Thursday, December 20, 2012

Admitting Disappointment

The other day, Steve called in the middle of the afternoon to see how things were going.  As I started to  update him about a change in plans for a home improvement we'd hoped for, I was horrified to hear myself blurt, "I'm so disappointed!"  I went on to describe the shift, but I kept circling back to how let down I felt that things were going in such a different way than expected.

I was extra un-proud of myself for admitting this because it is SUCH an unimportant aspect of our life right now.  I mean, in the midst of all the very real things going on, who cares? 

Apparently, me.

Afterwards, I sensed God showing me how rarely I admit to Him when I'm disappointed.  I tend to skip right to acceptance when I pray ("Thy will be done"), with occasional detours through anger ("How could you let this happen?"), abandonment ("Why have you forsaken me?"), or ridiculousness ("Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!").  But in all of that, my point of view is that things are what they are, and I have to deal with it.

I felt like God was asking me to involve Him earlier in the process, before I decided all hope was lost and started working with this new reality.  So I did.  It felt weird to tell God, "I'm really disappointed about X...." But weird is okay.

This morning I read this wise gem: "If what God is asking you to do seems improbable or impossible, remember: all you have to do is take the first step."

This has proven true in my life so many times.  I wondered if by not admitting when I'm disappointed (at least not until later, when I can make a joke out of it), I'm skipping a step?  Maybe God doesn't want me to fling myself into forced acceptance, or assume that just because a decision is made, it represents His will.  Maybe disappointment is part of God's plan, intended to start a conversation with Him, a conversation that might lead somewhere interesting and unexpected.

If we're tuned into Advent, we hear endlessly about waiting.  Today, as I wait, my prayer is this:  Dear God, help me to put down all my pretending and be honest with you.  Remind me to talk to you as if You really care about how I'm doing -- when I'm fine, and when I'm hurt or disappointed.  Open my eyes to notice what happens next, and how You're in it.  Amen.

Do you tell God when you're disappointed?


Toiah said...

I tell God when I am disappointed. Some people think that disappointment is a lack of faith and/or gratitude but that's simply not true... As humans we experience a gamut of emotions. Our job is not let our emotions rule us.

Anonymous said...

It says in the Bible, "Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord" (Lamentations 2:19, a beautiful analogy) so I pour out the good, the bad and the ugly. If I'm not honest with God, it's like going to the doctor and not telling him my symptoms--a total waste of time.