When Disappointment Holds Us Down

img_0037Today I welcome my friend Linda Grabeman as our guest writer. Linda radiates the love of Jesus and shares her trust and awe for Him through her writing and as a speaker. Check out her website lindagrabeman.com to learn more!  This post is an extended version of a devotion in her second book, Praise on Purpose.

praise-on-purpose-new-front-cover-photoIt’s always in the back of our mind, if we’re not careful. It robs our joy, dilutes our peace, and clouds our understanding of who we are. It’s the lie we swallow whole, unaware of the deep ache it will cause in the belly of our souls. Like me, I’m sure you’ve thought, “Yeah, God loves me, but He is disappointed in me. I don’t always act the way He wishes I would. I’m not the mother He hoped I would be. For that matter, I’m not the wife, sister, daughter, or friend He envisioned either.” Ugh!

Well, I have the very best news for you: It’s not true! I’ll prove it, and then you’ll have a rock-solid response for Satan when he tries to bog you down the next time. What refutes a lie? Truth, right? Well, ladies, here it is:  To be disappointed in someone, you must have thought they would act in a certain way. Then, when they don’t, you feel sad, angry, disillusioned. That’s how it works for humans. Not so with God. He isn’t disappointed because He can’t be surprised. Psalm 139 says, “I’m an open book to You . . . You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.” God sees our entire life in one glance. Start to finish. No thought, word, or action is a surprise to Him. We act in the way He has always known we would…and He loves us still. A love unlike any other love we have ever received. Constant, unchanging, and relentless.

Even better, His grace is just waiting to cover those actions or words which He knows are coming. Are the chains of guilt falling off your shoulders? Lying on the ground, unable to hold you in bondage any longer? Isn’t that a huge hallelujah? It’s the freedom Jesus died to buy for us! Freedom to walk in the unexplainable, outrageous, life-changing love from our Father. Forgiving ourselves because we know we’re forgiven. No more despair. Just love, mercy, and grace…and the power to walk out God’s good plans for us! Can I get an Amen on that?

Getting Meaning From a Meltdown

DSC01339Monday I had a little meltdown. It started as a whisper, “What am I doing?” Within seconds as I looked around my workspace, my suppressed feelings of inadequacy and overwhelm emerged as tears—and another whisper, “God, I don’t know how to do all this.”

After a good cry and a more thorough cry-out to God, his peace filled my heart. My circumstance had not changed. I still have a lot to learn and do. God changed my troubled heart. I emptied the burdens in my heart to God, and he covered those spaces with his presence, love, and peace.

Our meltdown themes vary from the trivial to the truly troubling. As my husband can attest, my closet has been the scene of more than a few trivial meltdowns, “I don’t have anything to wear to this!” – Never mind that I’m staring at clothes on hangars. The troubling meltdowns tend to involve a loved one or a circumstance.

DSC01341God uses our emotions to help us realize the condition of our heart. Either we have a pity-party focused inward, or we can focus upward and gain God’s perspective. Do you believe that God wants to help you in the trivial, too? Well, he does. Sometimes it’s through turning to him in the trivial that we learn he is truly near, listens, and desires personal relationship with us.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3.5–6)

God holds you and me. He holds our children. AND he never ever lets go. God is with us always and he’s for us. He has the way forward and faithfully provides his light at our feet. Practice being present to his presence.

IMG_0699Trust God.
Turn to him with your feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, discouragement, or overwhelm. Release these to him. Invite him to meet you where you are and fill you with all you need from him.

Dear God,
I choose to trust you Lord for . . .  Fill my heart with your love and peace. Today, I choose not to lean on my understanding—what I see and hear. Help me unload to you daily and to receive more of you. Help me acknowledge you as I move though the day—as I work, drive, prepare meals, or engage with my family and community. And I thank you in advance— in faith—that you WILL make my path straight. I love you. Amen.