Never Lose Hope
I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile, but not sure how to best articulate all that has been inside of me for the last 2 1/2 months. I don’t want to spend much time on this as I’ve been wrestling with the monster called “disappointment” for far too long and I’m ready to move beyond it, but to not address it and not speak of it would be hiding behind a facade. When you are a “missionary” living abroad, there are a lot of spoken and unspoken expectations placed on you. Wrestling with disappointment can be tricky business. Your life is on showcase whether you like it or not.
I have come to learn that we all create a lot of expectations about our lives, no matter where we live, but when our expectations are shattered, what happens?
Well, I can only speak for myself… and this is my story: When my family and I moved abroad to be a part of God’s story here in Poland, I brought with me wonderful, really good spiritual aspirations, you know? They were packaged in beautifully wrapped expectations, too.
But I quickly discovered that those beautifully wrapped expectations would never be quite as beautiful as I thought. In fact, many expectations turned into disappointments and those are the kinds of gifts no one wants to receive. Mainly because they hurt so darn bad and you don’t have a choice in receiving it.
The choice rests in how you handle it.
So, what does an optimist like myself do? I repackage a new set of expectations with hope that things will be different. AND things WOULD indeed turn out to be different, but not in the way I was expecting and well, the weight of it all was too much to carry and I broke down. But in my bitter disappointment, I have learned a great deal and will forever be changed because of it.
What I’ve learned is that it’s nearly impossible to opearate and function well from a place of hurt. So being around people was really hard for me, and I basically holed up. I feel I have reached a new level of empathy for people who are in an intense place of hurt and feel more compassionate for the hurting.
I also learned that I had to face all my disappointments and that the life I had envisioned here in Poland was not going to be what I had expected. I had to face them head on. I had to process a gamet of emtions such as anger, shame, and grief and I’m incredibly thankful for some recommended authors and books to read as they have been great therapy for me!
Also, I have had an incredibly rich time with God this past month in my brokeness and what I’m discovering is this:
Perhaps… just perhaps what God had envisioned was something entirely different than my really wonderful and good spiritual aspirations and being broken meant He can now do something infinitely greater?
I am typically a happy, energetic optimist. I’m a risk taker (with limits), but I don’t shirk away from adventure. I’m organized, a planner and like order and I’m definitely appreciating more simplicity. I guess I could honestly say this season of brokenness is good for the soul, but I’m ready to move on with life.
Yes, just as Martin Luther King Jr. has said:
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”