Disappointment

There are many things to be disappointed about in this life. We are set up to strive for “more” with all of the promotions and ads and marketing that bombards us every day. We often chase after things, people, positions, experiences, or degrees hoping they will bring us happiness and are surprised when, after we achieve it we are still feeling disappointment.

Or maybe we have experienced disease, death of loved ones, and other things that occurred through no fault of our own and now we are left to deal with daily reminders of that loss. Life can be so hard.

What is our response when things don’t turn out according to plan? Where do we turn? Who can understand? How can our heart and mind accept the situation and move forward?

It is important to allow ourselves time to adjust to the new circumstances, of course. And that time of grieving and the process of grieving looks different with every person. Talking to a friend or counselor or pastor can be helpful. I also like to pour out my heart to God and ask for His peace and patience while I navigate through the “new path” that He is allowing me to travel. It may not be what I would have chosen but it can have beauty and peace all the same.

Sometimes I need to adjust the way I view my circumstances.

Instead of asking “What is going on here?” or “What am I doing here?” I can ask,

“God, what are You doing here?”

“God, open my eyes to see what You want me to do or see here.”

I don’t want to suffer or endure difficulties but those things can strengthen me if I am looking to Jesus for His strength and perspective. That strength not only allows me to endure future disappointments (because they will continue coming) but to be a source of encouragement to others. There are others who are also suffering and enduring difficulties and, sometimes, the only way for me to see those needs and share the Love and Mercy of God is to be in those hard places. I don’t love to be in “hard places” but I know God is there.

And He wants to be my Rock.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. {Romans 5:1-5, RSV]

May God bless you as you work through your disappointments!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: TREASURES

Routine…

cropped cross s

Predictable…Consistent….Reliable….

It’s the New Year and as I evaluate where I have been and where I am going I feel like I could use some more routine in my life. I seem to go in spurts of focus and that takes a toll on my consistency. Of course, we just came off of a wild year so I am craving a little predictability, I suppose. I don’t do a load of laundry every day to keep up with it. I typically do a day of laundry so I can focus on it. [Really, who am I kidding? Don usually does the laundry now…] But when I was doing laundry I tried to get it all done in a day because it was easier to focus on getting it all done in one day instead of a little every day.

I don’t know how this idea of routine will work for me. And I surely won’t do this in every area of my life but I will in two areas for sure and one of them is PrayerPoints. I have weighed the pros and the cons of the 40 days of Lent posts against a weekly consistency for a couple of years. The truth is, I like focusing on it for 40 days and leaving it up to chance (and, consequently, minimal posting the rest of the year). With my mind very intentionally focused for those 40 days, I feel like I could easily write 100 PrayerPoints because there are so many things that lead my mind down that path. But I don’t like that I don’t ponder quite as much (nor commit to paper as much) during the rest of the 325 days.

This year I will embark on a new routine! On Sunday or Monday of each week I will post a PrayerPoint. In the end, I am only committing to 52 PrayerPoints vs 40 PrayerPoints. it’s hardly an increase. But switching it up will switch up my routine. And I feel like that is something I need right now. It will help me to practice being consistent.

As you think about the routines in your life you certainly will find some that should stay, some that should be eliminated, and some that should be initiated. I challenge you to think about one area you plan to be intentional about this year and whisper it to someone you trust. Let them cheer you on and help you dust off the dirt if you fall. Sharing your journey–the good and the bad–the encouragement and the disappointment–is one of the blessings on being here on this Earth at the exact same moment as the others in your life! Then set about charting your course for success by making a plan. Allow yourself for some grace and take it one step at a time!

And when you are ready to make your whisper a shout, I would love to know what you are working on this year!