Watching Disappointment

Its so hard to be disappointed. Learning the art of moving on is quite the challenge, but when you have to watch someone else do it, it can be downright excruciating. It feels unfair to see someone you love be let down. Its like a dagger to the heart. If I am disappointed, I can muster up my courage and forge forward. I’m in control of my feelings. [I’d like to think so.] But when I have to watch helplessly as someone I love goes through it, I feel as though I am a spectator on the sidelines unable to help.

Disappointment is a tricky thing because as Christians, we are supposed to be joyful, right? Thankful in all circumstances? So our disappointment can feel like a betrayal to our faith. It can feel like we are frauds in our claims that “God is in control.” That somehow we are supposed to buck up and carry on with a smile plastered to our faces, when we know that sorrow lurks just below the surface.

How do we find a balance? How can we be both disappointed, sad, angry, hurt, feel betrayed by God, and yet also rejoice in Him? How can we encourage others in their walk with Jesus when they are trudging the way of disappointment?

All I can say is I’m not sure.

I hate that this is my answer. Because I want to say:

  • Something better will come along!
  • You were too good for that anyway!
  • Sometimes God closes doors so others can open!

And on I could go with the Christian-ese jargon that doesn’t help. As my BFF Brene Brown once said, “Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with ‘at least…'” [This is an amazing video on the power of empathy.] “At least you have…” “At least you’re healthy.” “At least you have family that loves you.” Nope.

So I guess all I can do is to be there for that person. It feels hard for me to not jump in and take the pain away. To erase it all and give that person what I think they are truly deserving of. But that isn’t my choice. Nor am I in control of that. The painful part for me is having to witness their pain. To just be. Sit in the hole with them.

I can say with 100% certainty that it isn’t going to be easy. We’d rather fight for those we love, right? But what they need isn’t another upset person riding the emotion train with them. They need a passenger that will sit alongside them and be with them as they ride it. To be there when they’re ready to get off. To be there when they’re ready to buy another ticket to jump back on. So I am praying today that I can be that person. Be that passenger that loves and is there. xo

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