Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dealing with disappointment

sunset at city pond
In the back of my head for several years now I have felt the need to address this, to make it real through writing, and most importantly to allow the thought that comes with writing it all out to help process through the different experiences from the past and others that will inevitably come in the future in hopes to better help heal, better help guide and better help learn myself how to approach them with the right heart and attitude.

The only problem is I don't want to think it through.  I don't want to process, I want to suppress.  My desire is to stuff it back in or brush it off as nothing and continue about the day knowing sooner or later the fresh feeling will go away and the ability to say "see it wasn't that big of a deal" will be easier.
But holding hands with the desire to just ignore is the realization that I just don't know how to help.  Which is, in all honesty, so much worse and the reason why flight is a frequent go-to reaction.  The helpless feeling of not knoSing what to say, if you can help, when to speak, and when not to, can be gut wrenching.  It's a second-guess girl's worse nightmare. 

It's hard to voluntarily open yourself up to any subject that hurts, that lays your heart bare, that has the possibility of leaving more questions than answers, or worse, to come to realize that there's not an answer.  There's not a clear and concise 'why' to soothe the spirit.

But ignorance is not always bliss.  It's a wall that keeps you stagnant, keeps you from walking through to the next thing designed to continue molding you into the man or woman God is creating you to be, keeps you stuck instead of movable, instead of yielding, instead of freed from self to fully submit to the hands of the One who has always been holding you.  

Countless topics could follow this introduction, and that part does conjure up a small smile in the midst of a hurting heart as you see clearly that God's design is for each of us specifically and all of us together.  We are all learning the same lessons, in a million different ways, and He speaks straight to the heart of all of them using the same Truths.

The subject at hand today is the hard that comes through dealing with disappointment.  Not in my own life this time, but more so in the lives of my babies, though usually I learn plenty about and for myself as I help navigate them through the inevitable ups and downs of growing up.

The times where as a parent you have to watch the look on the face of this child that you would, without hesitation, lay down your life for, as the difficult road of character building begins through a disappointing experience just plain sucks. Sorry for the non-impressive literary slang, but some words carry meaning better than others.  Just be happy that the rhyming word I really wanted to say stayed in my head this time.  Let's face it, character doesn't get built through sunshine and roses, but there's a part of you that wants to convince God that you promise you'll be fantastic at learning things the easy way!

We had a tough parenting weekend where we had to watch our baby hurt, watch him be disappointed in a way not so big in the grand scheme of life but very big in the heart of a dedicated boy.  Details are not necessary, because unlike the voluntary sharing of my own struggles, screw ups, disappointments, and hard fought lessons learned, my job is not to spill the guts of another but instead to assist them in feeling confident to spill them out themselves preferably before the throne of Grace, before the Savior who, without a doubt, understands our weaknesses.

However, like I said, I have no concrete answers.  I'm a rookie in this game, who has already self admitted to purposely ignoring God's call on my heart to even address this topic because I knew I would have to sort through my past and my disappointments and then convince a heartbroken boy to do the same, even when I know we'll both be better for it

No matter how many past experiences we have where the hurt is completely worth the place God brings us to, it is still difficult to roll up those sleeves and trust that the same result will be true.  Lord we believe, please help our unbelief.

In these times, no matter how serious or frivolous they may seem, there is a Hope, a promise of redemption, a promise of renewed heart and being molded into the ultimate goal of the likeness of Christ.  On this earth we will see joys and failures, experience elation and devastation, and convince ourselves more than once that these individual moments are what define us, are what are important, are the reason we live. 

But just as you can't define yourself by the difficult things that happen, you can't, on a different day, define yourself by the awesome ones either.  The only identity that matters is the one found in Christ.  This is our ultimate goal for our children and for ourselves, to know whose we are and what that means.  There's always something that can be learned, always a lesson that provides another step in sanctification, always a way to become different, more Christ-like, more available to help others with a need you've already gone through.

That, however, can take a lifetime to truly embrace, so until then this rookie is going to rejoice with my sons when they rejoice, mourn when they mourn, admit with them that unfair things will happen, try to help them see that Grace and Mercy is also beautifully unfair, cry and pray on their behalf in the way too early hours of the morning, ask women with wisdom and experience to lift us up and tell me what the heck I need to do, screw it up out of my own anger and frustration, seek forgiveness, let my sons know that I love them fiercely, be there when they need a laugh, a hug, silence, or just a cup of hot tea, help them when they are ready to seek humility and the lessons they can learn through it, and remind them as many times as humanly possible that they are loved unconditionally, that they are made in the image of a Holy God and that there is a plan specifically designed for them by the One who holds on to them no matter how many times they not only want to but do let go.

That is true for us all.

I'll be praying you know and believe it's truth, please pray the same for me.

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