Monday June 4, 2012
The envelope had that very official sense about it, and a glance at the return address confirmed it.
The long-awaited acceptance or rejection letter from the US Naval Academy. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears had already gone into this process, and my son had yet to know if he’d been accepted.
The news was not what he had hoped for. His goal at the Naval Academy would have been to become a pilot, but his inherited red-green color deficiency would prevent that. So he had to readjust his dreams, his goals, and take the next step toward finding his calling. It was a disappointing day for him.
How do we deal with disappointment—our and our children’s?
My boys have taught me so much. All I have to do is step back and repeat to myself what I’ve said to them, and I find lessons for my every day.
With the ups and downs of raising four sons, I’ve seen my share of disappointing days.
A walk down memory lane reminds me, on disappointing days, to:
Take time to grieve. When things don’t turn out as you expect, you’re facing a loss. So admit it. Give yourself time to lament a bit. Yes, there’s a bright side, and you'll get there eventually. The light looks even more amazing when contrasted with the darkness.
Get perspective. Whatever this is, it’s disappointing to you because you had another goal. But from God’s perspective, this is no surprise. It’s part of a life that’s upheld by His love and His plan. Rest in that.
Think bigger picture. This one thing is what we’ve hoped and dreamed and planned for, and when it doesn’t happen, we see the big hole that was this one thing. He’s weaving a tapestry that looks messy from down here—but from above, it’s beautiful.
Make this disappointment one big exercise in trust. Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Trusting the One who holds the world in His hands. Knowing He’ll be by our side through victories and disappointments because He loves us.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 1:3)
How great is His love for us, His children.
With Him as our focus, light shines through the darkest of days.
Joining Laura, Jen, and Michelle with words from the heart.