Season of Disappointment

I am in a season of disappointment. It feels weird to say out loud, considering I’ve never done well with disappointment. It’s just always seemed like an entirely useless emotion, reserved for children who do not yet realize that they won’t always get what they want, or people who believe they deserve good things to happen to them. I’ve spent my life hedging against disappointment by keeping my expectations in line with the amount of effort I apply to any endeavor and reconstructing my understanding of Hope to exclude the anticipation of good things, as that just isn’t my lived experience. 

Over the last few months, I’ve experienced piles of good plans halt halfway through construction, long held dreams miscarry on their way to being actualized, and established relationships fade into the background before fizzling into memory. These things which felt light and ethereal when housed in my heart are suddenly very heavy when they are broken pieces collecting around my feet, and walking through such has been a nearly impossible task.

I’ve tried practicing gratitude, being helpful to others, being present in the moment and experiencing joy whenever possible, and still, it is not enough to pull me out of this space. As a matter of fact, doing these things has made me feel avoidant, inauthentic, and weak, as my efforts are proving fruitless. So I’ve decided to stop fighting and sit in the valley. It’s dull here, with a lingering sigh hanging in the air, and discouragement soaking the pasty ground.

I think if my idea of Hope included the anticipation of good things, I would be crushed under the weight of it all. Yet I think about Jeremiah, penning the book of Lamentations, pouring his broken heart out to God, saying, “This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Instead of looking to the future and believing that some day my hard work will pay off into success, I am looking backward, at the whole story of my life, and for all the rough chapters that have been written, my story is a good one; A great one even. One so good that when I review it, my confidence is renewed, as I have been time and again brought through the valley of the shadow of death, the mirey bogs of heartbreak, and the parched, desolate land of bitterness, and can be sure this space too is only for a season.

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