Life does not always go the way we expect it or even want it to go. Disappointments happen. I dreamed of being a stay-at-home wife/mother; I am a full-time librarian. I wanted children; I’m unable to have them. I planned to convert my parent’s barn into a house and live on their property; they both died while I was in my 20’s. Yes, I know disappointments happen. I can confirm that life delivers dismay, sorrow, and sometimes complete disillusionment, but I would like to say that there is a way out.
I know I want to get over to get over life’s hurt, but I don’t always know how. Recently, our pastor shed a light in this area. He said, “The only place the seeds of disappointment will not grow is in the heart of a truly grateful person.” This got me thinking. If I want to get over disappointments, I need to become a grateful person. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18). I need to perceive my disappointments in a way that positively colors my perception of the world. I have a choice. I can either accept life’s lemons and make lemonade, or I can sink beneath the weight of my lost dreams. For me, I say I will take a tall glass of lemonade please!
Instead of wallowing in a tragedy, I want to turn it into a triumph. When I’m tempted to complain about my job, I need to remember how lucky I am to have a job in this economy. While others are struggling to survive, I work in a safe, nurturing environment. Instead of crying over the children I will never conceive, I choose to love the kids around me by serving as a youth leader in our church. If we had children we would not be able to invest our time in changing the lives of so many teens. Perhaps grumbling about having to sell my parent’s place and give up my family home can be replaced with praise to God for the beautiful home my husband and I share. It is more centrally located between our jobs, is just minutes from church and is only a few blocks away from my in-laws. When my heart is aching over how much I miss my parents, I recognize how incredibly blessed I was to grow up with wonderful Christian parents. I had my mother for 23 years and my father for 28 years. They were a testimony to all who met them, and I had the privilege of growing up with them as my parents.
What are your tragedies? Can you turn them into triumphs? Can you find a way to use them in the service of God? Or in praise for His faithfulness? I started my day feeling defeated; yet as I sit here, I feel humbled and thankful for the innumerable blessings God has bestowed upon me. Yes, life has not been what I expected, but through it all I am learning to be grateful!