Disappointment: my unlikely friend.
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
A writer's life is a lot like a roller coaster. And even the low points have some benefit.
Since I've started writing I've had some incredible moments. Moments I want to hold on to and cherish. These times have boosted my confidence and encouraged me as I pursue my dream.
And then there's disappointments. The rejections. The defeat.
I'm the type of person that tends to gloss over those negative feelings and focus on the positive. But after a particular setback I found I couldn't just bounce back. See, I let myself dig deep into the wanting, the desire. And when it didn't come to pass, the letdown was a huge blow.
I identfied with Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel when Marilla chastises her for setting her heart on things too much and then falling into despair when it doesn't come to pass. Anne replies, "I can't help flying up on the wings of expectation. It's as glorious as flying through a sunset...almost pays for the thud."
"I can't help flying up on the wings of expectation. It's as glorious as flying through a sunset...almost pays for the thud."
But notice the "almost." The thud is real, my friends. And not that I needed to wallow in the pain, but I did need a little time to grieve and be honest about by disappointment. About my unmet desires.
After some time I was ready to move on. And I found some nuggets of truth about dealing with disappointments.
There's important shaping that happens in the valley. A humbling of our spirit. A stretching of our willingness to keep going. A realization of how important this dream is. And if it matters enough, we'll keep moving forward. We learn perseverence.
We also learn empathy. The next time a writer friends feels the sting of rejection, I'll know exactly what she's going through. I'll bring the ice cream and we can commisserate together.
And through every valley, I've discovered a faithful God with me through it all. I'm reminded of my need for Him. Every unmet desire is an indication of the heavenly hole in us all. May the dream never become an idol I use to fill that hole.
So, I'll keep moving on. And I'll keep dreaming, hoping, "Anne-"ticipating. Maybe next time it will be the mountain top experience and I'll see what I can learn there too.
How about you, what have you learned through disappointment?