Heartbreak to Strength Blog

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!

Love, Jodi

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:  https://link.chtbl.com/vZzTid7o

*Amazon affiliate Link

God Is Not Finished With Your Story

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Are you feeling knocked down by disappointments or difficulties in your life?  Do you feel pressed on every side by the weight of your circumstances?  Are you confused and perplexed as to why God has you walking through this season of uncertainty right now?

I know how hard it can be, so let me encourage you with some truth I learned at church. As we studied these verses in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, the pastor noticed there were commas after each descriptive word, not a period.

  • “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
  • Perplexed, but not in despair;
  • Persecuted, but not abandoned;
  • Struck down, but not destroyed.”

A period signifies the end of a sentence, but a comma shows that there is still more to come. It is important that we view our lives this same way. These feelings you are experiencing right now: hard pressed, grief, confusion….. they are real emotions that you will want to allow yourself time to process.  BUT they are not the end of your story. 

“Don’t put a period where God places a comma!”

I know someone needs to hear this message today.  This storm you have been facing has lasted longer than you thought.  The emotions are weighing on you and pressing you down.  You are struggling to see any light in the midst of the dark.   

If you are feeling hopeless, I want to encourage you today to exchange the period you placed at the end of your difficult circumstance with a comma. 

You may feel hard pressed on every side (comma), but you are not crushed, You may feel struck down (comma), but you are not destroyed.

God is not finished with your story.  He wants to give you beauty for your ashes and purpose for your pain.  

He has a plan bigger than you can even imagine, and He wants you to trust Him even when you cannot understand. Fall back into His loving arms today and ask Him to give you His strength as you walk through this difficult season.  

Remember this is not the end of your story, but the beginning of an even greater story.

Love, Jodi