I just laid there crying, feeling miserable. I could not believe I had come all this way and now I was sick and wasn’t even going to get to participate.
This past week my husband and I joined 750+ youth from the Wichita Diocese on a pilgrimage to Washington DC for the 2018 March for Life. It was a 24-hour bus ride which went faster than I expected but was even more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. I was so excited to be there.
The farmer, Ron, has gone on this journey 10 times and I was so excited to be able to join him this year. We had arrived without a hitch and were enjoying a day of visiting museums when I started feeling the drainage down the back of my throat. As the day progressed so did my cold symptoms.
The farmer had been sick earlier in the week but I thought I had avoided catching it. By the next morning, I was SICK and there was no way I was going to be able to join the group for the March for Life.
I was so disappointed, I had looked forward to participating in the March for months. After the tears dried up I prayed and asked the Lord to help me rest well and feel better soon. That is what He did for me. I was thankful to get to feeling better the next day.
This event got me thinking about how disappointment can become a stumbling block in our lives. Some of the biggest transitions in my life were accompanied by disappointment. In fact, how I dealt with my disappointment directly impacted how difficult the transition was for me.
Here are a couple of tips to help you manage disappointment:
1. Take the time to acknowledge the loss.
Many times, we find ourselves sad and sometimes depressed during a transition, but we don’t take the time to really think about what we have experienced. During my recent season of change, I just plowed forward. Taking care of all the things that had to be done to close my business and sell my home in order to move to the farm full-time. After all the to-dos were done I found myself feeling a little lost and sad.
I had just focused on all the good that was coming with the change without considering the loss. Taking the time to really look at the changes to life and the sadness I felt helped me see what I had done.
After talking with the Lord about these big changes, acknowledging my feelings and feeling those feelings of grief, I was able to celebrate the blessings of the season that had come to an end and then focus forward on the blessing that was in this new season in a new way.
2. Check your expectations
Disappointment is experienced when people or experiences in life don’t live up to your expectations. This trip was something I was really looking forward to and had high expectations for. If I had allowed the sadness of not being able to attend this one day on our trip I might not have taken care of myself and gotten the rest I needed to recover as quickly as I did.
As I lay in bed resting, drinking lots of water the Lord brought to my mind all the fun things that were yet to come on our trip. Though I was very disappointed that I was not able to be a part of the March for Life, I was able to get a glimpse of a bigger picture of all the fun planned and was yet to come. That helped me to move past my disappointment.
Thankfully I was able to join the group for a short visit to another museum the next day and most importantly I was also able to meet up with my friend as planned. I spent a couple of days with her catching up and having fun. I am so thankful that we had this special time together.
We will face disappointment in life. We live in a broken world, so things are not going to go according to our plans, hopes, and desires but we can rest assured that God is with us, He loves us, and He will never forsake us.
The next time you feel disappointed to take it to the Lord and ask Him to show you the loss that is at the root of your feelings and adjust your expectations.
I would love to hear how you handle disappointment in your life. Share below.