3 Growth Steps to Help You Handle Disappointment
Disappointment is the hardest emotion to manage, and it happens when our expectations do not match our reality.
Are you walking through a season of disappointment? Have you had to cancel important events due to the coronavirus? Friends, I understand. Let me share with you three growth steps God taught me in the middle of a recent disappointment.
1. Be honest with how you are feeling.
The plane landed, and I gasped as I read my friend’s text: Glacier Park was on fire. I could not believe the words I was reading. Having walked through a local fire the week before, I could not wait to leave the smoke behind and head to the beautiful lakes and mountains in Montana. Tears filled my eyes as I realized this trip would look much different than I planned.
Friends, I know life looks different than you planned right now. Before we can move past this disappointment, we have to be honest with how we feel. Sharing with my family and friends, I put a voice to my feelings and in return received empathy from them. I encourage you to do the same.
2. Change your focus.
Even though my trip looked different than what I planned, a loved one encouraged me to shift my perspective. To avoid getting stuck in disappointment, I needed to look at my circumstances through a different lens. Maybe you do too. Are you going to dwell on the negative or are you going to look for the positive?
What if your disappointing circumstance is actually an opportunity to invite God into the situation?
I had the privilege to interview Lysa TerKeurst on her book, It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way for my Depth Podcast. One thing she encourages us to do is to see our disappointments as divine appointments! This will definitely help change your focus.
3. Avoid extreme statements.
Friends, I wish I could say this was the end of my disappointment. As the vacation continued, the air quality changed from unhealthy to hazardous. I also took a drastic change for the worst and went to an unhealthy place emotionally. I have a tendency to go “all bad” when I feel disappointed; I start using words like never and always.
If we stop and really evaluate the situation, life is not all good or all bad but actually somewhere in the middle. There are no perfect vacations or perfect families. We all have struggles. In fact, disappointment might rear its ugly head multiple times these next couple weeks. When it does, let’s remember this truth from Lysa TerKeurst’s book:
So thankful we have a God who cares and wants to help us through our difficult times. Praying we can hand him our disappointments today!
Note: If you are walking through a season of disappointment, I highly encourage you to listen to the truth Lysa TerKeurst shares on my Depth podcast about her book, *It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. Here is a link to our conversation: Depth Podcast: Episode 29
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