How to Get Over Disappointment and Discover Peace With God
How was your Christmas? Good I hope.
How was mine? Oh, I cried a little. It was a good Christmas and all, but still I found myself crying at the end of the day.
I started preparing early. I worked hard to make everything perfect. I prepared my heart, prepared my house, and prepared my turkey.
But everything wasn’t perfect. It was average.
My vision of a Norman Rockwell picture-perfect family gathered around the table, was simply the Schacht Six plus 1 eating turkey and mom’s stuffing like they did every other year. Nothing was out of the ordinary, nothing was extraordinary, it was quick and simple and over too quick.
I told myself I wasn’t going to do this–compare myself to other moms, compare my Christmas to other families, compare my store bought shortbread to the ones my mom used to bake. But in the end, that’s exactly what I did. Again.
And then the disappointment set in. I got down on myself.
I’m a terrible mom. This Christmas is a disappointment. My table setting is so dull. My kids are going to move out and never want to come home for Christmas. My stuffing looks weird (it’s true–it did).
Maybe it was my time of month… Maybe it was the lack of sleep I had the night before… Or maybe (more likely) it was the enemy turning my attention away from those things that are good.
In Philippians chapter four, Paul writes:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
But how do we do that? If you’re anything like me, this kind of thinking comes out of nowhere when I least expect it. It lurks around the corner waiting for the ideal moment to bring me down. It holds on, and it’s hard to let go.
The answer is found in the same chapter. In fact Paul spells it out in the very next verse, when he tells us to practice:
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:9
There will be trouble in this life. Nothing will be perfect. Plans will fall apart. We’re living in a fallen world where people let us down–we’ll let ourselves down too.
We need to practice those things that we know to be true. We have to practice the things that we read in the Word. If we want a sense of peace and joy, we need to change the way we think, and what we’re focusing on.
The Bible says to resist the devil and he’ll flee from us. In order to do that, we have to make a stand. We have to be firm and persistent with our thoughts.
I’m changing my way of thinking. No I’m not perfect, but I’m growing in grace, and that’s a good place to be!
You are loved by an almighty God.
LOOKING AHEAD IN 2016…
Coming this February, we’ll be doing a series on the four loves: philia, eros, agape, and storge. I’ll have all kinds of details and a FREE printable study guide available in mid January here on the blog.
In the meantime, click here for a sneak peek at the 30-day prayer journal I created to go along with the study. Amazon offers a peek inside! Oh, and just so you know, the journal is an optional addition to the study.
For more information, visit Amazon.com
And here’s another little peek at the inside…
WOW! You nailed it! This is exactly what I have been thinking about, and wrestling with the past 2 weeks. It is so easy to focus on “the perfect Christmas”, that we forget the “Ultimate Gift”! In the stores, on the TV, on line, in line, in Hallmark movies, in our friend’s and family’s homes, it is all around, staring us in the face. We have to buy that gift, mail that card, sing that carol, decorate a certain way like we see on Pintrest, or we are not perfect, and everyone will be disappointed in us! I am learning to try to focus on the time spent with family and friends, rather than the “stuff”. This year, for the first time, my husband (reluctantly) and I took our 3 year old grand daughter to see a children’s production of the Nutcracker, with ice cream and Christmas light display after. When we took her back home, he declared, “that was the best time I have ever had with the grandchildren! ” I also picked a day when I had my mother (with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) and 4 of our grandsons (ages 1-6) over to make gingerbread houses! (What am I thinking?) I used small gift boxes, graham crackers, easy, nice and sticky frosting, and lots of candy! Both of these were last minute ideas, but will now be family traditions! The quality one on one time is something that no one could ever put a price tag on!!!
As you mention, we need to “practice those things we know to be true”. Thankfully, we have God’s word to remind us what is “true, lovely,…”
Thanks again for this reminder, and God’s blessings in 2016!
Great thoughts Beth, thanks for adding to the discussion. 😀
I would like to ask for prayer again for my marriage. Thank you for such an encouraging and helpful website.
Su Ann, I’m praying for you and trusting God that he will meet yours heart’s desire. That God will show you His ways. Father in this day give Su Ann the strength that only You can and give her the heart to not stop fighting and praying for her marriage.
((Hug)) It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness and expectations of the holiday season, that we inadvertently neglect the heart of the season. I really set out to try to focus on Jesus and the miracle and glory of His birth this season, but the busyness set in, I got behind, and felt like I was playing catch up, and my focus quickly became divided. I look forward to resetting and trying again next year. 🙂 “Growing in grace…” is a great place to be. 🙂 ((New year blessings))
Exactly Brenda. Thanks for the wisdom!
Thank you so much for sharing on this topic. This sentence perfectly sums up one of my major goals for 2016: “If we want a sense of peace and joy, we need to change the way we think, and what we’re focusing on.” Thank goodness for the guidance found in Philippians 4!