eventually if we keep the door of relationship open and work to have better understanding and resolve problems. Regardless of the steps that need to be taken, forgiveness is always appropriate. Even if something happened that was totally wrong, forgiveness will ultimately set you free from bitterness and from living in the past. Ask God to give you an open heart to any changes that you need to make and grace for the other person, just as you have been shown grace and mercy.

When you think that you have someone figured out and that you are disappointed in who they are, remember that there may be many things that you do not know about this person or about their life. Some of your asumptions may be totally wrong. Give others the grace of forgiveness and a second chance. You may be making yourself totally miserable by harboring negative feelings that are not even based upon fact. Pray for this person, and allow God to work in them and in you. You may be surprised at what He will do!

If a relationship proves to be totally unhealthy, seek counsel about what to do. No one has to stay in an abusive situation. You cannot change another person. Change can only come when the other person desires to change, and a lot of changes require God’s help.

Regretful disappointment

Sometimes, our lives can become filled with regret if we dwell on past mistakes or on what we wish we had done in a situation. These things are truly beyond our control. They are in the past. What matters is how we live NOW and what we do to make things better NOW. Give yourself the grace of letting go. Learn from past mistakes, fix what you can, and then remember Paul’s testimony and advice:

“It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus.” – Phillippians 3;12 – 14 (International Standard Version)

The Serenity Prayer can also be helpful.

Spiritual disappointment

Spiritual disappointment can be extremely difficult. As Christians, we know that God is good and that He is able to do anything and to meet our needs. We feel that we should be content to trust His wisdom about the when and the how. We often don’t feel that we can even talk to other Christians about our disappointment. This kind of scenario can lead to feeling totally alone, as though one is abandoned by God but can’t talk about it because to do so would only lead to rejection from other believers who may want to comfort you but who actually fear the pain and loss you have experienced and want you to repeat phrases like “God is so good!’ or “His timing is perfect” for your good and for their comfort. The Book of Job is about just such a struggle. It’s a battle for Job between what he knows he should feel and what other believers are telling him to feel versus how he actually does feel. At the beginning of the time of trial for Job, God expresses confidence in the faith of Job. And yet, even for a mature believer, there is a process of sorting through thoughts, grieving loss, and finding that your faith still holds true. Job wants to know why. He knows that he has done nothing wrong to provoke God’s judgement in the form of the calamity that has come upon his household, and yet He acknowledges that God is sovereign over all. God Himself speaks with Job, and the truths that come out of this conversation are that God does not have to reveal His reasons to us and yet, He wants us to come to Him with our questions. There is no way that we could fully understand the interactions of every human heart and every circumstance as God does. We don’t have the infinite understanding to fathom God’s reasoning, but God gives us the mercy and grace to allow us to question Him, to ask why, and to express our pain, our deep grief, our disappointment, and even our anger. After we have asked out questions and cried out our pain, peace comes only when we finally choose to trust. It is a process, and that process is part of the healing and growth. So, the ultimate message about spiritual disappointment is that it will come to everyone, that we must take it to Him, and that He will teach and comfort us through the pain.

Turning to God in our disappointment and being honest with Him in prayer is the third key for dealing with disappointment. In earlier paragraphs, I had stated that the other two keys are choosing to live hopefully, based upon your knowledge of God’s goodness and your desire to have a positive outlook, and then turning to scripture for help in coping with disappointment. So, my friends, choose hope! Seek answers in God’s word, and turn to Him with all of your questions and hurts as you work through the process of moving forward in your life after you have been disappointed. These three keys to coming through a disappointment and moving forward without bitterness are not a ‘quick fix’. There is no easy answer and no quick solution. Allow yourself the grace of processing all that has happened and thinking through what this means for the future. God wants to bring possibility and promise out of this situation for you. He wants to heal your heart and give you new hope. He wants to communicate His love for you and renew your confidence in His goodness. Blessings to you in the journey!

* A SONG FOR YOU * Here’s a link to a song that may be helpful to you: http://soundcloud.com/travis-l-boyd/god-is-faithful-satb-choral

* HERE’S A BONUS *
Check out this excellent teaching about disappointment by TV host, author, and speaker Michelle McKinney Hammond on the 700 Club’s “Voices of Hope” series (segment #2) about facing life issues.  Here’s the link to the series.  (You will have to select and click on the Segment #2 link to see the video with the teaching about disappointment.): http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/voiceofhope/

Interestingly, in the 700 club interview that allows her to explain her teaching on disappointment, Ms. Hammond also speaks of the need for demonstrating grace when facing disappointment, saying, “Don’t expect divinity from humanity.  Have grace for people, and place your expectations on God.”  Additionally, she also speaks of trusting God through the disappointment (as in our blog article), but she does state some of her teaching in some unique ways that will be helpful to anyone who is seeking additional insights to learn the lessons of disappointment while holding on to faith, preserving relationships, and dealing with pain.  Listen near the end of the interview for your assignment, when Ms. Hammond speaks of God’s plan in the disappointment and our corresponding job as the steward of the experience.

Here is a link to information about her book called How to Get Past Disappointment;
(
Note: I have not read the book, but I am recommending it based upon hearing the teaching in the above link, which is a portion of what is contained in the book. – C. A. Boyd)
Book info: http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Past-Disappointment-Finding/dp/0736937862

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>This post was written by C. A. Boyd
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>><><><>Do you know Jesus?The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.

http://www.boydbrainmusic.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

Personal Links

View Full Profile →

Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

Personal Links

Verified Services

View Full Profile →