Hi Friends, Jemeia here! Welcome to part 3 of my three-part blog series, Dancing on Disappointment. For years I have been in a prolonged season of disappointment and it injured my view of God. In the last two posts, I processed just how that disappointment made me feel. If you missed part 1 & 2 of this series, STOP and go read both. Because, without context, this post will mean nothing. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.
If you are interested in seeing how I overcame disappointment and what I learned, continue reading. ALSO, look out for reflection questions throughout the post, and make sure to grab a free worksheet when you are finished reading so that you can process later!
It’s time to dance!
Disappointment made me forget the God I serve, the One who died for me, loves me at my best and worst, wrote my life’s story from beginning to end, has NEVER EVER failed me, and has known me. I forgot my First Love and wrongly accused Him of orchestrating my misfortune. But, even in my sin, He never let me go and His strong hands carried me through the valley.
Today, I am a different woman, because my Sweet Jesus did the following:
He Made Beauty from Ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3):
In the midst of some devastating lows, He made beauty from ashes. Sure, He could have rescued me instantly, but He did not want my suffering to be wasted. He kept me in the valley, used it as an opportunity to grow me, and as much as I know it hurt Him to see me doubting His love for me, He did not let me leave until something beautiful was birthed out of my suffering.
Had I not experienced career and academic failure, I would not have reconnected with Hanha for the first time in almost two years and she would not have invited me to join the Hanha Hobson team. Had I not experienced heartbreak, I would not have started the Jesus is Bae blog series, which challenged women to see Jesus as their first love, and the To the Single Women Series, which gives single women a holistic view of Christ-centered relationships. Subsequently, I would not have co-led the Jesus is Bae New Year’s Challenge and co-authored the Jesus is Bae e-book with Hanha.
Had I not been dealing with failure, anxiety, body image issues, fear, frustration with God, etc., I would have missed the opportunity to reassure women through my Instagram and blog posts that they are not alone. God didn’t cause my pain, but while I was hurting, He used it and made beauty from ashes.
Question: How can you still be obedient to God in pursuing the gifts that He has given you even in a season of disappointment? What beauty or lessons can and are coming out of your suffering?
He Reminded Me to Consult with Him Before Making My “Appointments:”
I remember the very day that I became disgusted with my desires. I told God to take them away because they were the reason why I was always dis-appointed.
God probably rolled His eyes at me LOL. Well, He’s not petty so maybe not. But, I remember Him ministering this to me:
“Jemeia, having good desires alone do not lead to dis-appointments. Dis-appointment is sometimes a result of you making your own appointments without consulting with Me first and then expecting Me to work on your terms”.
Saints in Christ, that took me ALL THE WAY OUT! Have you ever been in a situation when someone disrespected your entire existence by making an appointment for you or setting an expectation of you that you did not consent to? And you are just looking at them like “um, so who told you I agreed to this?” I imagine that God feels this way about us all the time. LORD, I am learning to consult with You about my appointments!
Question: What appointments have you made in your life without God’s consent or approval? How do you feel about yourself now (this last part is a joke don’t answer that LOL)?
He Taught Me How to Release My Offenses Towards Him (Matthew 11:6):
Another disappointment came my way not too long ago and this time it hurt SO FREAKING BAD. Partly because it was compounded upon a similar instance that I was still recovering from. I listened to a sermon that my mentor had sent me months ago and realized that what I was feeling was offense towards God.
The preacher spoke on Matthew 11:6, in which Jesus’ message to John the Baptist, while John was in prison and about to be beheaded, was “blessed (happy) is the one who is not offended by me.”
This hit me hard because I felt for John. He had prepared the way for Jesus and knew Jesus to be the One who would come to set prisoners free, yet John was about to be beheaded because he stood for God’s truth.
Saints, #HOW on GOD’S VERY GREEN EARTH could Jesus say that to John? Are you all confused too?
OKAY, let’s calm down together and do some breathing exercises. Are y’all good? Okay, as crazy as it sounds, God does not have the capacity to be evil. We live in a fallen world and Satan is thriving. I mean, Jesus, the blameless son of God, faced an unfair punishment in our place in order to overcome sin.
He rose from the dead and reminded His disciples to look at His track record and expect that in order to be more like Him, they WILL endure suffering. The good news is that we will overcome AND that we have eternal life insurance that is free.99 AND extends beyond life on earth. Am I right or am I right?
Question: What offenses do you have towards God? Will you bring those to the alter and release them there?
Practical Tip: One practical tip for processing offense towards God or pain is to start a prayer journal JUST for your anxieties and hurt. Each day, pray honest prayers and let God know just how you feel. Don’t run from the pain, stay in that place, and let it all out until your heart feels light. It is true what His word says – when you choose to pray instead of worry, His peace will guide your heart.
He Reminded Me of His Steadfast Love and Faithfulness Towards Me (Proverbs 3)
The beautiful thing about God in my season of disappointment is that He did not rush me to have the proper response to my pain or to discover the lesson to be learned before I had the chance to grieve. After taking time and space to grieve, I finally reached a place where I could ask Him “Dad, what do you want me to learn from this?”
He answered through His word in Proverbs 3:3-6 and said:
“Jemeia it’s time for you to leave this place and focus on the things that I have set before you. As you move forward remember to:
Hold on to My steadfast love and faithfulness in your life. Bind them around your neck and write them on your heart, if you do this you will know that I am a good Father no matter what you face in life. Trust Me and fear Me, lean on Me, commit all things to Me, deeply rely on Me, remain confident in My care for your heart. I promise the result will be a righteous path.”
Most Importantly, He Taught Me to Dance on Disappointment (Ecclesiastes 3)
I just want to leave you with this…
My Dear Friend, please remember that you will face many highs and lows throughout life. In comparison to eternity with Jesus, life on earth is but vapor. When things are good, rejoice and enjoy, but remember the greater hope that we have in Jesus. When you are suffering, take heart, you won’t suffer forever.
Everything that you have and will face in life is beautiful in its time. It is never wasted. It has a purpose. Take the time that you need to grieve and mourn. But, know that your time to dance and laugh is coming soon.
She couldn’t see it in the valley, but when she wept He wept and when she mourned, He mourned. The journey was not wasted. At the end of the valley, He had squeezed another bit of gunk out of her. Then, He knelt down, touched and healed her wounds, stood up, extended His strong hand to her and taught her to laugh and dance again. Together, they danced upon disappointment.
Thank you so much for reading. I really hope that this post blessed you, assured you that your pain is never wasted, and offered you some practical things to consider as you journey through life with Jesus. Remember, He will never forsake you and the good work that He has started within you, will come to completion. Be sure to grab your free worksheet, so that you can process your emotions in this season!