Nearly six years ago, I had a job interview for what I felt was my “dream job.” I prepared for weeks, the timing felt right, and I seriously believed this was it for me. The interview went well, but they ended up choosing someone else for the position. At first, I was really disappointed. But after about six months, I realized why God had allowed this to happen in my life. I not only learned a lesson in how to recover from disappointment, but my career plans took a turn when God put a desire in my heart to write.
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We can plan and prepare, but in the end, life never goes as smoothly as we have planned. Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you recover from disappointment in your life…
- Take your disappointment to God.
I love reading the Psalms of David. He poured out his heart to God… even when he was disappointed, hurt, and angry. David was an artist, and as an artist, he wore his heart on his sleeve. This led to a deep and meaningful relationship between him and God. God even referred to him as a “man after His own heart!” It was through his prayers that healing took place in David’s life. We all know that David wasn’t perfect. He made his share of mistakes, but he always took them to God. I long to have that kind of relationship with my Father, one where I can pour out my heart and true feelings to Him. It’s what He desires as well.
- Trust that God has a bigger plan.
When I missed out on what I thought to be my “dream job,” I had no idea that God had something much bigger in mind for me. You see, back when I was in high school, I loved to write. I was the strange one in class who was excited to write essays and research papers. But as I grew older, my practical side kicked in… I needed a job that could pay the bills – right? In March of 2014, God put it on my heart to begin a blog. He also made a way for me to attend a local writing conference. From there, I knew immediately why God had allowed me to miss out on that previous job opportunity. I would not be doing what I am today if I had received that job!
- Choose to stay positive.
This one is so hard… But the secret to staying positive through disappointment is trust. We have to trust that God has a plan. We need to trust that He is a good, good Father who has our best interest in mind. And we also need to trust that He is working things out for us in His perfect timing. When facing a severe disappointment, it’s easy to be mad at God. As we learned from David, go ahead and vent your frustrations to Him. (David certainly did from time to time.) But as we also learn from David, he always knew deep down that God is good. Every time he would vent to God, his psalm would end in thankfulness and praise for what he knew God was about to do.
- Watch God turn your loss into a win.
One of my favorite examples of this is the life of Joseph. He experienced more disappointment in his life than we could possibly imagine. Disowned by his own brothers, he was sold into slavery in Egypt. Then, he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and was thrown in prison. He spent a significant portion of his life dealing with pain, loss, and disappointment. But in the end, God turned his defeats into victories. He ended up becoming second in command in Egypt! (And God even restored his relationship with his family!) None of this would have happened if the bad stuff hadn’t happened first. What the enemy meant for harm in Joseph’s life, God used for good. And He does the same in our lives as well.
Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” – Genesis 50:18-20
God wastes nothing in our lives. He is in the business of turning our greatest defeats into our most amazing victories.
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*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.