Can Disappointment Be A Friend?


Disappointment can occur through various circumstances.  At some point in everyone’s life, we all will experience some form of disappointment, be it large or small.  How many ways has it happened to you?  Was it through a rejected job, college, credit, car or mortgage application?  Did it come through a sub-par test score or failed college course?  Were you seemingly overlooked for a promotion on your job or in ministry?  Did disappointment happen through a broken relationship or failed marriage?   Did someone whom you trusted and depended upon turn their back on you or let you down?   Did your child who was in college with a full scholarship drop out without you knowing?  No matter how often disappointment has occurred in your life; how did it affect you and how did you handle it?

How does disappointment initially affect you?

Depending upon what season in your life that you are in, disappointment affects different people in different ways.  imageA high school graduate who receives rejection letters from Ivy-League colleges may feel totally frustrated.  An all “A” student who receives his or her absolute first ever failing grade in one of their college courses may feel completely devastated.  A wife whose husband went to the store to buy a loaf of bread and never came back might cry for months or years as a result of hurt and disappointment.  A working single mother who had a twenty-five thousand dollar down payment to buy a small home for her three children, but received rejections from three different mortgage companies may  feel hopeless.  You may have shared a sensitive family secret with someone you trusted and regressed back into paranoia after discovering that they betrayed your confidence.   Disappointment doesn’t discriminate.

I remember being rejected for a promotion on my job some years ago.  I was qualified; had the experience, the educational requirements and went through what I believed was a very productive interview.  The lady who interviewed me asked repeated questions about a leadership technique that I developed.  She even took notes and said that she would use my process.  She also said that she looked forward to working with me.  I walked away from that interview very excited, thinking that I had the job.

But a few weeks later, I received notification of my rejection.  The letter stated that they chose someone with more experience for the position.  I was not only disappointed, but I was livid and felt duped by someone who just wanted to learn from me.  I told my daughter about it and cried.  I said, “Tamika, that lady just wanted to use my work.”  She said, “Mama, don’t worry, you will get a promotion.”  My disappointment couldn’t allow me to hear Tamika.  The Lord said to me, “Rochelle, yes you are more qualified than the person who interviewed you.  But she couldn’t hire you.  Your skills would shine a light on what she doesn’t know.”  At the time, I still didn’t understand.  I saw someone with an authoritative title.  All I was trying to do was receive a promotion, earn more money and use my gift.  I felt like a failure.  That was one of more than ten rejections.  My misplaced hope and faith were hidden underneath my disappointment.

Is disappointment a friend or a foe?

Man with emotions symbols. 3d rendered illustration.
Man with emotions symbols. 3d rendered illustration.

A foe is an enemy.  Merriam-Webster defines as, “One who has personal enmity for another.  Something prejudicial or injurious.”  It defines disappointment as, “The state of being disappointed.”   It defines disappointed as, “Feeling sad, unhappy, or displeased because something was not as good as expected did not happen.  Unhappy because someone has behaved badly.”  or because something you hoped for or as.   According to Merriam-Webster, a friend is, “A person who you like and enjoy.  One attached to another by affection or esteem.  One that is not hostile.  One that favors something.”   Even though definitions of friend and foe appear as a person; disappointment is a noun.  It’s a thing that causes a state of being; we are applying the state of being disappointed to friend or foe to make a point in this writing.

How can disappointment be a foe?

When you allow disappointment to cause you to give up; it’s a foe.  When you allow disappointment to cause you to feel bad about yourself; it’s an enemy.  When you allow disappointment to cause you to become bitter, critical, and full of cynicism, it’s an opponent.  When you refuse to dream and hope again because of disappointment, it’s a foe.  When you allow disappointment to ride on the spirit of pride, and you are more concerned with what others think than what God wants, it’s an opponent on a team to take you down.  So, why not let disappointment become a friend?

How can disappointment be a friend?

Where do we start?  Sometimes disappointment can push you to realize that a certain season in your life is over.  Sometimes we hold on to people, places and things for too long until God has to allow our feelings to get hurt in order for us to move on to where He wants us.

You may have received disappointing news about a position that you wanted, so that you can concentrate on what The Lord wants for you.  God could be trying to expose hidden walls that the enemy of your soul has used to bind you.  God just might be allowing disappointment to teach you how to look at situations and think out of the box and on a new level.  You can re-think on that position and see the big picture.  You can see how the person who was placed in position brings a different twist to an area that you love.  That’s a win-win; even though it was brought about through your frustration.  Think about it.  The oil is not pushed out of the grapes until they are crushed.  Your crushing disappointment has caused you to grow into a bottom line thinker.

Allow disappointment to cause you to focus on what really matters.  Sometimes we all can become encumbered with irrelevant things, or what one of my son calls, “petty” stuff.  They are not petty in nature, but some things are not important to what God wants for you.  In these instances, God allows disappointment to become your friend by helping the sad situation to push you into focusing on what you really need to do.

imageGod can use disappointment to bring you to your knees more often, pray more often and deepen your trust in Him.  As I write this post, I’m walking through a disappointing situation with one of my sons that is affecting me greatly.  I woke up during the night with an excruciating headache; worst than the norm.  The headache subsided enough to write off and on throughout today.  The Lord is saying, “Rochelle you always pray for your children.  Don’t allow this disappointment to cause you to regress back to where you were in 2014.  Hold on to your faith.  Just like you accepted my Will for Mika; believe me now.”  I yet say, “Yes Lord” with a praise on my lips.  Today I accept disappointment as a friend that helps me to seek Jesus even more.  Praise God!

My friends, rather than allowing disappointing occurrences to cause you to quit; embrace them.  That’s because, in them there is always a hidden opportunity for growth.  Allow disappointment to cause you to focus on what’s new and on where you are going.  Allow disappointment to take your faith to another level.  Allow disappointment to usher you into vision, hopes, dreams, goals and plans.  Allow disappointment to become a vehicle that drives you to bloom, expand, discover and experience!  Thank God in disappointment.  Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (NRSV)

Thank you for joining me in these Monday moments of reflection.  My last questions are:  “Can disappointment be a friend?  How many ways can disappointment be a good thing?  What are your thoughts?  Join me in conversation.  I’d love to hear from you.  We’ll talk soon.




Originally posted 2016-01-04 22:47:06.

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