Hi friends, Jemeia here! Anyone who knows me, knows that I have experienced a lot of disappointment in the past years. So, what happened? In a three-part series, I will be processing all of what happened and how disappointment injured my view of God. The first two parts of this series are more of a reflection of my experiences and how they made me feel. Part three of the series will offer more practical steps in overcoming disappointment. If you have been dealing with any of the following:
- Anxiety and confusion
- Anger towards God
- Being offended by God
this post is for you and I truly hope that it will assure you that you are not alone.
I am His bride and He Is my Groom. When He died for me on the cross, it was for better or for worse. But, do my actions show that I said my vows too?
Why I blog
If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice that for the past couple of months common themes of my posts have been disappointment and suffering. My posts and stories are a bit misleading because I imagine that you see a Jemeia who has unwavering faith, seems to have her life together, and who has the ability to make fun of her misery. Basically, you see all of my antics and tomfoolery.
But, behind those stories and posts are a lot of crying, frustration, anxiety, and confusion. There have been several times when I’ve cried, wiped my tears, and got on Instagram to give a word. The thing is, I am not trying to be fake. In those moments, the Holy Spirit inspires and encourages me to put into words what I am feeling and in the process of writing a post or doing a story, I start to encourage myself, and voila! What you see is what you get! Blogging and posting are simply my outlets and ways for me to process my emotions and encourage myself.
Sometimes I doubt and fear that I am putting too much of myself out there and I don’t feel worthy of speaking into the lives of others when my own life is a mess. Most times, I regret my posts or stories and want to delete them right after I post them. But, literally EVERY TIME I feel that way, someone messages me and tells me that they totally relate to the struggle and admire my honesty. It’s always so humbling and beautiful to see how God uses those people and moments to encourage me to keep on fighting.
Am I Being Punished for Having Desires?
Without giving details, I will just say that over maybe 5 years, I have experienced heartbreak, disappointment, and rejection in these three areas:
- Romantic Relationships
- Career Aspirations
These areas house my deepest desires and my struggle with them have appeared in different forms. Also, God addressed them in different ways over the years.
There were moments when the Lord clearly showed me that they were idols and I believed that I was obedient in surrendering them to Him. But, after experiencing back-to-back disappointment in those areas, I grew confused. Why did issues keep coming up in those areas? Have I not surrendered, God? Have we not worked through this, God? What more can I do to honor you here? WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE AN ORDEAL!!!
Honestly, I started to feel like I was being punished for having desires. I felt like I was not allowed to have them…that they were the reason why I was getting hurt…that they were clouding my ability to hear God clearly.
On one hand, I became disgusted with my desires, because I felt like I had used God as a means to an end in my pursuit of them. But, on the other hand, I was more annoyed than anything, because…. why did my desires have to be idols? Why do I have to feel guilty for having them? I felt like I had already laid my sins in those areas bare before God and He saw my heart’s desire to honor Him even if He never gave me what I wanted…. So, why?
After going back and forth with myself, I just resolved in my heart that I was not allowed to have desires.
PAUSE: that, btw, is a lie from the lake of fire in Hell!!! If, anything, God’s strong hand is the safest place for you to place the deepest desires of your heart because He can actually handle them and give you more than you can imagine. You just have to be willing to trust that when you make your requests known to Him, He will hear you and give you His very best, which is far better than your idea of best.
Oh My Heart
I often felt like I never had breaks or a chance to recover before the next issue came along. But, the worst part was feeling like I never got answers or closure from God. I experienced a lot of silent seasons, where I could not feel His peace. I often felt like I had to find my own peace, work really hard to find the lesson from the test, and give myself closure. All I could say when problems kept coming my way was “Oh my heart, how much can you actually take?”
To you, experiencing heartbreak, career and academic failure may not seem THAT hard to deal with, because it is very common, and I agree. I mean, we live in a world, filled with so much evil, suffering and persecution. People are being beheaded JUST for saying the name of Jesus. There are people who love the Lord with all of their heart, yet they have no idea where their next meal is coming from and they still choose to praise Him even in wanting.
Then, there is me with my first world problems! Here is the thing though, I am not here to compare suffering. This is not the Olympics of suffering. My point is that the Bible instructs us to guard our hearts because the heart is the wellspring of life and it houses our most intimate desires.
When a deep desire of your heart fails you, your heart becomes sick, no matter how big or small the issue is. When something or someone that you deeply care about is threatened, you take extreme measures to defend that person/thing. I mean think about it, if you deeply love someone and they hurt you or something happens to them, your heart becomes unexplainably sick. God loves us so much that He took the extreme measure of sending His son to die in our place. My Guy was not about to let sin win!
Experiencing consecutive rejection, disappointment, failure, and hurt in the same three areas, that I believe the Lord created me to desire, not put in place of Him, MADE. MY. HEART. SICK. I felt like I had three huge wounds that just would not heal because they kept getting stabbed over and over again.
The absolute worst part of it all was feeling like I was getting hurt in areas that I tried so hard to surrender and commit to God. There are different schools of thought in terms of our free will and God’s sovereignty. However, I tend to side on the extreme end that God is sovereign, in complete control, and orchestrates every part of my life, the good and bad. If something good happens, I attribute it to God’s divine intervention. If something bad happens, it’s #GOD’SPLAN and He’s not trying to let me prosper (that is obviously A JOKE).
This view at times, is my downfall because I just end up blaming Him for the things that go bad in my life. It came to the point where I struggled to figure out who to blame for my suffering and disappointment: God, myself or the mistakes of people/fallen world.
Either way, I looked to God, because in my head, He allowed it to happen when He could have stopped it. But, that is false and so unfair. God promised us suffering and He does not always orchestrate our pain and suffering, but He will use everything for His glory and our good.
HOLD UP: It should also be said that we humans are full of sin and mess. We are so stubborn, stuck in our ways, and feel entitled to our anger towards God. We love to be right, and it is not until we begin to humble ourselves, that we can see that our frustration towards Him is misguided. With a humble heart, we are able to stop shaking our fists at Him, demanding our way and answers and actually thanking Him for His is goodness, favor, and protection over our lives.