Disappointment is one the hardest things for me to handle.
I know that probably sounds immature of me, but I’m keeping it real here.
Like death and taxes, disappointment is inevitable.
How we dealt with it early in life impacts how we manage it today, and can shape how we cope with disappointment in the future.
Disappointment comes in all sizes and shapes. It does not discriminate against age, sex or occupation.
Disappointment can take place in relationships that break down, in a ministry that fails to thrive, in a marriage that is struggling and in our relationship with God the Father.
Sometimes disappointments happen to us and are completely out of our control such as death, illness, injury or the loss of a job.
Other times we set ourselves up for disappointment because we have unrealistic expectations.
As a kid I dreaded disappointment and it reared it’s ugly head with regularity.
Disappointment ranged from not having anyone to play with to being left in the care of my abuser.
As I got older I devised ways to self protect so that I would not have to experience the sting of disappointment and the emptiness that came with it.
I became a master of disguise when it came to my emotions.
Regardless of the circumstance I was impenetrable. I would not allow anyone to know I was hurt, disappointed or sad.
I used humor to hide what I was feeling. I led people to believe my life was together and I was a happy well -adjusted person.
But in reality I had wrapped my heart in barbed wire not realizing that while barbed wire is used to protect it also left me alone, as it was too dangerous for anyone to touch.
I knew I was living a lie, but I would never admit it.
In the early years these coping skills served me well. However the older I got, the more antiquated my strategies became until one day I realized those skills were now counterproductive and impeding my personal relationships and my faith.
Like any young adult I wanted deep, significant and lasting relationships. I was so terrified of being disappointed that I almost never revealed my true self, and as a result was hurt even more and experienced the very thing I was trying to avoid: disappointment.
Over time I have come to understand why I avoided disappointment and the consequences of wrapping my heart in barbed wire.
God has been remodeling my heart in what I refer to as an extreme heart makeover.
He has removed all the faulty thinking and strategies and taken me down to the studs of my soul. At times I have been laid bare for all to see the incomplete mess of my heart.
God did not do this to humiliate me or in an attempt to pull the holiest of power trips.
No, He did it for me so I could allow the architect and designer of my life to have His way with my heart.
He knows it better than anyone. He created me. He gave me my sense of humor and my tender heart that I try to hide.
With God’s gentle leading; I recognized the strategies I initially used to protect my heart were also keeping me from the fullness of what God had in store for me.
Our God loves us and gave His son to set us free. Will you trust Him to remove the barriers you’ve erected around your heart and allow the Lord to remodel your heart?
Grace & Peace ~ Karen