Hi there, Jemeia here! Welcome to part two of my three-part series, Dancing on Disappointment. If you missed part one, you can read it here. Continue reading below to see how I processed disappointment and how it injured my view of God. Stay tuned for part three where I offer practical tips for overcoming disappointment.
While experiencing disappointment, I struggled a lot between feeling entitled to my frustration and humbling myself before God and it was exhausting. As a result of all of this, I became:
Spiritually and Mentally ill + Isolated:
I reached a point where I believed that I just could not count on God. I believed that He was ignoring me and that I did not know how to hear His voice. So, I stopped talking to Him and spiraled into depression. I shut down on Him and the people around me. Because, I needed my Father to speak to my situation, not people because people could mislead me.
People often spoke from the perspective of the other side. They did not always have the emotional intelligence to approach me with grace when I was fragile. They rushed me to discover the lesson before I had time to grieve. They were quick to speak and slow to say “I don’t know, but I will pray”. They over simplified the hurt that I was feeling by saying “well maybe this….or maybe it’s not God’s will… did you commit this sin? Because when you do this or that, blank happens…etc.”.
How do I know that? Well, I have been that insensitive person to my friends before and it hurt when the roles were switched. Now, I aim to have more empathy when my friends are hurting.
My Father was not speaking, so, I didn’t really want to hear from people. I feared that they would judge me, blame me, or offer me empty words that were not going to take away my pain. People to me, were not as sensitive in their response to my problems as God.
STOP RIGHT THERE: My view of people was PARTIALLY FALSE. Yes, people make mistakes and don’t always know what to say. So, you filter what people say through God’s word. However, don’t push community and friends who care for you away. Those who love God and you, do not intend to mislead you or hurt you, they just want to help carry your burden.
I failed terribly at letting people in because I have always been used to dealing with my problems alone. When I finally found the courage to open up, I was always amazed by how gracious and affirming my friends were. It was clear that I had taken a few bad instances and projected it on all of my friends who wanted to help me and pray for me.
Additionally, I developed extreme anxiety and subsequently insomnia, because during the day I would ignore my problems and at night, the loud and obnoxious voices of the enemy and my anxious heart would consume my thoughts and mind.
Extremely Offended by God+ Believed Lies About Him+ Struggled With Fear:
God is the one male figure in my life that will NEVER hurt me. That is truth. But, boy did my flesh struggle to believe that truth. The enemy capitalized on that by feeding me so many lies. Girls often say that some guys are players, because they string girls along, play with their emotions, then end up rejecting or hurting them or finding someone else. That’s kind of how I began to see God.
I have always known that there are three voices that speak to us, God’s, ours and the enemy’s so I always prayed that God would block all voices but His. I knew that being human would fail and mislead me, I knew that I was not intelligent enough to make the right decisions for myself, so I went to Him before I made any decisions.
There were moments when opportunities in those three areas of my life would come to my path, and the first thing I would do is say “God I am flawed. Show me clearly If I am supposed to pursue this.”
Sis (or brother), the stars in space would align, doors would open wide, through prayer and sometimes fasting, everything would lead me to walk toward opportunities. The moment I reached the door, the moment I let my guards down, the door would shut in my face.
I began to think, how is it that I keep getting hurt in the very areas that I am committing to God? I honestly began to think that God was leading me into traps and playing with my emotions. So, I began to live in fear and let anxiety control me.
I was afraid to pursue anything because I knew it would fail me. I consider myself to be extremely perceptive, discerning, and I know that I can hear God’s voice. I have heard Him before very clearly and about very specific things. But, I don’t know, man. I had so much anxiety when I needed to hear His voice in regard to my desires. Because again, my heart wants what it wants and I could not handle being disappointed by my desires.
WAIT: let me just say what you are thinking. If GOD is not your ultimate desire, you will ALWAYS be disappointed. Only HE is constant, all other things WILL FAIL YOU AT SOME POINT. That still DOES NOT make your desires insignificant to Him.
For months I stopped trying to hear God, because I did not know who would speak, my heart or the enemy. I was afraid of hearing the wrong voice or hearing His voice wrong. Honestly, I started to believe that He did not want to speak to me, so I stopped trusting His desire to speak to me.
Squeezing Out Another Bit of Gunk:
Honestly, living in fear, doubt and mistrust of God was a hard place to be, because I knew my Father to be good and faithful. He has taken me over and over again from the most devastating moments to mind-blowing victories. At the end of the many hard seasons I had faced, I promised myself that I would never doubt His goodness again no matter what.
But, MY GUY TESTED MY FAITH every time I was in the valley again. I imagined myself to be a ball filled with gunk. The gunk was sin, primarily mistrust, doubt, and fear. In each hard season, I felt like God was squeezing me, trying to get one more bit of gunk out. While He was squeezing, I pictured myself screaming in agony “GOD I TRUST YOU. YOU ARE GOOD. I WILL NOT DOUBT! ”He would keep squeezing and squeezing and squeezing until I gave up and screamed “GOD I REALLY DON’T TRUST YOU. I AM UPSET WITH YOU. BUT I SURRENDER!!!!!!”
Oddly, it is in the moments of finally confessing my weakness, that a huge lump of gunk came out of the ball, and Dad showed up, embraced me and showed out! Is that not crazy? When we recognize just how weak we are, even in our ability to trust Him, He shows up mighty and strong to save from addictions, suffering, and sin. You name it, He’s got it!
He is not strong when we have arrived or have it all figured out. He is strong when we are weak.
Phew! Ya’ll, this was HARD to write because it made me feel EXTREMELY vulnerable. If you have been experiencing disappointment, I truly hope that this post assured you that you are not alone or that what you are feeling is NOT insignificant to God. This Friday, I will share how it all turned around for me! More specifically, I will share huge lessons I learned from this prolonged season of disappointment and offer practical tips for overcoming it. I hope to have you back here on Friday.