Dealing with disappointment

Written by Kirstie Cook
Monday, 29 February 2016

The coffee in the bustling London cafe was nice, the company was better. I was enjoying a rare day out with one of my good friends, busy catching up on all our news. On this occasion I did have a specific item for the agenda. I had been aware for some time of how disconnected my heart could sometimes feel from God and those around me and it was starting to really
 trouble me. I knew there were likely to be unresolved issues in my life contributing to this and had decided that I needed to be more transparent about some of my thought patterns and struggles as a starting point to pursing greater freedom. As I explained this to my friend she looked me straight in the eye and asked the killer question "so what are you disappointed about Kirstie?" I froze- it was as if time stood still. In a split second I wasn't in that Cafe down Oxford Street but instead found myself visiting a myriad of times and places where I knew instantly that disappointment had made its home. In some cases it had had come crashing through the front door, announcing its arrival with a fanfare and a chorus of supporters, in other cases it had crept insidiously through the back door, taking up lodgings quietly, not disturbing anyone but nonetheless remaining as a constant presence. I felt incredibly exposed, on the brink of emotional reality and it filled me with terror. "I can't tell you that" I gasped, knowing in that moment that I was going to have to if I was to walk free.

The irony was that this friend had walked through many years of my life of me. She knew me inside out and of all people would already know what many of my struggles have been. I had nothing to fear with her and yet the task seemed so enormous I couldn't face it in the moment. So I did the next best thing. "Ok, I will write a list and send it to you. Then I commit myself to discussing it next time we meet." I got started on the train as I travelled home. At first I found myself feeling awkward even writing things down but then as I went on I started to feel a sense of freedom just from getting things down on paper. As soon as I has finished it I emailed it off, giving myself no time for editing! I felt so different already, as if these things which had been secrets pains for so long were no longer massive rocks causing hardness of heart and stunting my growth but more like thorns which needed plucking out so the wounds could heal.

Since that time I have been on a journey of opening up and laying things down before God and others to work through how I feel about the various circumstances I have experienced. I am learning though the pattern of psalms where we so often read of David pouring out his heart, his agonies and fears to God and then finding his place of refuge and shelter in God’s love as He meets him in place of pain. Being vulnerable with God to tell Him the things that I have felt so let down in or hurt by is the only way to let Him come and meet me in those places. I have discovered He likes to be invited.

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