An Elephant Named Disappointment

filed under: Miscellaneous on January 22, 2009

Disappointment. It’s just a part of life. It comes in all shapes, forms and degrees. It can range from our team’s losing the “big game” to our not getting the job/promotion we hoped for. It may signal the end of a marriage, relationship or friendship. It may be related to your child, your health, the church, politics, finances or someone’s behavior. It can involve your dreams, hopes and aspirations and invade every aspect of life.

-by Earle Donelson, Ph.D.

I've heard this before.  Many times.  It seems that encountering disappointment is inevitable.  As a matter of fact, I was doing some research on the subject and it seemed that most, if not all of the authors I read had already gone beyond that fact that disappointment is going to happen.  At this point, its just an assumed 'human experience'.

So in thinking about my all disappointments, I was led to the next question…

Have I ever been a disappointment to someone else

I have.  And it stings.  It hurts my heart…and its a regret in my life.  I wish I could change the circumstances. 

I tried, and failed, to not disappoint anyone ever again.  The reason I failed is not because I'm a failure, but because I cannot live up to others expectations of me.  Sometimes I don't even know when I'm disappointing others, simple because I do not always know what they expect me to say or do.

My dear sister in Christ Kelli, who is leading my Thursday morning Bible study, read to us her daily devotional for today.  It spoke to disappointment on a huge level.

The question came up, "What if you made it your goal to never let anyone know if they have disappointed you?"

I'll say it again. 

"What if you never let anyone know if they have disappointed you?"

My initial response was,"No way!  How will they ever know if I don't tell them?"

And then my heart sank, because that was the point. 

They wouldn't know. 

They wouldn't have to add to their list of life experiences, "I disappointed my mom(sister, husband, child)…and know I can never fix it."


Right now, I could make the choice.


I could choose to    never utter the words, "I was disappointed in you."  

That doesn't mean I won't experience it.  Or  feel it.  Or contribute to it.  But that can be one 'feeling' that I don't have to share.  I can learn from my experience, adjust my expectations if needed, and grow. 

This is a tough topic for me.  I do not know if I am even capable of biting my tongue. 

But I would like to find out.

If you are currently trying to deal with a disappointemnt in your life, I came across an article that seemed to offer up some good "coping" advice.  Click here to check it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • BP says:

    That is a tough one……
    I like your new colors on your blog. I forgot to tell you.

  • ElizaBeth says:

    WOW! We are currently facing disappointment in our family. I am working really hard at seeing the opportunities God is giving us to grow closer to Him in this. The emotions are still raw, but we know feelings and situations are temporary. God does not change. I am praying that our family is an example of true Joy only found in Christ.

  • Amanda Rettke says:

    So sorry… but I will certainly be praying for you all.  You are right…God doesn’t change… its an awesome concept!!
    Love to you!

  • Christy says:

    WOW! Girl Wow, what a change that could and would do!!! Thank you for giving me something big to think and pray on!

  • he & me + 3 says:

    Very intersting and thought provoking post.

  • tracie says:

    It would be really hard to not say I was disappointed to my kids. Especially Brianna. With her…saying I am not angry at her…just disappointed in her actions….works every time. But, maybe those words hurt more than I realize. Something to think about anyway.