How do you handle disappointment?

When I was younger I distinctly remember that one Christmas, I got a boys tin pencil case. And yes, in the video I proclaim it’s a BOYS pencil case, in other words, why is this in my hand rn? Boys have cooties. In the video I lob the pencil case away delving onto the next. Man, I was ungrateful but the way I handled that disappointment was to throw a bit of a fit and that’s no fun for anyone.

I find out a lot about myself when I encounter disappointment. It’s so interesting learning my reactions to how I handle things. At times, I try and justify my disappointment out loud (like the pencil case scenario) or I’ll just sit in my sadness for a little whilst wondering where/how/when it all went wrong or sometimes I’ll just want to sleep. 

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams and my purpose. I’ve been thinking about God-dreams, you know the ones that just require a crazy amount of faith to the point where God just HAS to move because it isn’t possible any other way!

Sometimes, before the dream takes place in the physical I have already set up camp there in my mind. Always future thinking and struggling to remain in the present. I’ve either dreamt that I’m in *that* place, as a more happier and refined version of myself. I forget how to hold things lightly. Sometimes I’ll even say it out loud but never truely mean it. I too easily forget that the grass is greener and then I become all too consumed in the next, crossing out the right now.

Photo by Alabaster Co on Unsplash

My whole life I have wanted to live out what God has planned for me. Sometimes I get too ahead of myself and end up tripping or stumbling my way to the finish line. When I think about my God dreams I always think about Joseph. I recall the anointing he had on his life and his naivety when it came to telling his siblings about his dream. You almost cringe at Joseph’s immaturity and pride even though he may not have even realised he was speaking out of turn (Genesis 37:1-11). Regardless, God used Joseph to be His mouthpiece. I’m sure Joseph asked God “what the hell is going on?” when his siblings threw him into a hole for traffickers to find him and sell him (Genesis 37:19-24). I’m sure he asked this again when he encountered Potifar’s wife and her lies. Finally, I’m sure he felt this when he was in jail and promptly forgotten about (Genesis 39). An afterthought in sometimes else’s story. 

“God, what the heck is going on?”

I’ve found myself asking Him this a lot of the time. You think you have a plan but then God changes the trajectory of your life. I resonate with Abraham going up the mountain with his son Isaac, knowing the weight of what God had called him to do and yet still operating in obedience. His own son! To even consider taking the life of His own son must’ve required so much trust and obedience to the calling placed upon his life. I want to live in that obedience. I wanna feel the persistence and resilience of Joseph and the crazy obedience of Abraham. That no matter how crazy it seems to others, that I know, 100% God’s intentions towards me are always pure. 

I wanna feel the persistence and resilience of Joseph and the crazy obedience of Abraham.

And sometimes that looks like, actively waiting. One more year, doesn’t just remain one more year, it becomes “Wow, a year of living in obedience with Him in a place I can continue to call home.” Imagine if this current redirection was in fact, God’s protection.

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

I mean think about it. 

If God had just given Joseph’s dream right there and then, drenched in his immaturity and pride, I feel like the conversation with his brothers when they were begging him for food would’ve gone a lot differently then “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20 NLT). It would’ve gone like “Ya’ll I told you so— take them to the dungeon!” 

What about Abraham and his true, reverent fear of the Lord? If God hadn’t tested his faith and obedience would Abraham have had the kahunas to pave the way for his many generations before them and lead them into spiritual freedom? “Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that – I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed- all because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:15-18).

Photo by Manuel Will on Unsplash

The intention of both of these biblical characters “God-dreams” were ‘to save the lives of many people and for “descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky.” Yes, I googled how many stars there were in the sky and apparently according to there are about “10 billion galaxies in the OBSERVABLE universe and an average of 100 billion stars per galaxy meaning there’s about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s 1 billion trillion) stars.” 

Yep, that’s insane.

However, Joseph and Abraham had to get through some ish in order to see all of this come to fruition! There was a waiting period that they had to both go through. With the Lord, your waiting is often times, your preparation for the battle ground.

As some of you may know, I was on a journey of applying for YWAM LA 2020 which would’ve started on October 1st. However, the borders aren’t open for my visa type and this means that I’ll have to postpone. It’s heartbreaking, but I get it.. kinda. It’s disappointing but I’m learning that maybe this is for a reason bigger than what I’m seeing in the physical. Maybe I wasn’t ready or maybe this was about seeing if I could take a first step in walking in obedience?

So for you, reader, who is reading this and wondering where it all went wrong and whose plagued with questions like:

  • Did I pray enough?
  • Did I have enough faith?
  • What if I was just really lazy with timing?
  • What if I missed the boat/train/plane because I was so paralysed by fear?
  • What if I didn’t try hard enough?
  • What if God’s forgotten all about me?
  • What if I could’ve done something more?
  • What if I misunderstood what He was saying this WHOLE time?

Will you take a deep breath with me?

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Inhale the promise that “God’s redirection could be His protection for you.” And exhale these lies telling you that you aren’t enough. He is a beautifully, wonderful, God of revival and He has NOT left you behind. Get deeper, get closer and get Him involved in your everyday.

There are people/descendants/lives on the other side of your obedience and God is waiting for you to say yes to Him. He’ll set your feet on the right path “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” (Isaiah 46:10 ESV)