Filled with nerves and expectation I stood before my new boss on my first day. The dream job had finally come. Following six years of study I graduated into the economic crisis with an embargo on all state jobs. After a year of unemployment the perfect job offer came and here I was on the precept of the new. “I’m so sorry, I’m not quite sure what happened, you placed first in the interview but this position has since gone to someone else”. I had moved to the other side of the country, invested hundreds in start up costs and now I was left with nothing. My stomach sang, we all know the feeling; the bitter unrelenting pang of disappointment.
Disappointment can only manifest where there has previously been hope and expectation. That’s what makes its blow all the more deadly. It preys on the things that really matter to us, the true desires of our hearts. It’s more like a bruise than a cut, it remains tender for long after the event, often sore to touch and its pain is far reaching. It chides us for our stupidity at believing for more and urges us into the safe cocoon of self protection. A cocoon that promises to keep out disappointment forever, and with it hope, expectation and the ability to dream freely.
I believe disappointment is the silent killer of our dreams. It’s tactics are so subtle you’ll mistake it as realism, wisdom, even maturity. Disappointment will point you to an inferior truth, it will focus you on previous experiences and away from the impossible made possible in your life.
Today’s popular method of overcoming disappointment is to lower our expectations. Just scroll through your social media feed, it’s filled with quotes aiming to inspire like “don’t blame others for disappointing you, blame yourself for expecting too much”. At first glance this sounds like wisdom but is this really how we want to live life – expecting nothing noteworthy from ourselves or others so as not to feel disappointment?
Life truly is filled with surprises. Things will not always come the way we hoped or dreamed. Situations we never imagined having to face will knock on the door of our lives and enter uninvited. Navigating this disappointment is a necessary part of life and avoiding it will rob you of your best life.
Disappointment needs to be felt, expressed and overcome. The reality of previous experiences cannot be our highest truth, who God says we are, who we are created to be, that is our highest truth. Disappointment’s roar is much less impressive than hope’s gentle whisper.
God is calling his people back to childlike faith, one that has no plan B and is not self protective. It risks greatly and lives expectant of the impossible to invade at any moment. It dreams big dreams, it believes beyond what it sees, it lives heart wide open and it laughs a whole lot.
It is the bravest kind of brave for it experiences disappointment and still, hopeful and expectant, it overcomes.
By Lisa Clarke