Thursday, April 9, 2015

Disappointment is not in Vain...

If there's anything worse than being disappointed, it's watching your child experience this terrible emotion.

My daughter and me at one of our favorite places! Barnes & Noble. :)
My oldest daughter is ten years old. She asked for an electronic tablet for a while, but we told her she needed to be ten, and she needed to earn her own money. For six months she worked hard to earn enough money to buy a tablet on Black Friday and when the moment arrived, she glowed with satisfaction and accomplishment.

But, alas, the tablet was relatively cheap, which meant it was also We began having troubles with it almost immediately, and when we brought it back to the store, they no longer carried that brand, and she had to pay almost the same amount to upgrade to a better tablet.

So...she had to work off the upgrade, too.

This morning, when she turned on the tablet, it was broken. Somehow, somewhere, it must have been dropped, because the inner screen was cracked.

We brought it back to the store today, and the lady told us what we didn't want to hear. They do not cover damage, and it would be cheaper to buy a whole new tablet than to have this one fixed.

The look of disappointment on my daughter's face broke my heart (I think it also broke the sales lady's heart, too).

She wasn't simply disappointed that her tablet broke, she was also disappointed in all the hard work it took to buy something that was now worthless.

As a mom, my first instinct was to step in and buy her a new tablet. It would ease both her pain and mine--but as hard as it is to accept, I can't rescue her from every painful situation she encounters.

It made me think about what my heavenly Father must feel when He has to sit back and watch me walk through disappointment. It must break His heart, just as much as it breaks mine. He could step in and make things better--but sometimes He chooses not to intervene, knowing it will be a good lesson learned.

As a writer, I've had many disappointments. I've had very painful rejections--some that have hurt more than others. I know what my daughter is feeling, because I've been in a position where I'm looking at a 100,000 word manuscript and feeling like it was all a big waste of time and energy. Months of hard work, presumably down the drain.

Yet, after the pain subsides, and I listen to the feedback, I realize all the hard work was not worthless. I learned valuable lessons, I gained valuable skills, and I grew in the process.

The same is true for my daughter. She put a lot of hard work into raising money for something that is now broken, but she learned a great deal in the process. She set a goal and reached it--I'm proud of her for being diligent.

In the end, she faced disappointment--but disappointment is not in vain.

It's in the heartache that we gain wisdom, strength, and perseverance. And, like Romans 5:3-4 says, "...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Hope keeps us going, gives us energy to try again, to work harder, to press on.

She's already set a new goal, and I know she'll reach it again.

Your Turn: When have you been disappointed? What did you learn in the process? Did you get back up and try again?

Gabrielle Meyer:
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  1. Heartbreaking. Kudos for you not rescuing her. That is so tempting. But like our Heavenly Father, you were right there comforting her, urging her onward!

    1. It's so hard not to rescue her! She was upset all day, but by bedtime we were able to really talk about how she felt, and what her steps are moving forward. I should have added that I'm not a huge fan of her having an electronic device, however, she's really responsible with her time management and what she uses it for, so we'll encourage her to work toward a new one. It's been a good learning experience.

  2. Aww, I know that heartache of not helping them through disappointment. It IS tempting and so hard to resist. I love your reminders, thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you for stopping by today, Susan. It's so hard to watch them go through sadness and disappointment! She's better today. :)

  3. What a tough patch, and how hard it is not to step in and 'make it all better.' But you're right. Nothing is ever wasted if we use it to learn and get better. :)

    1. She's already told me some things she'll do different next time. :) She's learning. :)

  4. God allows us to,go through hardships and difficult times knowing we'll be stronger for what we're going through. He DOES allow us to go through things we can't handle, just so we'll turn to Him to help us through.

    1. You're so right, Gail! Often people say God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but I disagree! He does allow things to come into our life that we can't handle on our own, to show us how to allow Him to step in and handle it for us. It's a hard lesson to learn, isn't it? By stepping back and letting my daughter deal with this one on her own, she's taking her first step toward relying on her Heavenly Father and not her earthly parents. I was still there for lots of hugs and encouraging words.

  5. So many life lessons, ones that have deepened my faith, changed my view, have come through difficulty, disappointment, and painful circumstances. It is so good though, when the sun shines again, the fog rolls back, and I can see how far that lesson took me.

    1. I'm reminded of Romans 8:17, if we are to share in His glory, then we are to share in His sufferings. It's hard to understand why suffering exists, but it's through suffering that we grow and are strengthened. Thank you for stopping by today, Lauren.

  6. I loathe seeing my kids suffer and realize that life can be really hard.
    I hate seeing them crushed.
    But, if we rescue them from all the little hurts, they don't learn how to deal with the big ones.
    And big ones follow them all through life.

    Loved this post, Gabe.

  7. Hope I win. I would really love to read these fascinating books. New reader. Thanks for the great opportunity. Your new fan.

  8. Loved your touching post, Gabrielle!! Thank you!!

    As a 2 time cancer survivor with continued health issues, also a mother, father and aunt - who are ill and require my help, to say that I've been disappointed numerous times would be putting it mildly. Quitting isn't an option - God has continued to heal and still has a life plan for me. Each struggle has only made me spiritually stronger, deepened my relationship with God and encouraged by making me even more aware of, and grateful for, his mercy, grace and love.


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