When disappointment comes

December 17, 2007 — Leave a comment

This is the first installment of a three-part series.


Sometimes you just don’t get what you want.

Sometimes life just doesn’t turn out like you planned.

That can leave you feeling disappointed.

Disappointment is one of those feelings that visits us from time to time — some more than others.

All of us have people or things in life that have left us feeling disappointed. Whether it was not getting exactly what we had hoped for under the Christmas tree, or having someone we love fail to deliver on a promise, disappointment presents itself in a wide variety of ways.

The Christmas season is a time when disappointment peaks for many people. I think it has something to do with the evaluative mind-set we take on toward the end of each calendar year. This is, after all, the time of year when every TV newsmagazine is starting to do its “year in review.”

Your disappointment may lie in something personal. You might not have even shared it with those closest to you. Maybe you find yourself feeling disappointed that you still aren’t really where you think you ought to be by this point in life. Maybe you had hoped for a bigger house, a different city, a better job, more friends, or less debt. (Maybe you had hoped for all those things!)

Your disappointment may lie in something relational. Maybe you had hoped this would be the year that you became closer to a brother or sister. . . or reconciled with a friend or family member.

Your disappointment may lie in something professional. Perhaps you have been passed over for a promotion — and fully expect to get no bonus, not even a ham, from your employer this year. Maybe the market jitters have caused your company to already announce that there will be no pay increases for next year.

Your disappointment may lie in something spiritual. Perhaps you are struggling to understand God’s purpose for your life. Maybe He didn’t answer a prayer the way you thought He should. You may even be questioning His existence.

Disappointment can take many forms. The ones mentioned herein are but a few examples. The thing about disappointment is that it can be a particularly challenging emotion to deal with. I’ve dealt with many people through the years who have had layer upon layer of disappointment to build up, creating an invisible and impermeable wall of separation between themselves and the outside world.

All of us get disappointed sometimes. How we respond to disappointment is a key to how much it impacts our daily living.

Tomorrow we’ll look at a special kind of disappointment and some ways to deal with it.

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