Friday, May 1, 2009

Overcoming Disappointment

I am excited to have the opportunity to share with you on Nancy Alcorn’s blog. I feel so privileged to work at this wonderful ministry! My name is Cissy and I am the Executive Director of Programs for Mercy Ministries of America. I came to work with Mercy Ministries in 2002 as a Masters level counselor. My prior experience ranged from addictions counseling, family counseling, liaison work with the TN Department of Human Services and an addictions agency, and counseling on a college campus. While I was working on my graduate degree, I was a Resident Hall Director for a 360+ occupancy dormitory at Arkansas State University.

I give oversight to the Program Directors in each of the Mercy Ministries homes in America, the Director of Intake and Adoptions, and the Director of Transitional Care. I am honored to be involved in the entire process - from a young woman applying to the program, coming into the program, all that is involved in the counseling process, and her transition out of the program. I absolutely love empowering people to maximize their potential and to fulfill the call God has placed on their lives. Cultivating an atmosphere for the young women who apply and go through the program to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power is what I strive to see evident in our homes and programs.

In my experience of being a counselor and working in ministry, I have seen a common theme in why people experience struggles in life. Most every person, including myself, has experienced disappointments. Disappointment can come in many forms. Some of these disappointments could be from unmet expectations, loss, heartbreak, rejection, abuse, regret, failure, delay, and the list goes on and on.

Many respond to disappointment by putting up walls and refusing to allow for intimacy to occur for fear of being hurt or disappointed again, while others fall into distrust, anger, bitterness, hopelessness, self harm, addictions, doubt, and losing faith in all that is good. These responses lead to disorders of the soul, which only can be healed through the One who made us, God. Satan wants us all to turn from God when we are disappointed because he does not want us to be restored and made whole. If anyone understands loss, it is God. God is rejected and often ignored, yet He remains hopeful!

No one is immune to disappointment. Sin is in the world and the nature of man is to go towards it. You are not alone if you have experienced disappointment and have reacted in a negative way. The positive side of disappointment is that it is a great opportunity to see where you are. Awareness can be a wonderful thing, but we must not merely sit in awareness like a comfy chair. We do not need to relax in awareness, but rather let it inspire us to action - to make change. It is crucial to shift your focus from the disappointment and the awareness to focusing on God. When the focus gets off of the situation and onto the Answer, your view and response will change.

Here are some practical steps to take when dealing with disappointment:

1) Immediately go to God to resolve the hurt. However you feel about God settle that you need to get this resolved.

2) Wrestle it out with God until a resolve is found. Pour out your hurt before God whether through journaling your feelings, praying (or simply talking to God), crying, or even yelling. God can handle your emotions, so share your hurt with Him and allow Him to help you through it.

3) Forgive the one(s) who hurt you. Say, “I choose to forgive _________. I choose to let it go.” This is not always easy, but forgiveness opens the door for God to heal you. Forgiveness does not make what the person did to you right, but it does free you up to be healed.

4) Own your part in the hurt. Take ownership for your actions and ask God to forgive you. There is always something we can learn about ourselves related to our response to hurt and disappointment.

5) Get your focus on Jesus and be grateful for what you have in your life. A lot of times we stay hurt because we choose not recognize what we have to be grateful for. Gratefulness takes you beyond being healed to being whole. Being whole encourages generosity towards others.

6) Release all of the hurt to God and then let it go. It may be easier said than done, but God desires for us to grieve loss quicker than we are prone to do. He wants us living an abundant joy-filled life and not sitting in pain. For me, the quicker I can get past a hurt, the better.

I pray for all who are reading this blog who have dealt with disappointment with others, with yourself or even with God that you would be able to release it, forgive, let it go and rise up! Choose joy, choose abundant life; get to enjoying your life!!! I challenge you if you are experiencing disappointment, get with God tonight. Don't delay! Work it out. Tear down the walls that are up, deal with the hurt and get it settled. Forgive, cry, pray and get past it today! There is no reason you have to stay in disappointment. Address it and then move past it. If your own choices were part of the disappointment, repent, get with God and work it out. He is faithful to meet you there!


LIVE said...

This is an awesome blog. I am going to read it again and I hope that others will let this pierce their hearts and act upon it. Take a hold of this nugget now versus having to be taught a lesson in it later.

Ali Davis said...

thank you, cissy. i needed to read this today...