A word I’m too familiar with.
Disappointment is defined as “sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations” and that has been a recurring theme in my life. I was always disappointed, by everyone and everything: myself, friends, jobs, siblings, men, parents, pastors, etc., and it left me feeling very lonely and hopeless. With each disappointment came a whisper saying that I was never going to be happy and that people could not be trusted. It took me a very long time, 23 years actually, to realize that maybe, just maybe, it might be a me problem…
I’ve always been a loner but I never knew how lonely I felt until I wasn’t busy with life and I had nothing to distract me. After being bored for the first time in a very long time, I realized that certain people triggered my disappointment more than others because of the expectations I placed on them and they weren’t meeting them, which was obviously unfair to them because none of us has to live up to anybody’s expectations except God’s (and God is a much more merciful than we are).
In that moment, my eyes opened to the fact that I was expecting them to fill certain voids I had in my heart, although that wasn’t their job. I know that no man is an island but we also don’t live to please other people. I will disappoint people and people will disappoint me. So what’s the solution?
After talking to God, I left with 3 things. First, love. We have to be filled with love, enough for ourself and others. Secondly, we have to get rid of unrealistic expectations and release people from responsibilities they never asked for. Finally, we have to learn how to be content exactly where we are, something only God can help us with, or else, we will always feel frustrated and miserable, no matter what we acquire or accomplish.
The bible tells us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick”, so I pray today for every heart that was broken due to unfulfilled expectations. I pray that God will comfort us, mend our broken hearts and teach us how to move forward, setting our eyes and expectations on Him alone. I pray that God will fill our hearts with love and that the Spirit of God will help us to be content exactly where we are.