Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The struggle with disappointment

" Before a downfall, the heart is haughty..."

You read the book, watched the trailer, saw the pamphlet, read the reviews, studied directions, studied the product, studied the relationship, did everything to make sure it was what, how, who, whatever you wanted and thought it would be. When it happened, came, arrived, started, reality brought disappointment.
In life we spend so much time working towards our ideal life, relationships, wants etc.  I think we sometimes live more just ahead or farther into our future then we do directly in the present. So much so that every time we see reality of the present, its clash with our imagination causes disappointment. During this past week God has been working on me through everything in life to show me one of my biggest struggles, disappointment. As I started this last week I began by working on memorizing Philippians 4:4-9 
" Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.And the God of peace will be with you."
This led me to pray to God to cleanse my mind of thoughts that did not match His standards. That's when I started struggling with how disappointed I was quite frequently.
There are many areas from mental, physical, relational, to spiritual that I am either disappointed in myself, something, someone or situations.  Constantly I am putting pictures in my head of what I want. I even know they are unrealistic many times because I can end up being disappointed before anything even happens. Situations I struggle with strongly, many times I go into already disappointed, assuming it already hasn't met my expectations. I prepare myself to struggle to hide my emotions of unhappiness. I am setting myself up each time for a failure of enjoyment.
 This weekend I was upset and talking to my husband about something I just couldn't emotionally  pull away from, something I was very upset and disappointed with to the point of tears. After a while of me talking and crying he wisely counseled me, advising me to, instead of looking at how things were not the way I dreamed and wanted, instead look at the blessings in that situation. He pointed out so many things to be thankful for in the situation that all this time I should have been enjoying and happy over that had been lost to me because of my focus on the one way the situation should have been in my ideal dream world. I couldn't cry anymore after that.
Later that week I was reading a chapter in Courtney Josephs book Women Living Well. This chapter was on dealing with the disappointments in mother-hood, but it was definitely relatable to all situations. It hit me personally in my life now. Especially as a newly married, young, christian woman, I had definite ideas of how a happily blissful, godly marriage (and sex) life would look like. She shared how to deal with disappointment by first realizing God cares. Next, realize there are many things that will not happen your way and you need to react with thankfulness and praise. This tied right in to the verse I'm memorizing this week, Verse 6 specifically " do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God." Lastly Courtney pointed out to use those times of disappointment as lessons from God. Instead of focusing on the disappointment, focus on what God is showing and teaching you.
When I started asking God what he was teaching me, I started asking where does it all start. I realized it starts with a pride and selfishness. My heart was "haughty," prideful, and because of that I experiences downfall and disappointment. Disappointment comes when what we want is more important then what really is. We are personally affronted by things being different then our way.  Instead of looking at reality for what it is, and enjoying it with thankfulness and praise to God. I have been " making excuses" for the failure of my dream. I need to stop expecting and deciding how events need to happen in my life.
                               "....  but humility comes before honor." Proverbs 18:12
" When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom" Proverbs 11:2
" The reward for humility, and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life" Proverbs 22:4
I needed humility to be my guide, not my pride or selfish desires if I wanted to not end in disappointment.  I have a life filled with riches and blessings and I need to see them! And lastly, but not leastly..
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. "
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Always Give thanks to the amazing God who is working his will in your life!

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