Disappointment. Disappointment comes easy, and in life it’s about as American as apple pie. It comes often, and often unaware. It slips in unexpectedly, and its silent entry somehow makes it worse to the unforeseeing victim.
It’s hard to be grateful in the face of disappointment, and it’s even harder to be optimistic about it. But I should have known some unannounced intrusion on my happy place was just around the bend. Yet even preparedness doesn’t make for comfortable optimism.
Just this morning I read a devotional on my phone, and I nodded along in agreement at the words. Amen, I thought as I ruminated on the passage, but not too deeply, mind you. When a second, separate devotional spoke of the same subject I started to pay a bit more attention.
What are you trying to tell me, Lord? I questioned, knowing my God didn’t often deal in coincidence.
Joy in disappointment? A grateful heart in the face of all life’s difficulties?
That sounded pretty awful to me, and the idea that God was preparing me for future disappointment did not sound like my cup of tea. Not at all. But despite my mild worry of ensuing distress I promised my God I would trust Him always. Then I smiled at my idyllic life.
A part of me hoped that disappointment wouldn’t be necessary to take me to my blessing, and certainly that it lay far beyond this beautiful day, but before evening had even come around I found my heart distraught.
A dream possibly dashed? Unfair circumstances getting in the way of God’s best for my family? I found these things knocking on my happy home, and I realized even as I prayed, I trust you Lord, that I was indeed disappointed. There it was. I was disappointed.
Par for the course, when something troublesome occurred, the first person I contacted was my spouse. I spilled the bad news in a blatant fashion, and I sat in wait for his response. I wasn’t surprised when he came back chipper and untroubled.
Ever the eternal optimist, he replied, “it’ll all work out,” and even though I wanted to want to throttle him, I couldn’t turn my feelings that way. I wanted to be upset, and I suppose I wanted someone to be upset with me, but I was ever so thankful that he wasn’t taking the bait.
Disappointment. Disappointment comes easy, and in this easy life it’s most common to become downtrodden when life gets you down. It’s harder yet to be joyful in the face of disappointment, to be grateful that your troubles are taking you somewhere better than where you are. Because you can’t see that.
I smiled at my husband’s optimism, at his faith, and I knew in my heart he was right. We made a pretty good team in that regard, as we always seemed to balance the other.
Earlier this evening, as I sat at dinner watching my daughters, I smiled at their antics. The way they joyfully attacked pasta or ingeniously made lemonade out of lemons and water. They knew like dear old dad the same thing I too knew deep down in my heart.
It’ll all work out.
Joy in dissapointment is a hard pill to swallow, but it comes on the wings of a grateful spirit. A spirit that knows He’s working all things for my good. Even in the midst of dissapointment.
By day’s end, despite not knowing the outcome, I found myself at peace. Perhaps the husband is rubbing off on me after all.