Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Handling Disappointment -- how do you do it?
Cara Putman here. We had an interesting week at the beginning of the month in the Putman household. First, I had disappointing news from a publisher, then my eldest had a disappointing gymnastics meet.
Disappointment is terrible. Especially when you've worked as hard as you know how to work and hear that your efforts aren't quite there. They don't reach the level needed. Yet there's no clear direction on how to improve.
I cried out to God that I would do the work, I just don't know what that work is. For my daughter she can't feel the pike on her vault. How can you fix something you can't feel?
I'm such a doer. I want the four step plan, so we can take action, do something to move closer to the goal. Yet I get the sense that's not really an option this go around. I'm trying to pray. To circle the dreams with prayer and praise as Mark Batterson puts it in his new book The Circle Maker. I appreciate how God prepared me to handle these disappointments by reading this book and other things.
And as I've prayed about these disappointments, God has met me. First through a friend. He kept dropping her name in my mind, so I emailed her asking for help. She gave me an amazing gift of her time and talent by going through my synopsis and helping me identify all the good pieces I had in there and digging deeper to the elements that were missing. Then at practice I've watched my daughter put together elements and skills that have eluded her all year. She has to do the work, but that effort is being honored.
Here's what I know. Disappointment can push me to work harder, to go deeper as I chase my dreams. Disappointment can also push me away from my dreams. It's a choice I make. So I'm pushing deeper, checking that my dreams are the right ones, and committing to the extra work. What about you? What happens when you face disappointment? Do you have strategies for handling it?