I don’t know about you, but I struggle with the weighty emotions that accompany disappointment. We all deal with these feelings daily. For me, it may look like not getting to drink my hot coffee or one of my children eating the last bit of precious chocolate from the pantry (enter Gollum voice here. I know you’ve been there too).
But then there are those times of extreme loss. Whether it’s a loss of a loved one, a mortgage loan that fell through, a job loss, or the adoption court date that constantly moves further out, navigating all the feelings is tough. Have you ever felt this way?
So, what happens when we feel disappointed?
When We Feel Disappointed
Dealing with disappointment is a natural part of life. There are times when it’s simply going to happen. These feelings often result from a dash to our expected hopes.
We plan the family vacation, and then a pandemic occurs. We scrap our pennies together and save for a new living room set, but then the garage door breaks down. Many moments are spent folding tiny clothes and lovingly selecting nursery paint samples, and then feel the absence of a heartbeat.
Mothering in the midst of these moments often causes us to lose joy in our present moments. When so many of life’s moments offer pain and disappointment, how can we reclaim our lost hope?
3 Steps to Reclaim Hope For the Disappointed Heart
1. Focus Your Thoughts
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
A lack of focus on truthful things often leads to a lack of hope and joy. When we focus our thoughts on the negative, the sadness of the situation, our feelings take over. Our minds are susceptible to spiritual dangers when we allow our feelings to rule over what we know as Truth.
The Lord’s ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours. When we’re tempted to allow our disappointment to take over, we must remember His ways are best.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” –Psalm 27:13-14(ESV)
While we wait for Him to reveal His way, His strength holds us fast.
2. Bathe In Prayer
“Pray without ceasing.” – I Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)
Praying is the best way to connect with God. Our prayers need not be robust with hours of meditation to reach God’s ears. God is our Heavenly Father! He cares about the major problems and the seemingly small details of our lives.
However, overcoming the depths of disappointment requires more than a few moments here or there. We must bathe ourselves in prayer. Again, this need not be hours, but rather multiple moments of tiny minutes sprinkled throughout our days. It’s the renewed mindset and practice of praying that draws us closer to His ways rather than ours.
3. Write Out & Meditate On
Do you write things out? Pre-children, I would tuck all the things in my head, and remember every single one. Now, years later, I find I have to write things out many times to remember them better. Writing out Scripture helps me tuck it away in my heart for later. More importantly, writing out Scripture can calm our anxious hearts and embed truth into the tiny pockets of our minds.
Hold fast, friend! He is near, and He is hope.